In response to Attempting to Balance, miss capuzo and I have the same concerns. Do we start with a question and let them find the answer?
Today, I started a lesson about dogs. I showed the students a slideshow of real dog in various situations and examples of student work from last year. We discussed shapes and sizes of the parts of a dog. They were able to identify the shapes so I let them try on their own to make the shapes with scissors and construction paper. Frustration was rampant. They made their shapes too small to even cut out. The first graders need to learn fine motor skills so I encourage large ovals and circle. I stopped the class and did a quick demo of a large oval for the body and a smaller shape for the head. You could feel the tension disappearing. Maybe since they need my input, they may listen a little more carefully. In first grade they need the structure that I give at the beginning of each lesson. As the dogs take shape, the individual ideas begin to surface. While they are thinking about the type of dogs that they want, they will need to develop a sentence to add to the picture. The slideshow had sentences that enhanced the pictures. Next week when they come in, they will develop a sentence to complete the picture. Inquiry comes in to play with the sentences. I want them to pose a question about their dog. Taking time to write these questions plays a vital role in our district’s writing philosophy.