Tuesday, September 17, 2013

6 Traits Tuesday-The First Grade Way!

I am one lucky teacher!
I was waiting for the right time to share how I am using 6 Traits writing in my first grade classroom, 
and then, PRESTO!
I found Courtney and Sarah from
Hoots and Hollers already have a weekly 6 Traits linky! 

Last year, I took a liking to this Trait-Based Monthly Writing Instruction-

Around the same time, my first grade teammate, Miriam, suggested the Daily 6 Traits by Evan Moor 
for building skill practice.

I also found a great VOICES menu wall unit from Down Under Teacher's TPT store.
This picture was taken last April and we were just getting ready to start Sentence Fluency at that time.

This year,
I wanted to focus on particular writing strategies aligning with the new First Grade CCSS.
Last week, I typed up a new 6 Traits VOICES menu to highlight these new Common Core Objectives.
Using "Down Under Teacher's" strategy cards, I went through and pulled out the ones I felt were most significant in first grade.
I put them in order of instruction (based on how they were introduced in the Daily 6 Traits lessons) and wrote that corresponding number on the back of each card.
click here for the download in google drive.
I added both updated menus to my teacher VOICES binder.

Transition songs (seen here under the headers) were found in a Scholastic teacher's resource manual on 6 Traits.
I typed them up and added them to the menu.
To start and end a daily lesson, we sing the corresponding traits song!  The kids absolutely LOVE it!
Take a listen to our IDEAS song:
If you would like these awesome songs,
click here for the freebie!

Here is a peek into one of our daily 6 Traits lessons in our
 VOICES binder-
Now my little Max thought he spelled "some" correctly.
I did not correct him at this point, because during this writing time, students are taught NOT to ask the teacher how to spell unknown words.  This is my time to see who is using the word walls, or phonetically sounding words out.  I will go back the next day and reteach that sight word to make sure Max builds a stronger connection with using the word walls.

Here is a little video on how I organized the students 
VOICES binders:

Oregon City Schools First Grade Writing 
Curriculum Calendar: 
This year, my district has gotten on board with the 6 Traits Writing model for first grade.
The following calendars are new to us and are a work-in-progress!

First Grade-First Quarter 6 Traits Pacing Guide: click here
First Grade-Second Quarter 6 Traits Pacing Guide: click here
First Grade-Third Quarter 6 Traits Pacing Guide: click here
First Grade-Fourth Quarter 6 Traits Pacing Guide: click here
How does 6 Traits fit in to my daily schedule?
I hope this post was helpful!  I am always keeping my fingers crossed that someday we will move on and explore Lucy Calkins Writer's Workshop!  Until then, 6 Traits is a welcomed addition to Room 102!


  1. Wow! Thank you for all this GREAT info and freebies! These are so wonderful and will help me a lot. I have the VOICES menu and was giving this a try this year. Love the songs too. Thank you a bunch!!!

  2. I had to laugh when I got to the end of your post! We have been using Lucy Calkins and I am wanting to pull back in the traits. I did not feel as successful with Calkins this past year...my students didn't seem to grow as they did with the 6 Traits. With Calkins I felt I was really teaching genre, but with the traits I was teaching the craft of writing. So now I kind of have married the two! I appreciate all you put into this post. I was very curious to see what you were doing with the traits.

  3. Holy cow girl! This is AMAZEBALLS! Love hearing your kids sing too!

    Rowdy in First Grade

  4. I love how you have organized your traits menu! Also, I enjoyed seeing how you integrate the traits into your daily schedule. Great post--such useful info...

    Take care!
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers


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