Our writing classes at HSAP are now in full swing. Kindergarten and 1st grade students have enjoyed participating in shared writing activities. This is where the teacher models writing in front of the large group and "shares the pen" with her students. Individual students will come forward to help supply a letter, or word for the shared writing piece. They've been working on hearing the sounds in words and stretching out each sound in the words they write, as they get their ideas on paper. Many times the teacher will engage students in writing by reading a Mentor Text. We've taught our students that a mentor is someone or something that can help us to become better. In our case, it's being better writers. What better model could we turn to than a published author? We select our texts for a specific purpose, prior to sharing.
In grades 2nd-5th, we have been implementing the 6+1 Traits of Writing curriculum. These specific writing traits include: Ideas, Organization, Word Choice , Sentence Fluency, Voice, Conventions, and Appearance. We've spent several weeks focusing on our Ideas in writing. We've discussed where writers get their ideas for writing, the need to choose a specific writing topic, that we should stick to our topic, and include strong details that tell about our topic. We've moved on to our next writing trait of Organization. Our students learned that our writing needs to have order. We write with sequence in mind. We write with a beginning middle, and end in mind. For our younger students we practiced this trait by writing a "How to..." piece. Each student gave clear directions on what happened first, next, and last. Our older students have retold a favorite fairy-tale by ordering the events that they recalled in the fairy-tale of their choice, while other grades worked on their autobiography. This involved ordering their life's events up until now.
Thank you for sharing your children with us at HSAP. We certainly enjoy teaching them each day. We encourage you to check in with your child on a regular basis and ask them to share with you the things that they are learning about and writing in their writer's notebooks.
MEET KIMBERLY CHAPMAN
WRITING TEACHER (GRADES 2-5)
I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a Specialization in Spanish while at Iowa State University. I also obtained my Reading endorsement. My previous experience includes teaching preschool, kindergarten, 4th grade, and junior high Spanish, and serving as a tutor for home bound students with long-term illness. This year marks my 7th year with the WDM HSAP program. I LOVE my job!
I have been married to my husband, Ryan since 2001. We have two children, Reed and Kate, who attend school at Des Moines Christian and Van Meter.
I enjoy being with my family and friends, being outdoors, traveling & exploring, staying active, reading and watching movies.
WHY I LOVE TEACHING
I am passionate about children, teaching, learning, and literacy. Inspiring students to feel confident and excited about their learning really motivates me.
MEET LISA DROST
WRITING TEACHER (GRADES K, 2-3)
I graduated from Iowa Mennonite High School near Kalona, Iowa. After high school, I attended Iowa State University where I received my Bachelors degree for Elementary Education with a specialization in mathematics and a minor in Educational Computing.
After college, I taught several long term elementary teaching positions, in a couple different districts around the metro, before teaching 2nd grade in the Southeast Polk Community School District. Soon after we had our second child I stayed home with our children. When our youngest was in preschool, I began substitute teaching in the West Des Moines School district.
My husband, Bert and I have been married since 2001. We have three children, Will, Briella and Dillon. We live in West Des Moines.
I enjoy being with my family, traveling, exercising, working outside and cheering on the Iowa State Cyclones and St. Louis Cardinals.
WHY I LOVE TEACHING
I have always enjoyed teaching and watching students have those ah ha moments. My love for teaching all started when I was young girl. I had a schoolroom set up in our basement and played school with my siblings and cousins. My grandmother was also a teacher. I enjoyed hearing about and seeing the things she taught in her classroom, along with receiving things she no longer used.
MEET SARA WEIS
WRITING TEACHER (GRADES K-5)
I have my Master's Degree in Education and Reading Specialization. I received my Bachelor's Degrees from the University of Northern Iowa in Elementary Education and Early Childhood with minors in Language Arts and Reading.
I have been teaching with our HSAP program since we began offering enrichment classes in 2008. Prior to that, I taught Kindergarten for the West Des Moines School District. I am a published author and look forward to sharing my experiences in my writing classes.
Mom of three fabulous children; Megan, Lucy, and Max and love living in West Des Moines.
In my free time, I love writing, reading, yoga, and being outdoors. Most of all I enjoy being active with my family and experiencing new places and things together.
WHY I LOVE TEACHING
Kids and writing are two of my favorite things. I love working with kids and helping them get excited about writing and expressing themselves. I feel so fortunate to work with the same students and families year after year and seeing them learn and grow.