I am so excited!! This is one happy writing teacher. It's very hard for me to think about how a year ago I dreaded writing workshop with my kids! I (gasp) hated it! So if you read this often enough you know about my summer at the LR Writing Project's summer institute. OMG... talk about rocking my world! And I am SOOO glad that it did. See I walked in to my new school with the attitude that we all were story composers! Not a word had to be on a page... hello one of my MOST FAVORITE books is Tuesday by David Wiesner. And there are only like 3 words and a few times!! So I love my budding authors! I wanted to share how I am running writing workshop now that I have a new found understanding and teaching method. And I honestly wish that I could say that on Monday we do this and Tuesday is this but I don't even plan that way for writing workshop. Here is what I do....
In a week we have a mini lesson journal where we practice our mini lesson. These are usually single page prompts... my homage to the districts required one page one prompt directive. The first nine weeks have been about details in our pictures and labels. Why so long? Well I realized that so many of these kiddos needed nothing more than time to get their minds wrapped around the idea that they could do it on their own. There are usually 3-4 pages in our journal. We do interactive writing every morning and we revisit these too in the afternoon when we pick out parts that we want to look at (think editing lessons or counting words and sentences). We practice some days on white boards and other days we work on collaborative works that will become classbooks. But everyday we write our own books. That is everyday the children can work on a past work from their writers notebook or they can start a new one. I don't have a set order of things, although we usually do a mini lesson on Monday (unless there is an assembly). And usually later in the week we work on a collaborative book- although we did that today after our mini lesson on writing sentences using a sentence frame.
Today as I met with students about their writing, I was blown away with the group of kiddos who decided, quite on their own mind you, to give me not one but TWO sentences!! Of course I have kids who didn't get the sentence part down at all... or struggled with the whole idea of sentences. I have some who can stretch words and get sounds and others who... well are still in random letter stage but they are making an attempt!
Here are some pictures from last week where the children were working on their books. You will see all kinds of stages of writing here.
I will take some pictures tomorrow of the pages we did today. I hope that you guys get excited about teaching writing too!!