Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Writer's Workshop

Can I just say, I have fallen in LOVE with Writer's Workshop? Well, I do LOVE it. And then some... We start once every other week with a new bank. They are very simple, but self-selected. This is where my kiddos brainstorm topics to write about during their writing time! I stop mid-way through their brainstorming time and ask each to share ONE item they put into their bank (this helps those slow to think type children get some decent ideas.) Then for the next 15-20 minutes (we had to WORK UP to that stamina) they write. My  3 requirements are as follows:

  1. Keep Writing
  2. Problem with spelling? Try your best
  3. If you run out of things to say about your topic, pick a new one and keep writing.
Before they start writing I give them 15-20 seconds to get to their "writing spot." These options are at the carpet, in their chair at their desk, ON their desk, or UNDER the desk. Then ... they write! Believe it or not, you could usually hear a pin drop. THEY LOVE IT! 
Then the kiddos get back to the carpet and read their writing with their "elbow" partner. Then the partner reads. Then I allow a few kids to read their aloud! Once again ... it's a BIG hit! 

To focus on skills, I read mentor text where the writer is meeting the skill in a good way! Usually it is a text that the kids are very familiar with so that they don't get caught up in the story, but rather in the writing!

After a few weeks we pick one of our writings to draft/edit/revise/publish. At the end of the week (usually Friday) we publish, present, and illustrate/create an example of our writing to show off on the walls in the hallway:) 

Here is an example of a journal.
I put 2 tabs in it: 1 for their banks, and one for their writing. 
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Here are a couple banks!
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Here are some examples of MY favorites:) You'll see why!
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I'm so glad their standard of "coolness" is so low! Have a great day!

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