I love teaching writing, almost as much as I love teaching reading. It’s probably because they work so closely together. Read/Write. Write/Read. Every day.
Though I enjoy writing a lot, I didn’t feel as though the time I had set aside for writing each day was flowing as well as it could. After beginning a writer’s workshop training, I assessed where we could improve, stepped back, and completely re-launched our writer’s workshop. I couldn’t be happier about having done so!
We started by designating a notebook just for our writing and discussing why learning to write is so important. We connected to our little friend Rocket by reading Rocket Writes a Story. This helped us tremendously, to become more comfortable with getting started. Isn’t that always the hardest part?
From there, we drew our heart maps and listed things that inspire us! We have “pinkies up” or fancy words in our classroom and inspired was added to the repertoire that day! Let me tell you…that led to a really funny mini-lesson on the difference between what EXpired and INspired mean! Hilarious!!!
What my kiddos have grown to love the most about writer’s workshop is that it’s a time for them to express themselves, to write about what inspires them, what they like, what they live…..what they CHOOSE to write about. Having CHOICE is the ‘hook’ of writer’s workshop! They’re in control and they’ve grown to love this time of day now. This friend was inspired by an anchor chart we had made earlier in the day. His neighbor was writing about something completely different and guess what? It’s all good! They’re writing! That’s the important part!
We write at other times throughout the day, in different ways too! Guided writing takes place during small group. One of the ways we incorporate writing into reading is by reflecting on our stories. Another is through cut-up sentences. The sentences usually include phonics patterns and recently introduced sight words. We read the sentence, cut it apart, and then reassemble it in our journals and write it neatly. Read/Write…..all day long!
I guess this one, technically, isn’t writing….but it is one of the fun ways we practice forming words in our classroom. We enjoy the fridge magnets at ABCya.com. Have you ever used the site in your classroom? If not, it’s FREE…give it a try! The kiddos love it!
As much as the little writers in the room are growing independently, we do still enjoy writing together. After sharing a series of Laura Numeroff’s If You Give a… stories this past week, we gave writing one of our own a try! It started out as a shared writing…but once that first hand went up to add to the story, the pen was quickly passed and the writing became interactive!
Wanna know what I loved even MORE????
They continued writing their own versions at the writing station during Daily 5! I do believe this class of littles has figured out the way to my heart! Not only did they write their own versions, they’ve begun to understand that writing doesn’t have to be finished in one sitting. Do you see the ‘to be continued’??? Say, what?! This story continued over the course of two days….I can’t wait to see how it ends!
Write on, friends!