WARNING- THIS IS A LONG ONE! GET YOUR COFFEE!!!! :)
I had a few emails asking about my writing workshop time. The beginning of the year looks different than right now because I am training the students with writing stamina and teaching them how to use all of the extra writing choice forms. (These will be discussed below.)
I start with a read aloud on Monday. I always start with a book that I chose that highlights a specific teaching point. I inform the students before I start reading to pay attention to ___________ while I read. This way they can still listen to the entire story without interruption. After the story is finished we discuss and go back through the book pointing out the specific items. The mentor texts stay on my brown book shelf all year because we will refer back to them often as needed.
Here is an example of a list of mentor texts:
I purchased a few however I had so many books that I just went through all of my picture books during one summer and determined which books were good for teaching different concepts. This way I didn't have to spend a lot of money! Someday I will type up my list. Right now they have a post-it-note on the book stating what skill I will teach as I use it. The books with similar skills are stored in the 2 gallon Ziplock bags together.
PRE- WRITING AND STARTING STORIES-
I tell my students the genre that I want them to write. Right now they have to write an entertaining story but they can choose if it is a real, realistic fiction or fantasy story. They also have the choice if it will be sad, funny or scary.
This is the writing template that I use:
On the first 3 Mondays of the month they discuss with partners what story they want to write for the week. After a few minutes, I ask for students to tell me their topic. As they tell me their topic I hand the new writing packet to them to fill out. Students that remain on the carpet- I help them think of a topic before they go back.
WHAT DO I DO DURING WRITING WORKSHOP?
I usually NEVER sit down during writing workshop. (Well, unless I am in my wheelie chair sliding from desk to desk!) On Mondays I typically have my low students dictate their stories. (Some students need me to write the entire thing- and others just need my support.) I have them first finish pre-writing but when they are ready for drafting- I write their words for them. This sets them up for success for the remainder of the week and allows me to help the remainder of the class. if I do not take the time on Monday to assist my needy students- then I will have behavior problems during the rest of the week.
DO I ALLOW STUDENTS TO USE INVENTED SPELLING OR DO I SPELL WORDS FOR THEM?
I also allow students to use, "Try it sheets" This is a strategy that I learned from my amazing cooperating teacher during student teaching. If a student does not know how to spell a word- they can grab a scrap of paper and try to spell the word on the scrap. I have stand up question marks that students will sit on their desk when they have a try it sheet or need me for some other reason. Once I am free- I will work my way through the students with question marks and write how to actually spell the word that they were trying. I always point out the good sounds that they used. They write the correct spelling in their dictionary.
WRITING PROCESS EXPECTATIONS
At certain points in the year I expect my students to finish parts of the writing process on their own. At this point in the year my students are expected to complete pre-writing, drafting, editing and with an attempt at revising.
You can check out our Spider Legs revising technique song here. :)
WHAT DO MY STUDENTS DO IF THEY FINISH THEIR STORY EARLY?
Once they finish their story for the week they are allowed to choose writing choices.
Here is an AMAZING FREE website full of writing templates such as newspapers, menu writing, wanted posters, recipes etc.
I use sticker stories that I purchased and cannot find where I got them!!!
I allow comic templates:
The last week of each month- the students get out their finished stories and choose their best story. I collect the others and grade them only on effort and send them home.
Their best story is published. I grade this with a rubric.
We have 2 authors a day share their published stories. Once they read it to the class- I finally send it home.
I use these for our publishing books:
They come with a title page and an about the author page. I have my students add a copyright and dedication to the back of the cover page. We also add a cardstock cover. My students are really proud of their publishing books.
EDITINGSomeone asked what I do for teaching editing. Well, I try to use their own writing as much as possible but I also downloaded this amazing item at TPT. I use it for morning work Tuesday- Friday each week.
If you have any more questions please let me know! :)
Remember that I have a competition going on until DECEMBER 30TH! Right now you have a pretty good chance of winning!!!! :)
Please follow me and leave a comment about your favorite holiday tradition on my competition post!!! ;)