January 23, 2014

Writer's Workshop Moment

So last night while my brain was still thinking about school (it never seems to shut off) I had an "Aha" moment on how I might improve my Writer's Workshop.

We've talked about how writing is a continuous process and during writing time students are never just sitting at their desk.  I love the saying, "When you think you're done, you've just begun!"

I always teach a 5-10 minute mini-lesson and before conferencing go around the room for a quick check-in.  This trimester we're focusing on narrative writing so kiddos are all in different places.

Some are creating planners, while others are writing, illustrating, completing an editing checklist, or conferencing with me.  SooOOOo much going on and only ONE teacher in the room, trying to meet ALL of their needs.  It can be overwhelming!!

So today, I decided to come up with a better visual for the kiddos and myself.  They each wrote their name on a Post-It.  On the board I wrote Planner, Write/Illustrate, Edit Checklist, and Conferencing. Students went right to their Writer Folders and checked where they were in their writing.  Then they went to the board and added their Post-It to what they'd be working on.

Here's a pic of what I did.  Gosh, my board needs a cleaning.  I got half of it cleaned when I seemed to have gotten side tracked on other work that had to be done!

This helped me greatly to see how many students needed a conference and where the rest of the class was.  When it was conferencing time, they took their Post-It off the board and brought it up with them.  One student looked at the board and said, "Wow, a lot of kids are writing and illustrating today!"

I can't wait to see if this makes a difference and improves the smoothness of Writer's Workshop.  Today the room seemed quieter while they busily worked on their pieces.  They all seemed to know where they were and what they needed to be doing.

If you have any other tips that have helped you during Writer's Workshop I'd love to hear them.

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