- Gather a stack of texts that are good examples of what you want to study
- Make sure the students know what it is they are studying and they are expected to write under the influence of this study.
- Immerse them in reading and talking about the gathered texts and what they noticed about how the books are written.
- Study some of them closely until they’ve become articulate (and can chart) about how people write this kind of text.
- Write (teacher and student) something that could go into a stack of books like the ones you have been studying.
I also tried to plant the idea that “writers think about writing even when they are not actually writing” during my morning message. (The stretching words idea comes from Deanna Jump’s Chit Chat) The kids ate it up!Here is one (I have a ton I could share) of a student who took this on. Prior to “writing books” Miss L would typically write, “I am playing with my dog” and she would have considered herself done.
However, by making books she has a better developed topic.
She (like many of my students) decided to write her words on the left side of her paper and place the illustrations on the right, so you can’t see her words. They were written in typical kindergarten writing with inventive spelling… AWESOME!
She worked on this book for 4 days. She informed me today that she felt she was done, and wanted to start a new book.
Students keep their writing in a simple pocket folder. You can see I have placed a green dot (still working) on one side. The other side has a red dot (done).
All of the folders are kept in a bin up by my desk. In this way, they are right at our fingertips the next day. We do not waste instructional time searching for our folders.
Man! This was a windy post. AND I didn’t even capture it all. What a great week we had in writers workshop! Are you interested in reading more? Let me know~ I can do some follow-up posts as our weeks progress.
You can see all of our writing units that are perfect for kindergarten and first-grade by clicking the image below.