Awww… the first month of writer’s workshop is behind me. We have built some strong routines and habits already. I am super pleased.
A few days (weeks) past, we wrapped up our first unit by revising our writing. I modeled this by selecting a piece that I had previously written.
I discussed how we had learned so much about writing and I wanted to go back and add clarity to my writing. So, I revised one of my original pieces. I told my students that I did not think it was really clear that I washed my dogs in the garage shower, so I added some details. I also told them that I thought I could add more words.
Then my students self-selected a piece from their own writing and set out to add clarity. For many, this just meant adding additional colors. At this point of the year, I am more interested in the PROCESS… not the PRODUCT. Does that make sense?
(um… and yes, we sometimes write upside down on the paper.)
What was important to me was my students understood that they could add more information to their writing at anytime in order to help the reader understand.
This revision was not painful, they joyfully set out to work… no tears!I have also been rewarding tables that work quietly and “make my heart happy” with their hard work. I just hang a badge clip from their table number with a heart I cut out from construction paper… a little ghetto… but it works! You can find the badge clips HERE.
During the next writing period, that table gets to use my mechanical pencils.
We are now knee-deep in writing books with our second unit. So far… so good! It is always a wee-bit scary to loosen the control and let students start book making.
Trust me, it is worth the discomfort.
We have started sharing on the interactive whiteboard. My document camera when belly-up this year. It was 5 years old, so it lived a good life. We now use my iPad to share.
We just mirror the iPad to our computer using AirPlay. Simple really!
You can read about how this all works by clicking HERE.
I also have started to use an app to keep track of my conferring (I feel so techie… for REAL).You create the subjects you want to use.
You can export them or share the information with others… (cue angels to sing.)
This is what my “writing” tab looks like. I have them sorted by date, but you can sort them alphabetically too.
When I click on a student’s name, I can just start typing. It saves my comments, so if I want to say the same thing with another writer, I don’t have to type it all. WHAT?! So easy!
AND… I can take a quick photo of what I am conferring on. I! LOVE! THIS! FEATURE!
Friends, as you know, it is not about the data you collect, it is about what you DO with the data. I feel like I am able to collect detailed data in a concise way. Data that I can turn around and use!