Writer's Workshop

Aloha everyone! Well I am back to work and we started off the new quarter in a heat wave!! We are having a late summer for sure.  There was not even a breeze on some of these hot afternoons and the kiddos were so red faced and uncomfortable:(  Today however, it has finally cooled down and we accomplished quite a bit.

This year I started doing Writer's Workshop.  I have never done it before and I have never been trained, but I felt like my writing program really needed a kick in the pants.  So after reading lots of blogs and hearing recommendations from other teachers, I bought this book.

Oh how I love this book!!  It is such an easy read and I was able to start it easily at the beginning of the year.  From Chapter 1"Letting Go" the author Jennifer Jacobson had me hooked.  She gives an example of a teacher directed writing lesson and a Writer's Workshop model and I thought, "Omg, I am that first teacher who is "Spinning Plates"!!  I was so tired of hearing, "I'm done", "How many sentences do I have to write?"  Any excuse to not have to write.

Well I set up my Writing Center and added lots of items that she suggests.  I bought yellow folders for my kids so they all looked the same and matched their yellow coded writing journals.  There are lots of choices for paper and I let them use what they like.  They also have a personal dictionary if they need to look up a word on their own.

Armed with my new found knowledge I followed her first few lessons to a tee and low and behold my children LOVE to write.  Not only do they love to write, they ask me if they can write when they are finished with their other work!!

Can you hear the Hallelujah  choir in the background???  What is the secret???  It's the same with so many things kids need....Choice.  My kids are free to write about whatever they like during this time.  For some this was a shock.  They sat there looking at me like I was crazy and wanted me to tell them what to do. They were so used to being given a prompt, that choosing what to write was scary!

I simply turned on my Classical music (Pandora is wonderful), got out my own journal and wrote during my 10 minutes.  You could have heard a pin drop as they watched me writing.  Well pretty soon everyone was writing, and when I turned off that music there were groans!!

I decided to share that first day and they were so sweet with their compliments and critiques of my story. 

From that day on Writing has been one of their favorite things to do.  They practically knock each other down when I have sign ups for conferences!  And on Thursday when our Part-Time Teacher comes in to publish there is a line up of kids waiting to meet with her.

Our class library is filling up quickly!

Now that my kids have reallly embraced Writer's Workshop, I plan to  focus my lessons as the year progresses.  We will begin more non-fiction writing this quarter to go along with our Science and to keep up with Common Core.

How is your writing block set up? Do you use Writer's Workshop?  I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts.

I will continue to share out some of our fun writing activities throughout the year. Stop back by tomorrow for a fun little treat:)


  1. I love that visual of you writing and the kids watching. The book sounds great, I am intrigued. Your posts convinced me to try the Daily Five ( which we are loving). More ideas to explore....by the way, I actually wore my winter coat on duty today, the wind was crazy !

  2. One step at a time:) Glad that the Daily 5 is going well for you. They did an awesome job this week during their rotations! I was wishing an administrator would walk in and see every kid on task!!

  3. That is one good looking writing center! I love it and I'm sure your students do, too!!

    1. Thank you! I cleaned it up for the picture, but you can see how messy the papers are!

  4. I may have to check out that book. I am definitely a plate spinner and oh so tired of it! Looking through your blog are me hungry for taro chips and guava juice! I am too far now to make vacations to Hawaii :( . Just love it there!

    1. Mmmm, taro chips, lol! I really learned so much from this book:)

  5. Your writing workshop is sounding great! I'm following Lucy Calkins program this year. Loving it so far!
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  6. I have to admit that writing is my least favorite thing to teach. I like the comparison to a plate spinner. That's exactly what I feel like. I bought this book last summer and never got around to reading it. After seeing this post, I need to dig it out and get started! Thanks for the motivation.
    Teachin' First


Mahalo Nui Loa For Commenting!!

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