aimee buckner · jim vopat · lucy calkins · on-demand piece · ralph fletcher · small moment · wn entry · writer's notebook · writing workshop

The first month of school

I met with the other teacher on my grade level today to plan our Reading and Writing Workshops for the first month of school. Our writing teaching points were inspired by five professional book authors: Aimee Buckner, Lucy Calkins, Ralph Fletcher, JoAnn Portalupi, and Jim Vopat. Would you have a look over what we created and comment on it?

Day 1 (actually the second day of school): On-Demand Writing: small moment piece
Day 2: Celebrity Writing Profiles {Vopat}; WW Teaching Point: Writers think about how they will use their notebook to record what they observe.
Day 3: Hand out writer’s notebooks/decorate them; Best/Worst List Strategy {Buckner}
Day 4: WW Teaching Point: Writers pay attention to what goes on in the world around them and recognize the world is a place full of ideas for writing that can be recorded on-the-go. (Teacher demonstration “write aloud,” {Vopat}.)
Day 5: Stand Up for Writing during Morning Meeting; Close Your Eyes and Imagine… {both from Vopat}
Day 6: WW Teaching Point: Writers discover ideas for stories in unusual ways. One way to do this is by thinking about strong emotions, such as awe, joy, anger, embarrassment, etc.
Day 7: WW Teaching Point: Writers uncover fierce wonderings by recording the things wonder about in their writer’s notebook. {Fletcher & Portalupi}
Day 8: WW Teaching Point: Writers often think of a person and brainstorm focused stories of times with that person. Then, writers can sketch and write one about one of those focused stories. {Calkins}
Day 9: WW Teaching Point: Writers create entries with feeling by writing form the heart. One way they can do this is by creating a map of the heart and then using that map to help them write with depth about things of utmost importance.
Day 10: WW Teaching Point: Writers unfold the small moments of their lives using by weaving in overheard conversations into their writing. {Fletcher and Portalupi}
Day 11: WW Teaching Point: Writers react to things that are happening in the world around them by writing long about events in their writer’s notebook. {Fletcher and Portalupi}
Day 12: WW Teaching Point: Writers gather artifacts in a memory box in order to help them write something new and distinct.
Day 13: WW Teaching Point: Writers reflect on themselves as writers. {Fletcher and Portalupi}
Day 14: WW Teaching Point: Writers create their own writing by allowing other texts to inspire them. {Fletcher and Portalupi}
Day 15: WW Teaching Point: Writers revise an entry (or entries) from their writer’s notebook in order to put a piece of writing out into the world.
Day 16: On-demand Piece: Revise a WN Entry in one class period.

Do tell me what you think of our plan for our fourth graders who are coming to us with a lot of Writing Workshop experience. (We wanted to focus heavily on community building and writing in notebooks. With that focus in mind, please give me some feedback.)

7 thoughts on “The first month of school

  1. I really like how each lesson is a building block for growth- Day 6 you mentioned in your calendar you said that you needed M&M’s or Skittles…. This was one of the lessons I thought to use for my room. What will you do with it?

    Our next WNB entry will be focusing on our writers community and how we can build that in our room through out the year. The kids will make a list of things THEY NEED to support their needs as budding writers, and what they can do to help others in the room. Hopefully this will be a success. We will then make a classroom list to hang up on the wall for reminders when in need.

    PS.You probably have them, but I bought all of the Amelia’s Notebook books- They are really neat and give ideas for kids to put in their notebooks as well.



  2. I like your month schedule. How long are your class periods? teaching points? and how long do students get to work on the various teaching points?


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