I introduced the idea of Plan Boxes (see Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study for grades 3-5 if you want more info on these amazing management tools!) to my class today. While some of them were familiar with the idea of creating a plan, I found myself implementing stricter guidelines with them this year than I had in the past. For instance, I required that their plan be at least three steps long. Then I said that “getting to my seat” couldn’t be part of the plan. That definitely threw some kids for a loop. I had a few sitting with me on the rug for about ten minutes trying to come up with a good plan for the day.
When plan boxes work well (and they do… they just have to be taught explicitly), they’re a great management tool for the Writing Workshop, allowing kids to work independently and thoughtfully throughout the independent writing time (leaving time for you to confer with your other students).
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.