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Memory Boxes are a big hit!

I modeled the golf glove piece to my class today during my demonstration. I partially wrote it out and partially wrote in the air. Then, I had the kids select one item from their memory box, during the active engagement, and had them write in the air about it, telling the story of the memory that object sparked in their head.

Highlights from today’s WW:
1. The strategy lesson I led with five kids on the inclusion of meaningful dialogue. They wrote some really thoughtful dialogue as a result of the demo I did about the Brown v. Columbia Game. I encouraged them to use the dialogue to show how emotions/feelings. I look forward to seeing how these entries landed up using this strategy.
2. The kids who forgot to bring in items for their memory boxes used the map of their heart to help inspire their writing (about a memory) today. Yea!

After school Kate and I were talking about this unit of study. I told her I felt like it isn’t the best way to start the year since the kids really haven’t produced anything more than a bunch of entries. (That being said, I do realize that they’ve really begun to build a writing life for themselves.) However, she reminded me that they will now have a notebook full of writing and ideas, which should help them once we launch the personal narrative unit of study at the end of next month. That got me jazzed again since this is, afterall, why we thought to start the year with notebook writing. I guess I’m going to take a wait-and-see approach on this one before I conclude whether or not this is how we’ll launch next year’s Writing Workshop.

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

3 thoughts on “Memory Boxes are a big hit! Leave a comment

  1. Stacey —
    Your reflection reminded me of something I read years ago in The Art of Teaching Writing — “It takes a lot of slow to grow.”

    Have truer words ever been written? I’m looking forward to hearing more about your reflections on slowing down the writer’s notebook phase at the beginning of the year. It seems as though you are truly validating for your students that it is essential they live as writers the 23 hours outside of workshop so they can write well during the hour long workshop.

    Looking forward to more of your reflections. Thanks for helping me grow as a teacher. 🙂


  2. I’m a big proponent of independent writing projects. Therefore, if you you want all of your kids in the same place at the same time, then I highly suggest having some of your kids start working on publishing while a piece outside of class time (but should use class time to work on the piece they’ll publish at the same time as their peers). Does that make sense? I’m pretty tired and a bit under the weather, so I’m happy to clarify if necessary Jen. LMK.


  3. This is great! I love to read what you are doing and reflect it back to what I am doing…. I am a week behind you in my lessons- so I can get an idea of what to look for and do with my kids! Can’t wait to do this with my kiddos….

    My students are still collecting entries as well…. I am not ready for all of them to leave the WNB- A question that i had was should I allow the ones who are ready to draft a narrative go ahead? Or should I wait?


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