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Routines and Structures: Things to Teach Kids in September So Your Year Is a Breeze!

I was doing some thinking this morning about the routines I’ll need to rehearse with my students this-coming September. My mind went from general (e.g., walking in the hallways, fire drills) to the specific (i.e., Writing Workshop). Therefore, I figured I’d post my working list of structures I want to teach my fourth graders so that my expectations for Workshop Time are exceedingly clear.

  • Transitions to and from the Meeting Area
  • Plan Boxes
  • Focus Spots for Independent Writing
  • Using the Writing Center
  • Mid-Workshop Interruptions
  • Conferring Expectations (“The Conferring Scarf”)
  • Using Charts & Mini-Charts
  • Cleaning-up from Story Surgery
  • Sharing
  • Writer’s Notebook Checking Day Procedure
  • LMK if you’re interested in me posting specifics about any or all of these.

    Stacey Shubitz View All

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

    10 thoughts on “Routines and Structures: Things to Teach Kids in September So Your Year Is a Breeze! Leave a comment

    1. Ryan:

      I’ll post a bit more about each of them later today. In the meantime, you can do keyword searches for each of those items. There’s already a lot of stuff online in our blog archives about each of these things.



    2. Hi Stacey,
      I was wondering if you could talk throughj each of these structures in a little more detail – I love how you are thinking ahead to cultivate independence in the classrooom. If not all, could you provide a little more detail on how you organized focus spots and notebook planning day? How did you make planning boxes purposeful so that kids had a well to draw from when planning their future writing work? I also have Leah’s book on the Share component and would love to have a partnership blog conversation around the book- if you’re interested. Cleaning up from story surgery???? Love the sound of it, what is it?


    3. Nope. I’m the only person who wears the scarf. I wear it when I’m chatting with students during Reading and Writing Conferences. It’s a sign I’m talking with one of the peers about their reading/writing and that I cannot be interrupted.


    4. Year 3 of teaching the scarf was from Israel.
      Year 4 of teaching the scarf was from India.
      Both were gifts. Both had histories which the kids learned.
      Neither one was ever pulled upon (thankfully).
      I didn’t like using this visual, at first, since it seemed rather juvenile for upper elementary school kids. However, the scarf is a sign to the child that <>


    5. Dear Stacy,
      I am curious about your writing workshop and not familiar with terms you are using such as Plain Boxes, Cleaning up from Story Surgery, Writing notebook checking procedure. and more.

      I would love to learn more.



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