I did the strong emotions lesson (using Skittles) on Friday. My demonstration was way longer than it was supposed to be (on paper), but I felt that I needed to be exceedingly explicit so that the kids would get it. They did, but I still think the length was a bit too much.
The inside of my notebook. I did the left page during the demonstration and the top of the right page while my kids were doing their “Happy Emotion” during the Active Engagement.
At the end of the Workshop, I gathered the class together on the rug and had two pre-selected students share one of their lists. I asked them some pointed questions from Mermelstein’s Book. (I want the kids to hear me ask the questions for a few days before I gradually release that task on to them.) I ended each of my questionings with, “What will you do with these lists?” and “What’s your plan for the weekend?” Each student gave me an excellent answer about how they’d write about three of items, one for each day.
Therefore, after each student shared I addressed the rest of the class who brought their Idea Notebooks to the rug. I said, “Would you please put a star next to the item you’re going to write more about tonight? Then, would you place a star next to the one you’re going to write about on Saturday? Finally, would you put a star next to the one you’ll write about on Sunday? Then, please come up and show me your stars.”
It wasn’t a plan box, but it seemed like a way to hold them accountable to writing three entries over the weekend. It was quick, which was necessary since Read Aloud needed to start. I might try an end-of-the-share-plan-what-to-do-next kind of thing for the next few days to see how it goes. Perhaps it will help the kids as we move through the next two weeks of our notebook unit.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent over a decade working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grade K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).