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Using Asterisks

During the demonstration of today’s minilesson I added asterisks to my WN Entry to show a flashback in time. I said something like, “I’m going to put some stars here, called asterisks, to show that I’m going back in time. This is something that writers like Patricia MacLachlan, whose book, Journey, you read in third grade, do when they want to show changes in time.” (I was showing the kids how to take a photograph and write about the back-story, with precision, as a notebook entry.)

Wouldn’t you know that two of the kids I chatted with during Workshop did the same thing? They used asterisks to show changes in time in their entries. Interesting. This afternoon, during our study hall, one of my students came up to me to show me his entry. He, too, used the asterisks to show the flashbacks and flash-forwards in his two-page entry. Wow.

I like seeing kids who focus on everything during minilessons and then have-a-go with it. This not only makes me they are risk-takers, but it also makes me think that they have potential to mentor themselves after published authors in units of study to-come.

My entry was written in pencil, which is why it’s a bit hard to view above.

Stacey Shubitz View All

I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades 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).

3 thoughts on “Using Asterisks Leave a comment

  1. I actually watched Ruth teach this to one of my students who in turn taught it to the class. Then four or maybe five used it on their writing prompt for the corporation and teachers didn’t know what it meant…ugh! They though they were just putting in stars for fun. 🙂


  2. Does your school fully implement Writer’s Workshop. I’m so impressed w/the self regulation your students seem to have and I wondered if this has been taught since K?


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