Many years ago, as part of my training to be a staff developer, I had the opportunity to observe many amazing classrooms all across New York City. Each classroom I was sent to seemed to run like clockwork. The students seemed to automatically know where to sit on the rug for the minilesson, who to turn and talk to, and exactly where to go the moment the teacher wrapped up the minilesson and said simply, “Off you go.” At the time these classrooms seemed to contain some kind of secret magic, or supernatural teaching powers I didn’t think I could ever possess. How could I possibly get things to run that smoothly? How could I ever get students to write nonstop the way I saw these kids writing?
Over time, I learned that it wasn’t magic or a superpower. Anybody (even me!) can learn to maximize every minute of the writing workshop. In this blog series, my colleagues and I will share some of the ways we’ve learned to make the most out of every minute. We’ll cover the planning, routines, materials, and tools that you too can use to become one of those magical teachers.
Tomorrow, Amy will share how it all begins with smart planning, building on what kids already know.
On Monday, Lainie, will share how relationships and attending to students’ social-emotional needs makes your writing workshop stronger.
On Tuesday, Stacey will share secrets to keeping your minilessons short and sweet, so that your students have the time they need to write.
On Wednesday, Melanie will share how she tightens up transitions with consistent routines and structures to make every minute of writing workshop count.
On Thursday, I (Beth) will share how the charts and visual support in your classroom can help kids hang on to and apply what you’ve taught not just on the day you taught it, but throughout the school year and beyond.
On Friday, Kathleen will discuss how to integrate what students know about strong writing into other content areas, where there are more opportunities to write, write, write.
Lastly, next Sunday Stacey will share an In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) post, summing up all of our contributions.
Alongside our posts, each day you have a chance to win a copy of the book Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop by Shelley Harwayne!
- This giveaway is for a copy of Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop by Shelley Harwayne. Many thanks to Stenhouse Publishers for donating a copy for one reader.
- For a chance to win this copy of Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop, please leave a comment about this post by Friday, January 28th at 11:59 a.m. EST. Stacey Shubitz will use a random number generator to pick the winner, whose name she will announce in a post recapping this blog series on January 30th. Eligible to be shipped to the USA and Canada.
- Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so Stacey can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win.
- If you are the winner of the book, Stacey will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS – MAXIMIZING WRITING TIME. Please respond to Stacey’s e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. A new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement.