Last week, Amy, Beth, Kathleen, Lainie, Melanie, and I penned posts about ways to maximize time in writing workshop since we know everyone is short on time during the school day. Any time one can find to streamline transitions, plan more efficiently, or tighten minilessons means more time kids spend writing and teachers spend conferring.
In cased you missed it, here’s a round up of last week’s posts:
On Sunday, Amy kicked off our blog series by sharing three planning strategies that streamline whole group teaching time, which thereby maximizes student writing time. Amy’s post will help you with pre-assessing your students, unpacking the standards vertically, and being strategic with small group instruction.
On Monday, Lainie shared an insightful post on writing as social-emotional development. In the post, Lainie reminds us that the social and emotional needs of students need to be met before instruction can take place. In the end, she assets that our classroom “writing communities offer safety and affirmation, which bring connection and comfort. It’s what our children need – now, more than ever.”
On Tuesday, I offered six tips to keep minilessons short. By keeping whole-class instruction succinct, engaging, and MINI, teachers are able to target the needs of students through 1:1 conferences and small group instruction during independent writing time, which is truly the heart of the writing workshop.
On Wednesday, Melanie provided excellent tips for minimizing transition times. She made the case for taking the time to teach or re-teach transitions, changing the invitation to ask questions, beginning minilessons with stories, and leveraging small group work.
On Thursday, Beth got us thinking about making the most out of charts. In her post, she helps you think intentionally about the use of color, pictures, spacing between words, and charts that grow over time. There’s even a section of the post dedicated to digital charts!
Finally, Kathleen closed out the series with a post on content area writing. She’ll get you thinking about how you can inspire students to write narrative, informational, and opinion pieces in the content areas. The post ends with suggested resources for content integration with writing.
Stenhouse Publishers donated a copy of Shelley Harwayne’s new book, Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop. (Click here to read a complete review of the book, which Melanie posted earlier this month.) Thank you to everyone who left a comment this past week, which automatically entered you to win a copy of Harwayne’s book. Nyssa Thomassen’s commenter number was selected using a random number generator so she’ll receive Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop.
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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).