For many of us, especially in middle school, trying to fit all the pieces of writing workshop into, say, a 41-minute schedule, can feel daunting. How can we teach a minilesson, get our kids working, confer with individuals and small groups, provide a mid-workshop interruption, and facilitate a teaching share…all in that tight time frame?
The most important minutes of your writing workshop require zero hassle and no prep--only precious time. The minimal investment is worth its weight in gold. Welcome to the sharing circle with guest teacher Lori VanHoesen: The bridge builder you didn't know was doing the hardest work all along.
Are you looking to make the most out of your classroom's meeting area? Find out how to create and maintain a meeting area that will function as the focal point of your writing workshop.
Structures and routines need to be clear in your head so they can be implemented when you start Writing Workshop. You can shift to a new routine or modify one that's not working mid-year, but explaining WHY you're doing it to your students is important. If you're unsure of whose model you wish to adapt,… Continue reading Getting Back to Basics: Structures & Routines (Part of TWT’s Big Pictures Series)
The Reading Zone posed some questions (on her blog) about how other teachers use document cameras in the classroom. Since the document camera I was fortunate to have was bestowed upon my room last year, thanks to a grant from DonorsChoose, my teaching has been transformed. When the document camera first arrived, my students joked… Continue reading Document Camera
Trading Our Favorite Spaces: 1 of 2 Originally uploaded by teachergal Mary Lee & Franki are hosting something of a blog carnival over at A Year of Reading. It's called Trading (Our Favorite) Spaces. Click here to learn more about it &/or to submit photos of your favorite space by September 1st. I'm posting just… Continue reading Trading My Favorite Classroom Spaces
Emily Butler-Smith, a staff developer with the TCRWP led an interesting session on classroom management structures at the July Writing Institute. At first, I'm pretty happy with the routines and procedures I've established (and honed) over the past few years. However, I truly believe you can always get ideas from others, so I went. And… Continue reading Five Shakes of the Rain Stick
I put the supplies I purchased earlier today into my kids' Meeting Area Supply Boxes I purchased on Sunday. They don't have much in them since I wanted to keep it simple... just the basics of what they'd need on the rug for the active engagement of a minilesson or while they're creating plan boxes.… Continue reading Meeting Area Supply Boxes for Workshop-Related Things
Penny Pencil Cases Originally uploaded by teachergal I found pencil cases on sale for $.01 at Staples today. I decided to buy them so that the kids could have everything they need for minilessons with them at the meeting area. (In the past, kids always had to search for pencils or pens prior to the… Continue reading Meeting Area Supplies
Ro left a comment a couple of days ago asking about meeting areas in upper elementary school classrooms. I've been corresponding with her, but thought that it might be useful to open up a bit of my thinking on the site. I believe it was Don Graves who said that having the kids in your… Continue reading Meeting Areas in Upper Elementary Classrooms
Layout of Classroom for 2008-09 Originally uploaded by teachergal Recently I blogged about the new layout I'm going to try out in my classroom this fall. I've gotten a few emails about this reorganization. Hence, I wanted to point folks in the right direction with regard to doing their own classroom layout. Lakeshore Learning has… Continue reading Classroom Layout
I've taken this organizing thing to a whole new level... I reorganized my classroom without moving a thing! Later today a floor plan of our classroom needs to be given to our school's Facilities Manager who said, "If you want something changed, then give me the map the way you want it and that's how… Continue reading Layout of Classroom for 2008-09