Chapter 2: Writing Workshop: Getting It Started
The first thing I want to acknowledge in this chapter the wonderful reference checklist for possible mini-lessons. It is on page 19 of the book. I plan on making a photocopy of it and putting it in my teacher’s writing folder.
As I read through this chapter it reminds me of the importance of print in the classroom. Ms. Lynch has created another list of wonderful opportunities for writing and thinking aloud on P. 21. This one stood out to me because it reminded me how important it is to write Notes when things are needed in front of the children and Poems. I love teaching with poems. In fact years ago I had all my poems on chart paper. Then I transferred them over to the smart board. I really miss them on chart paper. So I decided to rewrite them on chart paper so my poems can be displayed in the classroom all the time. Ms. Lynch also writes about the importance of purposeful writing, such as creating a list of things that needs to be done before recess.
She also writes about Interactive Writing, as we write together. This is a perfect opportunity to incorporate the English Skills that are taught each week.
I started making copies of the students’ writing when my document camera was fixed this year. All the kids love having their work displayed and it mades the lessons more meaningful when we were looking at real sentences written by kids.
The idea of doing more “role playing” in the classroom spoke to me. Get the students to help act out the problems so we can solve them and create guidelines together. This way the students will remember the lesson and they are part of the solution.
Another great idea I read about was writing about show and tell objects. This is the perfect opportunity to teach about descriptive writing. Ms. Lynch had some wonderful anchor charts for her writing lessons. I would like to incorporate some of them as well. I purchased a tablet of paper that I am going to keep just my writing charts in so they are easy to find and all in one place. (I don’t have a lot of wall space.)
Getting first graders to add more details to their writing is always a challenge. Ms. Lynch has some suggestions for mini-lessons:
· Draw it, Write it (add color words)
· Name it (Use names for everything)
Catchy little phrases will help them remember to add details as they write.
This is a nice lesson. 3 Ways to Spell a Word
1. Look at the Word Wall or your student dictionary.
2. Sound out a short vowel work on your arm.
3. Sound out long words like a rubber band.
There were just tons of great suggestions in this book.
I modified her idea to make it work for the way I teach sounding out.
This chapter had a lot more information packed into as well. The ideas above are just the ones I feel I can incorporate into my Writing Workshop. If you would like to read more of Ms. Lynch’s ideas, I would recommend you pick up her book.