• WILD WRITING!!!!
    ELEPHANT
     
    STRUCTURE OF WRITER'S WORKSHOP
     
    Mini-Lesson (5-10 minutes)
    The mini lesson is where I can make a suggestion to the whole class.  I may raise a concern I see in the student writing, model a technique, demonstrate a style, or reinforce a strategy.  I ask myself "What is the one thing I can suggest or demonstrate that might help most?"  A mini lesson generally lasts 5-10 minutes.  I try to choose a teaching point that I feel would benefit many members of the class.
     
    Examples of Mini-Lessons:
    Content:
    *Getting an idea
    -making lists
    -being a spy
    -writing from emotion
    -experiences
    -writing what you know

    *Adding detail
    -using adjectives effectively
    -effective nouns and verbs
     
    *Showing, not telling
     
    *Choice of words/descriptive language
     
    *Replacing tired words
     
    *Great Beginnings
     
    *WOW endings
     
    *Observations
     
    *"I wonder" writings
     
    *Creating dynamic characters
     
    *Staying on topic
     
    *Developing a plan for writing
     
    *Finding your voice
     
    *Genre Studies:
    -poetry
    -informational reports
    -letters
    -autobiographies/biographies
    -picture books
    -persuasive essays
     
    Conventions Focus:
    *Use appropriate spacing
     
    *Spelling phonetically
     
    *Spell Dolch words correctly
     
    *Spell using analogies
     
    *Capitalize I, names
     
    *Capitalize beginnings of sentences
     
    *Ending punctuation marks
     
    *Quotation marks
     
    *Commas
     
    *Use of "and"
     
    *Use of correct there/their/they're
     
    *Using Appropriate Grammar
     
    *Using paragraphs
     
    *Recognizing and correcting run-on sentences
     
    Independent Writing Time
    After the mini-lesson, students work in their Writer's Notebook (composition books) to collect entries that may later become published pieces of writing.  The total writing time leasts for about 35-40 minutes, but during that time some students may be involved in conferences with the teachers or with their peers.
     
    Students choose entries in their notebooks to take into "draft form".  It is these carefully selected pieces of writing that will be taken through the process of editing and revising so that they can be published and shared with others.  All entries in the Writer's Notebook do not become published pieces of writing.  All published writing is added to each student's Writing Portfolio, and some pieces will even be put into student created books.
     
    Gathering Ideas
    *Things we see that are interesting
    *Very close observations of things, capturing sights, sounds, tastes, smells, moods, etc.
    *Questions about a subject, a person, a thing, a place, etc.
    *List of things we might want to think about later
    *Writing generated from photographs
    *Memories
    *Ideas from news stories we hear
    *Character ideas from interesting people we see
    *Setting ideas from places we visit
    *Entries about things that interest us
    *Reflections about things we see, hear, or think
    *Poetry
    *Family Stories that we know
    *Writing generated from conversations we've had or heard
    *Entries about things we care about
    *Things we wonder about
    *Celebrations or victories
    *Dreams
     Conferencing
    While students are involved in independent writing, I use this time to confer with my writers.  I take notes during conferences to document students' progress and to plan future mini-lessons.  During the time I may:
     
    *Listen to students read their entries aloud
     
    *Help students decide what they want to say
     
    *Provide feedback
     
    *Re-teach skills taught during min-lessons
     
    *Teach necessary new skills
     
    *Reinforce a writer's strengths
     
    *Give writers new ways of thinking
     
    Sharing
    At the end of writing workshop everyday, students are brought back together for a 5-10 minute group share and reflection.  When students sign up to share or are asked to share, they take a seat in our "Author's Chair".  Sometimes a writer might come to the author's chair to ask for help or receive feedback from his or her classmates ("I like my story, but I can't think of a good title").  The author might also want to share part of an entry of which he or she is especially proud.
     
    During many group shares, each student gets a turn to share a small part of an entry, especially if I have asked students to try a particular new skill during the day's mini-lesson.
     
    Publishing
    Every month throughout the school year, students select ONE notebook entry/story to publish.  This means the story will be shared with members of a writing club in order to receive feedback from other authors in the classroom.  When students are part of a writing club, they meet in small groups to read their chosen stories aloud and to help each other improve their stories before taking them into first-draft form.  Students are placed into teacher-assigned writing clubs with a checklist of questions for the authors to ask of their club members after reading their stories aloud to their group. 
     
    As the year goes on, students will continue to work with different students in ever-changing writing clubs to share and revise the writing they do in their notebooks.  Students use the feedback they receive in their writing clubs to begin a first draft of the story they are taking out of their notebooks.  The drafts are turned into me, and I meet with each student to discuss and further revise the stories before they are published and added to the students' writing portfolios.
     
    Their final project is to create a digital story of the class.  Each child will take one of their published stories and read it aloud in script in "I-Movie".  Then they add pictures to go with their story, either with a camera or internet.  These will be presented to the parents through DVD's at the end of the year.