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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Little Writing Magic Today

Today was a good writing day in the classroom.  It was the kind of day when there is a good hum of work and very little off-task behavior.

It started with K being the "teacher" and sharing her newest book on the document camera.  It was a long time coming for K but we celebrated her brilliance today as a class.  Her story:

Title: Reading
Page 1: I like to read books at school.
Page 2: I like to read books at bedtime.
Page 3: I like to read books in the morning.
Page 4: Reading makes me feel happy!

Boy, page 4 is the kicker isn't it?  This girl finally found a topic that really means something to her, she was able to put together three pages of related items and then she was able to wrap it up with a pretty little ending.  Her pictures match beautifully and she really took her time to spell sight words correctly and stretch the sounds of the words that she didn't know off the top of her head.

She was so proud to share her story and we had a wonderful lesson about the importance of endings.  (We followed K's story with a quick reading/retelling of two favorites books, No David by David Shannon and I Am Invited To A Party by Mo Willems.  I purposely left out the endings of both books to further demonstrate that a good ending is necessary to help our readers understand our stories.)

----------------- Fast forward 20 minutes into writer's workshop --------------------

Another child brought his finished book to me.

A: Can I read you my story?
Me: Yes, let's hear it!

Title: My Grandma's House
Page 1: I went to my Grandma's house.
Page 2: We had doughnuts.
Page 3: We made jello.
Page 4: We played outside in the snow.
Page 5: Spending time with my Grandma was great!

Me: A! What a great ending for your story!
A: [smiles]
Me: I think we better share this with the class tomorrow.  Would that be ok with you? Will you read it to your friends so we can show them the great ending you wrote today?
A: [smiles ear to ear] YES! [He walked away with an extra spring in his step!]

---------------- Reflection Time ------------------

My student teacher and I were talking about writer's workshop...how things went, the plan for tomorrow, etc.

L: Wasn't A's story great today!  Did you read that ending?  He did that all by himself!
Me: I know! He's going to share it tomorrow and teach the class about endings again.  It was perfect!
L: I noticed several other kids talking about their endings today too.  I think that conversation really helped them out today.  Their writing seemed so much better today after that 5 minute mini lesson!
Me: I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow!


  1. What a great day in workshop you had. Something so simple is so effective. You must have been smiling all day after that workshop. Well done!

  2. inspirational! (Oh and aren't document cameras THE best?!)

  3. That sounds like a great writing workshop! I'm glad it went so well. Congratulations!

  4. I love these stories! Congratulations on your successful day!

  5. Reading your post is reinforcement for believing in the powers workshop. Congratulations on a writing rich day!

  6. Oh how fun. I love all the conversation and the excitement!

  7. Glad you have a student teacher who was also able to witness the brillance of writer's workshop. Love the idea of using the document camera to share student writing! :)

  8. Days like this are the reward for your hard work.

  9. Love that you brought us with you all the way through, Robin. The kids must have been so proud!

  10. Great post - looking over your shoulder at your day. Mini lessons have a major impact!