Implementing Writers Workshop

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by Kinderbug26, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. Kinderbug26

    Kinderbug26 Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2008

    Hi everyone,
    I am moving to first grade this year (I taught K for 3 years) and I now have to do writers workshop. Does anyone have any pointers about how to set it up, what it looks like, etc? I have no clue where to begin. Thanks!
     
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  3. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Aug 12, 2008

    Research Lucy Calkins. She is amazing.

    To start off the year we discuss what to do when you don't know what to write about. We practice using focus frames(a paper frame about the size of a wallet picture) on books and around the room to find a small thing to focus on so that we can write about it. We also make a happy, sad, and mad big idea papers. The students draw pictures and add captions about things that make them happy, sad, or mad. This is something that they can look at to give them good ideas to write about.

    I make sure that the students have access to paper, laminated webs, dictionaries and are allowed to freely get up and use supplies. They use writing offices. They glue BIG IDEAS for writing in the inside of the offices.

    I always play classical music which reminds them to work and not talk.

    I sit at my reading table. I call students back for teacher edit and hand them materials for their publishing copy of a story.

    I have a vertical sign with the steps of the writing process. The students move their clip down the process as needed.

    The students put a question card on their desk if they have a question or are ready for teacher edit. I can easily look up and see who is ready.

    I have tried to teach small group writing during writing workshop but was unable to do this and edit papers. If no students need my help to edit I call back students to work on a certain area of difficulty.

    I usually start writing by reading a book that focuses on my target trait of writing. (Example: Voice) I model one writing piece a week. The first day we brainstorm together and start the drafting piece. The second day we read it again and revise it. The third day we edit the paper. The fourth and fifth days we publish it.
     
  4. smgreen78

    smgreen78 Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2008

    I also follow Lucy Calkins (the Art of Teaching Writing).

    Some early lessons are the same as the person who posted before me. Another essential early mini lesson is the "When I'm done I've just begun." It's when we talk about what to do when they are "done" writing (We make a poster that lists their options: 1. Add to the picture 2. Add to the writing 3. Start another piece.)

    Each day starts with a mini lesson (around 10 minutes). They range from management issues to writing lesson (examples include how to put away writing journals, how to use a stapler, using author's as mentors, adding descriptive language, revising, etc.).

    Students write in their journals where if they wish to in the class (after much modeling of good choices/bad choices and appropriate writing behavior).

    I pull small groups with similar needs, or conference one on one with students.

    About half way through their writing time (about 15 minutes into it) I stop them quickly and we look at someone's writing (one that I've chosen for some teaching point). This is brief. They go back to writing (I continue to rove and conference or meet with another group).

    At the end, we take a look at a few examples of writing that have either done the day/week's teaching point, or someone who has accomplished a personal goal.
     
  5. 4alicat

    4alicat Companion

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    Aug 13, 2008

    Our school purchased Lucy Caulkins books called Units of Writing for Primary Study. It's fairly expensive though.

    For a quick, free "map" that you can follow go to jmeacham.com and look under her Writer's Workshop tab. She was a kdgn teacher who moved up to 1st. She has all her lessons plans mapped out on her website.
     
  6. bakingdiva

    bakingdiva Companion

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    Aug 14, 2008

    I suggest reading About the Authors by Katie Wood Ray and Talking, Drawing, Writing by Horn and Giacobbe. These are both excellent resources for beginning writers workshop. I have also presented numerous workshops on Writer's Workshop. If you PM, I can send you my notes...
     
  7. Jill420791

    Jill420791 Companion

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    Aug 15, 2008

    I have a really good book by Carson-Delrosa called Writing mini-lessons for 1st grade it also has good writing workshop ideas inside it. For my writers workshop first I do a mini-lesson we go over a skill I model what it looks like. This week we are working on punctuation since it was the second week of school. After the mini-lesson, then they do independent work on their and then we have share time.
     
  8. 1stGr8

    1stGr8 Companion

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    Aug 16, 2008

    I would also suggest Ralph Fletcher's book Craft Lessons It is excellent and full of mini lessons that you can use. The book tells you the mini lesson, childrens literature you can use to model the lesson, and more ideas. I love it!
     
  9. smgreen78

    smgreen78 Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2008

    I second Craft Lessons! Good Call.
     
  10. Goldie

    Goldie Companion

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    Aug 17, 2008

    I second the "Craft Lessons" and Carson Dellosa "First Grade Writing" book. I do mini-lesson and modeling. Then, the kids go off and write. We write for 15 min., maybe longer and I play calm music (15 min. only) Then, cont. working and have conferences with kids. During the modeling, I will show my graphic organizer or tell my story that I'll write or read my story
    (depends on the day.) I have kids share, too.
     
  11. Kinderbug26

    Kinderbug26 Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2008

    Thanks for all the great info!
     

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