Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by kalper07, Aug 17, 2008.
Aug 17, 2008
I want to use writers notebooks this year. How do you use them in your classroom?
I teach writers' workshop, so the writers' notebook is a major component of my class. We start the year by thinking of as many story ideas as we can and writing them on the first page of the notebook. That way, they always have that page to go back to when they can't decide what to write about. They do all of their pre-writing in the notebook (organizers, etc.) and I acutally have them use their notebooks for the first drafts and then the revising and editing. That's not the way you're supposed to use the notebook, but I have 96 students and we would go through A LOT of paper if they used separate sheets for their first drafts and final copies.
What units do you teach and in what order? Do you work grammar into your mini lessons, or do you teach it seperately?
Here's what my curriculum map looked like last year:
August: What is writer's workshop?
September: Writing good paragraphs
October: Report writing (cross-curricular with social studies)
November: formal letters (2 weeks) procedural writing "how to" (2 weeks)
December: Personal Narratives
January: Realistic Ficton (short stories)
February: test taking (open responses)
March: Report writing revisited (again with SS)
May/June: dramatic literature
This year poetry will be earlier (before the state tests in March) and I'm thinking of working on open responses right from the begining of the year and having one for HW each week rather than taking a whole month to work on just those. As far as the grammar, I found it difficult to incorporate it into my minilessons. Everyone says that it should be embedded into writers' workshop, but sometimes it requires a lot more direct instruction. I used every Monday to teach grammar and then the students would have homework on whatever it was we worked on in class.
Forgive me if I am being slow...
How do the writer's notebook, collecting story ideas, etc fit in with "non-fiction" writing units? Procedural, letters, reports, etc?
They do all of their brainstorming, organizing, etc. in their notebooks, so that would apply to all of the units.
Do you have any resources for open responses? My kids really struggled with this last year...
Last year we used released questions from previous state tests.