Monday, September 5, 2011

Beginning Writing Workshop

On the second full day of school we began Writing Workshop. We have not yet assigned students to the language groups in which they will continue their writing work throughout the year. Thus we began as a whole class. For the first day I led a mini-lesson focused on the kinds of books students might want to make. I shared some favorite books from our classroom collection of children’s literature. I also shared some books that students have made in previous years, using them to illustrate a wide range of topics, as well as to help new students see what their books might look like. Then I sent a few at a time to choose a blank booklet (some with lines, some without) with which to begin.

As all three of the Sky teachers were there, we were able to assist students who needed help. New students also learned that their classmates could be good helpers. By the end of this first workshop time everyone had settled on an idea for a book and had at least written a title or begun by making illustrations. A number of students were several pages into writing and illustrating. The first thing we heard from one student as she entered the classroom the next day was, “Can I work on my book today?”

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