Sunday, September 21, 2014

Writer's Workshop-ish

It's been a few days since I've blogged last, but the beginning of the year is always so crazy busy (and exhausting!) that I just can't seem to find the time or energy to blog as much as I would like.  I promise that I'll do my best to write more often!

This past week was quite busy, as my coteacher (Allyson as I'll start referring to her as) and I are trying to get our students on a schedule that works for all of us.  Our schedule each day is pretty much the same and looks like this:
8:15-8:30: Morning Meeting
8:30-9:15: Readers Workshop
9:15-9:30: Brain Break
9:30-10:15: Writer's Workshop
10:15-10:30: Snack
10:30-11:15: Math Workshop
11:15-11:45: Project/Read Aloud
11:45-12:30: Recess and Lunch
12:30-1:15: Special
1:15-2:00: Word Study/Shared Reading
2:00-2:30: Science/Social Studies
2:30-2:45: Pack up and dismissal

Geez, when I type it all up like that, I realize why my students are pretty spent by the end of the day.  It's a lot for these little ones to be able to keep up with all of this each and every day!  Some days are busier than others but we somehow seem to get it all done!  

One subject I would like to talk about is Writer's Workshop.  We are working on building our students' stamina during this time, as they seem to struggle to keep on writing even after they think they are done.  Here are a few anchor charts we have made so far to remind them of the expectations and what they can do during writing time.   We frequently refer to the charts to let them know the great things we notice them doing, and some of the things we haven't noticed, but would like them to start trying. No judging on the drawings!  I'm not too bad with my illustrations if I have something to look at and copy.  The drawings still aren't the greatest, though!

Speaking of my own illustrations, one book I love to read to my students at the beginning of the year is the book titled Ish.  The story is about a little boy who loves to draw and thinks his drawings are good, until his older brother starts teasing him about them.  He crumples up his drawings but doesn't know that his little sister has been collecting them and putting them on her walls since she thinks they are wonderful!  When he finds out that his sister has them on her walls, they start talking about how the pictures don't need to be perfect and how they can be "ish" drawings.  They point to a few and call them "a tree-ish" or "a sun-ish" because the drawings are close enough!  Throughout the year, when I'm trying to draw in front of the class, I always refer to my drawings as "ish" so that they learn their drawings don't need to be perfect either!  It has seemed to work the past few years as I'll hear students refer to each other's drawings and say, "well, it's a car-ish" when they are conferencing with each other.  Too cute!

Let me know if there are any books that are a must for you to read to your class each year.  I'd love to get some other ideas!!

Until next time!

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