Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Workshop Wednesday: Writing Tips!

Hey y'all!  I'm linking up with Ideas by Jivey to share a Writer's Workshop Tip! 

I absolutely love Writer's Workshop and am a huge fan of Mentor Texts, like Jivey mentioned in her post today.  Last year I went to a conference in Denver held by Lucy Calkins.  I absolutely love her and may have sat in the center of the front row the entire conference.  She said something that really hit home with me and has stuck every since.  We all know that in order to be better readers, students must spend quality time with text- reading, reading, reading.  Well, Lucy said, students should be independently WRITING for a minimum of 50 minutes a day.  What does this mean exactly?  Well, it means that students should be completing whole pieces of writing every two days or so. I don't know about you, but my classroom rarely has 30 minutes of writing each day... a minimum of 50??  I'm not so sure!  So after Lucy preached, I have tried my hardest to provide quality writing time for my kiddos.  I keep the mini lessons quick and purposeful and try, oh so hard, to create an environment for writers that is similar to our reader's workshop.  I model getting excited about writing, teaching writing skills, and enjoying beautiful writing.  I try to see writing every where, study writing every {mentor texts!!} and enjoy writing by other students.  I do all this because I know students will never stay focused for 50 minutes of writing without a little motivation. Can you?  I know it's hard for me, so it must be hard for them!  While students are writing, I meet with about 3 students a day for a writing conference.  I have attached my writing conference pages as a freebie for anybody who wants to give them a try!  
Click the picture to grab this freebie!!
 They keep me "focused" and on track.  I can use them to remind me what we have been working on.  I create a new one for each unit, with the standards for the unit written in.  These guys help me make the most of my time and with whatever time is left, I check in with my hesitant writers, do some classroom management {unfortunately a must} and continually encourage my other writers!  Our workshop is far from perfect- but some days I absolutely love it and get an entire 50 minutes of writing in.  It takes stamina {for the kiddos and for me} but I know we are capable of it and so we  always find a way :) 
Click the picture to get the freebie!

I hope you enjoy the freebie and can use it in your classroom!  Thanks so much for stopping by :)

I'll be visiting All Things Upper Elementary tomorrow to share a little bit about my life teaching here in Spain!  Be sure to check it out :)


  1. Wow!! Spain!! That is awesome! And Lucy Calkins, oh I love her. She is so right! We literally have 35 minutes for our writing time (if I had a choice, it wouldn't be that way) so we try to get our writing in over the course of the day in other subjects too. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your conference freebie!

  2. I too try to incorporate as much writing in that I can across subjects..or else there is just no way to fit it all in. I've run out of display room in the hallway, so I have taken over the! Love the writing conference form. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. Thanks for the freebie! I"m excited to see how I can use it for my students! It's always great to be organized and feel on top of things. I also try to write in all subject areas so students can experience different types of writing. :)
    Mrs. Bentin's Blackboard

  4. I love the conference page! I'll have to try it.