Friday, February 5, 2016

What Should a Writing Classroom Look Like?

Writing? Who has time for that? Writing time tends to get shoved under the rug. Most kiddos run out of topics to write about and with so many different writing curriculums, sometimes writing gets just plain BOOOORING. Are you with me?

So what's the solution? Well, here's what I think a Writing Classroom should look like...

Mini Lessons! Typically 5-10 minutes (I'm talking miniiiii) with a simple strategy or craft you want students to notice and try in their own writing. I feel like the best way to teach grammar and usage is in 1:1 conferences and through modeling. ALL THE MODELING, teacher friends! It's power is unreal! I also love to turn our mini lessons into anchor charts that we can showcase in the classroom.

Independent Writing! This is the biggest chunk of writing time. It should be AT LEAST 30 minutes, should be very quiet, and all students should be doing something related to writing. This is tricky, because you can have many "fake writers" or distracted writers. Classroom management is key here! While students write, you, the fab teacher, meets with students for writing conferences. (I keep track of this in my Writing Binder and try to meet with every student twice a month for 5-10 minutes). I also let students publish their stories on the computer during this time.

Share Time! I swear I was always running out of time to share at the end of writing. But when I do it daily, I notice a HUGE difference. So don't make Kelly Anne's mistake. SHARE! I typically try and help a student use our mini lesson in our writing conference - then I have them share "THE AMAZING THING THEY WROTE TODAY" during share time. I encourage other writers to try the same thing. It's legit magic, y'all. I swear! Try it and let me know what you think!

How do you spend your writing time? How much time do you have for writing?

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