Friday, November 15, 2013

Writing Workshop

Howdy everyone!  It's Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers and it's the 15th of the month so I'm back to share with you!  I hope your school year is going well!  It's a crazy time right now for me (as the entire year has been) and we have conferences just around the corner.  Time is flying by!

I used to HATE teaching writing!  I really felt that I just wasn't any good at it.  Well, many years ago, I had the luxury of having a Literacy Coach in my school and because of her, I learned a lot about teaching writing.  Now- I LOVE it!  I have realized that the biggest part of teaching writing is establishing good routines right from the start and making sure that the kids feel like real Authors and Illustrators.  We have done that- and for the 45 minutes of daily writing workshop we have a nice peaceful classroom.  The best part is- the kids are loving it!
I have missed Writing Workshop over the past 9 years.  This is really one of the main reasons I wanted to get back into the regular classroom!  This blog post has to do with writing but it's a little of this and that.

Every Friday (or every other Friday), I collect the students best writing sample.  They take the rest of their writing home.  I always worry about sending the students writing home.  I worry that parents are  going to have the students "fix" all of the errors.  I don't want them to do that.  I want them to feel successful as writers, even if they do have a lot to work on.  So, I sent a letter home.  I am sharing it with you.  It is editable so you can change whatever you want.  Also, the font I have used is from Kevin and Amanda.  It is called A Little Pot.  You can download the font for free or change it to whatever font you want.  

Now, you may be wondering... How can you send so many writing samples home?  Don't you need them to do grade cards?  The answer to this question is NO- because of a great website/APP that I found.  I couldn't be more excited right now!  Let me share-  it is called Evernote... and it is going to make my Writing Conferences so easy!
In Evernote, you can make different Notebooks.  I made a notebook for each student.  Then, inside their notebook, you can make notes.  I make a new note every time I conference with a student.  I write the date as the Title.  Then, before conferencing (and fixing up their writing) I take a quick picture of it. It shows up immediately in the note and then I can conference and write down what we talked about.  My plan, is to then be able to quickly and easily look at their writing when I am doing grade cards.  I won't have to take mounds of paperwork home and if they take a story home because they want it- it's no big deal because I have access to it at any time!  And... the best part is, it's a free app!  (They do have a Premium App also but I haven't checked it out enough to know what the difference is).
Here is a screen shot of one of the writing samples.  Sorry, I had to cut off the picture.  As you can see, I made my notes after the picture.
I think the possibilities are endless with this APP and I am really excited to give it a try and see what all I can do with it.  I have conferences next week and I plan to share the writing samples with parents right from my iPad.

I have one other freebie to share with you today.  I have a Writing Freebie that helps students to remember some of the mechanics of writing.  I have had this as a D'Nealian Font but have had several requests for a Print (ZB) Font.  So, here it is!



Recently, in Writing Workshop we wrote an All About Book.  We did a book about Bats and learned together how to write All About Books.  Here are some pictures...





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