July 13, 2015

Writer's Workshop-- The Struggle is Real!

I know a lot of people wouldn't enjoy taking their summer vacation days to go to a school-related event-- but I love it!

Today (and tomorrow) I've been with my some of my fellow coworkers in Memphis, Tennessee attending the "Lausanne Learning Institute" Conference. A lot of the material is technology themed (after all, isn't that the direction all education is headed?)-- and mostly for older students-- but I've attended a few classes geared towards elementary education.
http://www.lausannelearning.com/
The first was a "Writer's Workshop" course. I so need this. Writing has always come easily for me-- so that's probably why I am terrible at teaching it! Our speaker was fantastic and so great in sharing her methods in employing a writer's workshop every day in your classroom.

Do you use this program in your room? Do you love it?

Here were my "takeaways" from her presentation:
1. Writing is a process-- it takes time to develop our little learners into full-blown independent writers. So start on Day 1-- set your kiddos up and show them the full process-- and model, model, model!
2. Choose something each student can be better at. You won't be able to fix ALL of their issues-- but pick 1 thing that you know they can achieve (always capitalizing, using punctuation, etc.)
3. "When you're done you've only just begun!" (I want to put this on my wall and point to it all year!)
4. Use portfolios and find a way to showcase some finished products. She showed us how to "sew" books. I'm not kidding-- every year the kids make books-- and they sew the papers together (she showed us how to make one-- I was in amazement!). But the finished product would be so great for students to take home and cherish forever!
5. Invest in some type of document camera. What a great device to show students how you write-- and be able to show them writings from a fellow student!

And now-- some pics :)
Ducks at the famous "Peabody Hotel"!

Scored some cute school supplies @ Target!

Angie and I (my fellow 3rd grade teacher)

I loved this-- she listed every book they read throughout the year and put the genre!
If you have any recommendations for materials for Writer's Workshop-- websites or on TPT-- I would LOVE to hear it! I'm excited to make myself a better writing teacher this year! I want those kiddos to love it as much as I do!

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