I have to admit.... Writers Workshop has been kicking my butt this year (and my students!). Although we have followed the Calkins model of workshop for almost 10 years, we were using the mini-lessons provided by our ISD and supplementing with some of our favorite Teachers College authors. This year, we began using the Units of Study for First Grade in order to better focus on the goals of the CCSS. There is a set for each grade:
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What I love about this whole series (there are others on many topics), is that they are all about 100 pages and they get TO THE POINT. They are designed for teacher to use immediately in their classroom.
Here are some of my "a-ha" moments:
- Childhood is one of the few times in our lives that we have to do things that we are not good at.
- We need to share the emotions of the writing process in order to support the student,
- Be on the lookout to be impressed by our students, especially the ones who do not feel very impressive.
- Share the struggles of adult, published writers. many will share this on their website/ blog.
- Think about the physicality of writing (my hand hurts).
- Resist the urge to give them a topic, but rather teach them where they can gather ideas for their writing. Teach independence that will cross over in all types of writing.
- Writing is one of the few times that students are never "done". They still need that sense of closure and accomplishment.