Monday, August 25, 2014

Implementing Writing with NO Writing Block

I posted a few days ago about writing, and my lack of time this school year for it.  Yes, writing is integrated throughout our other subject areas, but this school year we will not have an official time set aside just for writing.

One thing is for sure, I am not going to let time stand in the way of free and fun writing in my classroom.

So, in my desperate attempt to infuse some extra time for students to hone their writing craft and free write about topics of their choice and genres of their choice I found Joey Udovich's amazing Interactive Writing Center.

Upon reading about the center on Joey's blog, and previewing it on TPT I fell in love and purchased it immediately.

I printed and laminated it for free at my local teacher center.  (Check to see if you have one in your county, you might be pleasantly surprised.)  To say this file is H-U-G-E is an understatement.  Joey has literately thought of it all.  It comes with teacher directions, photographs, word wall cards, examples of each writing topic, tips and cheat sheets for students, and printables, just to name a few.

Not wanting to overwhelm my students, I picked my 3 favorite writing genres:  a summary, a story, and a song.  I plan to introduce each writing genre during the first week (3 days) of school.  After the introduction, students will be free to choose which ever of the three writing genres they wish to work on.  I will add additional genres throughout the year.

When do I plan to use this writing center?  Hmmmm, morning work, emergency sub plans, as a finished early activity, or once in a while during AIS.  I also hope to be able to use it as one of our centers during guided reading, but that is still to be determined.

I posted this lovely sign on the center bulletin board in hopes that students will check their writing before deeming it complete.  You can download a FREE copy of this poster here.  Print on 11" x 17" paper for best results.

I purchased quite a few black egg crates from Walmart last year and had an extra one not in use so I threw it over in the writing center to assist with organization.

How will students organize their folders?

So what about student reflection, grading, and data?  I plan on setting aside time each week for students to select their best writing piece of the week.  They will spruce it up a little bit before submitting it. Here is how I plan to organize their writing pieces within their folder:

I plan on grading their chosen writing piece each weekend using a 4-point rubric similar to ones used to score their writing for their NYS ELA test.  I will use my noticings to form writing needs groups to meet with during AIS or when we work on writing about reading.

Will you still have a writing block this year?  If not, how do you plan on squeezing in writing?

Want to win some super sweet back-to-school writing utensils for your classroom?  Enter my BiC Back-to-School Giveaway before it is too late.  Only one day left!

Oh, and last but not least, some of the cute graphics that appear in this post are from the amazing Krista Wallden.  

She is hosting a week full of freebies, dollar deals, discounts, and giveaway!  Be sure to check it out.

1 comment:

Teaching Eternity said...

Wow! I can't believe you don't have a specific writing time! I get the whole writing is integrated thing - but students need to be taught HOW to write - not just told to do it! They need to learn topic sentences, details, voice, transitions, endings, paragraph structure... (I could go on, but I'll get off my soapbox now). Kudos to you for creating time for writing!