Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Workshop Wednesday-Set Up

Hi Sweet Teacher Friends!

Happy Wednesday!  It's time for a link up with the fab and fun Jivey.  Go check her out and see what everyone is talking about this month with their workshop set-ups.

Today we wanted to talk about our Writing Workshop block.  We use a combination of 6+1 Traits and Lucy Caulkins.  

Creating an environment that inspires kids to write is half of the battle.  We have to show them that what they  say is important. You what Abileen said in The Help!

I love the fact that 6+1 teaches children the qualities of good writing (voice, ideas, organization, word choice, conventions, sentence fluency, & presentation).  Writing is a lifelong skill and teaching the essentials at a young age is crucial.  I also love the fact that my kids can throw out these terms in a mini lesson and they instantly sound grown up!

I think any book by Lucy Caulkins is a must have in your professional library.  I think I've become a better writing teacher for having read her books.  I really didn't understand the art of teaching a "conference" until I really delved into her workshop model.  

Once we consult our "manuals", we are ready to organize our writing notebooks. We have used composition notebooks as our interactive writing journal for years.  

One of my favorite grad school professors had us decorate our writing journal with magazine cut-outs and personal pictures.  So every year I decorate one and show my children that I love to write and share my thoughts, too.  I want them to see me as a writer and understand that our mini lessons will help them become great story tellers.  

I'm not at school so I can't share my past journals.  Depending on the year, it may have quotes, book titles, inspirational sayings, etc.  The year I ran the NYC marathon, my journal had a lot of running pictures because a lot of my small moment stories came from running.  Emily tells a lot of silly stories about her kids so she has a lot of photographs. Every year the kids love it!

Once we decorate our journal, we choose our mentor texts and get cracking on workshop ideas.  We will share more about those ideas during the first few linkys of the school year.  I hope we gave yall some tips on how we get started.  Thanks for reading!


  1. Great post. I use 6+1 because I love the common language it gives us to use when discussing writing. I am also a fan of Caulkins as well.
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  2. Excellent! I absolutely love the kids decorating their notebooks! :) thanks for linking up!
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  3. Decorating their Writing Journals is a great idea! They look great!
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  4. I love that quote from The Help. My whole family loves it, sometimes my husband says it to our girls, it is so cute! I tried decorating notebooks this year but made some big mistakes - like using foam pieces and not taping them to cover their beautiful work, oh well, live and learn.

  5. I used to decorate my notebooks in high school too, I don't know why I never did this in my class! I will this year!
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