Slowly but surely, we are starting to add entries in our brand new writer's notebooks. Writing is my absolute favorite time of the day. My entire building is participating in professional development on Writing Workshop. I'm very excited to have a method to my madness. Eventually, my writing time will be a little more structured. For now, I'm working on making meaningful mini lessons.
Lucky for me, I work with amazing teachers with incredible ideas. My team teacher suggested some great ideas and was more than willing to let me share them on my bloggy-blog. In other words, I cannot take credit for these wonderful ideas!
One of our entries was about our memories. We started our lesson with the read aloud, "Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge" written by Mem Fox. If you haven't read this precious book, stop what you're doing and go read it ...now! Tears started welling up as I read the pages of this story. It's such a beautiful story.
To get our brains thinking about memories, we reviewed each definition of a memory from the story. I modeled writing in my notebook each memory. The students were able to follow along with me because I was using a document camera. (It's quickly becoming my new favorite piece of technology).
I started writing down a warm memory of my own. I began to recall the day that my niece Libby was born this summer. Then, I sent the students on their merry way to begin writing.
Another entry in our notebooks was inspired by, "The Important Book" by Margaret Wise Brown. My teammate and I put our heads together and planned for our kids to make an Important Book about our school. We used the format of Brown's book as a guide.
First, we brainstormed the REALLY important characteristics of our school. The kids were shouting out answers left and right. It's evident that we have many important and special qualities at the UE.
After our brainstorming session, students were given time to write their own variation of The Important Book. We stressed using the same format as Brown's to make the book consistent for our young readers. Soon, the book will be published and available for little eyes and minds to enjoy.
Have you jumped into writing workshop this year? What kinds of mini lessons do YOU start the year with? Do share!