A few years ago I participated in the Colorado Writing Project as part of my summer PD and it completely changed the way I taught writing. What went from the lamest subject in my class, turned into the most fun and fulfilling part of my day!
One of the most important things I learned is the role of the teacher as author. On the very first day of the year I always show the kids my ever growing collection of writer's notebooks (some cute - shown up front, and some not cute - hidden in back).
Now I model every part of the writing process and publish new pieces right alongside my kids. I've written stories about my sister screaming through a snorkel (ingeniously titled Screaming Through a Snorkel) after seeing one tiny fish in the ocean, one about passing out at the eye doctor (yep, I can pretty much faint anywhere), another about almost losing my dear dog Lily on a frightful nighttime walk, and the one shown above about being forced to leg wrestle in first grade PE. This would now be illegal, but in the eighties I guess there were no rules about making two six year olds attempt to flip each other over while on their backs using only their legs while the other students screamed around them in a circle. Can you say SCARRED FOR LIFE?!
Katie Wood Ray's book has been my "go to" writer's workshop book ever since that summer PD. I love all the quotes from authors she uses.
When I see sweet dedications like the one above it absolutely makes my day!
and seeing students engaged, reading their classmates' stories is the best! I can't wait for another year of writing, sharing, and learning more about my students from their stories.
If you're interested in more detailed posts about writing in my classroom here's a start. I'm hoping to add lots more this year including revising mini lessons, editing strategies, the road to publishing, and more mentor texts!
Making Mentor Texts Meaningful and Memorable
Collecting Mentor Texts for Writing
If you're looking for info about a back to school writing activity focused on idea generation check out this post:
If you're working on research or informational writing this post could be helpful (you might have to wade through a few pictures of Lily in her winter coat though):
Thanks to the authors at Blog Hoppin' for helping me get my booty in gear and motivating me to blog for 5 days in a row! Hurrah!
I have a new job in second grade this year where I'll actually be able to TEACH, not just distract children from jumping on the air conditioner. I'm excited to take lots of pictures and start posting about TEACHING again. Hooray!