Monday, July 13, 2015

Write On...Pick a Prompt Ideas

So true. Sometimes you just need to put pencil to paper and the ideas will come as you go. 
Writing has been on my mind since I attended a training session on a new resource our county has purchased. We will be using the Benchmark Literacy's Writer's Workshop program. 
I'm feeling pretty positive about it since it embraces the writer's workshop model and is correlated to the 6+1 process writing models. I use both of these as the basis of my writing program and am hoping this resource will be useful in guiding my mini lesson time. 

Does anyone use this? I'd love to hear what you think of it. 

Along with reading through the benchmark teacher's guide I am also rereading the 6+1 Traits of Writing book by Ruth Culham. I have read and reread this one so many times. It is the best one around for help in implementing a traits based writing program. 

I introduce the writing traits very early in the year and then we refer to them constantly as we write. Using the trait model helps the students and I identify writing strengths and areas for growth. 
Then I can gear my lessons and writing conferences with this in mind. Using the shared vocabulary of these traits allows students to take ownership of their own individualized writing goals. They know what good writing looks and sounds like and they know what writing targets they want to hit. 

Students keep copies of the writing traits in their writing folders. 
I ditched the red pen many years ago and instead when we conference we celebrate all the writing targets they hit and which ones they want to improve upon. We set tangible goals that students can work towards when they work on their next piece. 

If you are interested in setting up writing folders, you can find this resource in my teachers pay teachers store.  
Click this link to head there: 

I'm always trying to find ways to give my third graders extra opportunities to write outside of writers workshop time.  Writers need time to practice their craft. I felt the real need to have my third graders write every day in multiple settings. 
Last year, I included a Work on Writing station during Guided Reading Rotations. This was a time to work on independent reading pieces, write about content learning or to write with a given prompt. 

I also used seasonal "Pick a Prompt" writing ideas to encourage writing about different subjects. 
These are run back to back and include prompt ideas, writing paper and a rubric or cross check sheet. 
Here is an example of the front on one: 

Here is the back: 
At first they just got the cross check reminders. 
Later, they were given the rubric for self assessment. 

Here is the inside: 

It was a full sheet to respond to the prompt and draw a picture. 

Here is our writing area in our classroom.  Each student got a space on our Roaring Good Writing Board so they could post their writing. 

I've added Pick a Prompts to my Teacher Pay Teacher store. 

Head here if you want to give them a try with your young writers. 

Now I'd love to hear your ideas about incorporating writing in your classroom. 
Email me!