Sunday, August 17, 2014

Writing Workshop Conferring

It's officially the countdown to back to school and it's coming fast!  In some ways I'm excited and because I finally got a printer at home I can do some prep work ahead of time which will hopefully allow me to be a bit more prepared and not as stressed when school arrives.  BTW, what do you call your writing time?  I've heard "Writer's Workshop", "Writing Workshop", and "Writers' Workshop".  Which one do you use?

Today I refreshed my Writer's Workshop folder.  I thought I would share some of the details of my notebook if it's useful.  I'd love to hear what works for other people.  I grabbed my cover for my folder from Maria at Kinder Craze.  She made these super cute editable covers.  Check them out HERE.  She's hosting a giveaway from Avery too.  :)
So what's in my folder: 
A.  General Organization Ideas for Student Folders & Writing Workshop
B.  Writing Unit Forms, Unit Plans, and Student Sheets
C.  Graphic Organizers
D.  Assessments
E.  Rubrics
F.  Individual Student Conferring Sections
This is my Assessment Section where I house writing prompts and other materials that help me discover benchmarks for each student quarterly and/or monthly. 
These are 2 examples from my units (ABC Writing & Haunted House Writing)
I used some washi tape to label the spine.  :)  
Over the last few years my colleagues and I have been tweaking our writing units to enhance and develop them.  We use many pieces from Lucy Calkins Units of Study and were excited to start using her grade level units that are adapted for each grade.  Check them out HERE.
Our 2nd Grade Writing Units: 
1.  Writing Workshop Introduction  
2.  Weekend News & Work on Writing (Daily 5) (Creative Free Choice Writing) 
3.  ABC Books  (Authors as Mentors Unit)
4.  Haunted House For Sale:  I got this great idea from The Clutter Free Classroom, which you can read about HERE.  The kids have a blast writing these during Halloween!  (Persuasive Writing)
5.  Small Moments from Lucy Calkins (Narrative Writing)
6.  Cinderella Stories (Adaptation Writing)
7.  Non Fiction Animal Stories (Informational/Expert Writing)  
8.  Poetry Journals (Poetry)
9.  Creative Free Choice Writing 

This fills our year quite well in addition to a few other little writing projects and we end the year with a celebratory Author's Tea to share with parents, faculty, and other grades.  It has to be one of my favorite events of the year.  Every year we think about how to add to each unit and refine it.  Timing is always a challenge.  How do you teach mini-lessons, give them writing time, confer, publish, share their writing, etc.?  
That brings me to conferring which I've been working on these past few years.  I've tried several different forms, but this year I decided to create my own.  I modeled it after the CAFE forms from the 2 Sisters for Reading with a few additions that work for me.  The 2 Sisters (Joan Moser & Gaily Boushey) have a new site which you can check out HERE.  I've seen them twice and I've really enjoyed all that I have learned from them!  
You can download the freebie below if it's useful HERE!  
Good luck writing teachers!  :)  

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