Thursday, March 21, 2013

Let's Write!

My Math Block Mini-Series will conclude tomorrow (gotta get more pictures!). In the meantime, enjoy reading about writing in my classroom! :)

Writing has always been one of my favorite subjects and I am loving that I get to teach it this year! My kids have become such super writers over the past few months! Here is how it goes in my classroom...

Writing in Daily 5
We use Daily 5, so writing is one of the choices my students have each morning. When they choose Work On Writing is up to them UNLESS the Work On Writing sign is out, which it usually is 1-2 times per week (mostly on the days we do not have Writers Workshop).

My students really love to write, so most of them choose it whether the sign is up or not. (By the way, I made the sign out of construction paper; it's a little smaller than a 12 x 18 piece of construction paper.)

Work On Writing is extra special for two students each week! Each week I choose 2 writers of the week and these awesome little authors get to sit at the special writing table during writing in Daily 5 and during Writers Workshop work time: 

 Above the table hangs this awesome little star I got from The Dollar Tree! In the background, you can see the The "Writers of the Week" bulletin board. It has the names of the super writers with some writing samples. I write their names on the coconuts.

The writers also get to use these special materials to write/color with:

Everyone's writing is displayed in the corner behind the writing table. (The writing table actually used to be over here but I had to make room for two more computers so out it went.) After students have published a piece, they can choose to put it in their writers notebook or display it on the wall.

On the other side of the classroom is our Writing Center. In the Writing Center, you will find rough draft paper, publishing paper, publishing bookets, and revising and editing tools.

The students are required to complete a rough draft before getting fancy publishing paper or a booklet (which is no problem for them!).
They draw and write on the rough draft, revise/edit, and then turn it in to the "Ready to Publish" bucket. I check all of the papers that come in and will either hand it back marked "Publish" or I will individually conference with them if need be. In an individual conference, we usually revise/edit a little more though sometimes this time is spent discussing handwriting, conventions, or reviewing proper procedures for those still struggling.  Since I do not immediately return papers because I am involved in small groups during Daily 5, the student knows to start another draft until the paper turned in is handed back to be published.

I have custom-made all of our publishing paper. I used frames, borders, and shapes to make some of the pages (easy peasy). 

I had a bunch of weird colored paper at home so I took it to school and copied lines on it! There are about 6 or 7 colors to choose from. They LOVE it and I got to get it out of my house (win-win).

Gotta have big erasers for big mistakes.

Colored pencils to help us revise and edit. They are GOOD at it! We also sometimes use these to help us color.

We will start letter writing this week, so I will add letter paper and envelopes to the station after we finish. I will update you on that when the time comes!

Finally, friends, I hope you have been able to use the little writing activities and freebies I have posted in the past few months! Click here to access all of my writing freebies, in case you missed out. Over the last few weeks, I have been working on a writing notebook package that will be finished sometime in Octember (Seuss fans will appreciate that joke). In the meantime, I have made some little writing packs:

Each pack includes graphic organizers, charts, prompt pages/publishing paper, literature list, and a craftivity related to the subject. I have started making several of these and will be releasing them as I get them finished. I really hope this is something you can use because I am excited about them! I will definitely use them in my own classroom.

I would LOVE for some of you to take a peek at it, so leave your name and an email address and I will send 3 of you a copy of your choice. I will randomly choose tomorrow evening. Now, go forth and write!

The winners have been announced. Thanks for your interest! :)


  1. I hope you pick me! I will be one of the 4th grade ELA teachers next year and those look great!!


  2. Great ideas! You are so organized! I love that your kids love to write!! I do think fun paper makes a difference!! :O)

    I love those big erasers! I've seen them at Dollar Tree!

    I like those hanging bags in that one picture? What do you use those for and where did you get them? ;O)

    Collaboration Cuties

    1. Thanks, Amanda!! I got the bags from Wal-Mart. They are canvas bags. We use them for our book bags for Daily 5 and for library visits. They were fairly cheap (though I cannot remember how cheap) and they are INCREDIBLY durable!!

  3. I love all your pictures of your writing! I love the idea of writers of the week and I desperately need to organize my paper like that. Thanks for sharing.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Klass

  4. I'm a writing teacher, so, your post was quite informative! I love your organization skills!

    ΡΌ Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  5. This looks really interesting; my kids love to write too and they have come so far this year with their writing! I'm always looking for new writing stuff to keep them on their toes!
    Teaching in the Valley

  6. I love the idea of subject based writing! It makes it so much more interesting and specific for the kids! Thanks for all the great ideas and activities!! ~Sara (

  7. I am always so inspired by your classroom and ideas. Thank you, Christine (

  8. Thank you for the post and pictures! My kids love to write too! Sometimes I feel like I don't do enough of it! (Not on purpose but just because there is so much to do!) I would love to win :) thanks!

  9. Already bookmarked the page for reference!

    WOuld love to win a writing pack...fingers crossed!

    tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

  10. These look great and so does your classroom!

  11. You have great ideas!

  12. Thank you for sharing all the pictures! Love the organization.

  13. I need some help with writing so I am definitely keeping my little fingers & big toes crossed on this one.

  14. This is my first year to try and implement the Daily 5. I am not totally satisfied with it yet, but I can definitely see a love for writing that I have never seen before in my little ones.

    I would love to win!

    Thank you for all your hard work and helping us that are not as creative feel more successful.

  15. Love the idea of these writing packets. I'm trying to incorporate more non-fiction into my day, and these would be great!
    Thanks - Courtney