Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday: Writer's Workshop, the Wonders and the Woes

So I've been meaning to post for awhile about writer's workshop last week, but like I said, I had to wrap my head around it first.  I am not exaggerating when I say I felt like we went ten steps backwards.  The week after Christmas my class was writing wonderful stories with beginnings, middles and ends, with clear illustrations and great details.  The week after... well, let's just say it wasn't pretty!

Here's some of my top woes from last week, with a few examples:

Books with No Titles/Sentences Instead of Titles

Books that Switch from List Books to Stories Halfway in Between

Books with a Title/Illustration that Doesn't Match the Story

Books that Have No Story! (from the very same author who wrote "Santa Brings Me Presents" last week!)

So what happened?  Upon reflection, I discovered that my kiddos write best when it's an invitation.  They don't write nearly as well when they sit down with me in a small group rotation.  This was important in the beginning of the year when I was teaching them the routines of writer's workshop, but now they do best when they choose to make books on their own.  (I'm still always floating by, ready and waiting to see their wonderful new story, admire an illustration, or hear a great idea).  They don't need to hold my hand anymore.  For lack of better words, it cramps their style!

This week was back to normal.  Making books was an invitation on Monday and many of my kiddos gladly accepted!  Here was my absolute favorite this week: "ABC's of Animals".  It's a GREAT list book with all the identifying features of an ABC book!  Love love love it!  :)

The lesson I learned?  Sometimes it's best to take a step back and let kids do what they do best: create!  This can be really scary, especially as a first year teacher!  But it's totally worth it.

What are your experiences with writer's workshop in your classroom?  I'd love to find fellow PreK/Kindergarten teachers using the workshop model and swap ideas!

Have a good rest of the week!  :)  Don't forget to enter my giveaway for my new Transportation unit by commenting on the blog post here.  Till Friday,

1 comment:

  1. We don't do Writer's Workshop, but we should. I am super impressed with your kiddos!

    Learning With Mrs. Leeby