Saturday, October 20, 2012

Building Writing Stamina with Writing Workshop and a Freebie

I believe in helping students develop their own writing ideas and build their writing stamina. The first few weeks we work on developing ideas, and I don't provide writing prompts for students. I feel if I start off providing them with writing prompts, they won't develop the ability to develop topics on their own. After the first 6 weeks, I start providing students with a Writing Menu on Mondays. The writing menu always includes a video prompt and a picture prompt. First, I show the video and read the prompt. Then I read through the rest of the choices. Finally, I ask students for other ideas for writing, and they add these ideas to their idea bank. These menus are just suggestions and not required writing assignments. Students are always allowed to write on whatever topic they want. My students and I love Writing Workshop.
Here is an overview of my Writing Workshop Procedures:
1. Writing Aerobics (see description below) 5 minutes
(On Mondays, I introduce the Writing Menu before Quiet 10)
2. Date Stamp and Quiet 10: (10 minutes)
Students write the date in their writing notebook. I put on classical music, set the timer, and the students write for 10 minutes. (They are not allowed to get up, talk, etc.)
3. Notebook Check (I check their notebook to see if they wrote an adequate amount. If they don't, I have them continue during recess. It is rarely a problem for long.) 2 minutes
4. Writing Mini Lesson (I usually work on one the 6 Traits of Writing) 15-20 minutes
5.  Writing Traits Practice (students practice a skill from the mini lesson) 10-20 minutes
6.  Author Share ( I choose two students per day to share their writing. I set the timer for 2 minutes per student.) 5 minutes
I love using the Writing Workshop model and my students writing stamina is unbelievable by the end of the year. They NEVER say, "I don't know what to write about."
Now the Writing Menus I promised, click each of the pictures for your free copy. The link to the video for the writing menu follows each picture. If you like these, let me know because I have a bunch of these made and can write another blog post and give you more. I'm just not sure how people will like having the video prompt as part of the menu.

This writing menu is Halloween themed. The video for the video prompt is The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. This is a link for a longer clip. If you want a shorter version, just check YouTube.
this writing menu uses the video clip from Disney Pixars, For the Birds. I use RealPlayer to download the videos from YouTube. Then I convert them to mp4 using Zamzar.com. A little time consuming but it works:)

WRITING AEROBICS

Writing Aerobics is a spiral writing program that is meant to be completed daily as part of your Writing Workshop. It only takes 5 minutes a day but the results are dramatic. It is 150 days of spiral figurative language exercises. My students become very proficient in using figurative language in their daily writing. I've turned it into a game and the students look forward to it everyday. Click HERE or on the picture to check out this product in my TpT store.
Good luck as you continue to create magic in your classroom!


25 comments:

  1. Hi there!
    I love the idea of having a writing menu for the students to choose from - kids love it when they can decide what they do. I'm always looking for ideas to get them excited about writing - thanks for sharing.

    I'm your newest follower and I'm very glad I stumbled onto your blog :)

    ~Jessica
    Joy in the Journey

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  2. Jessica,

    Thank you so much! I looked for your blog but couldn't find it. If you will leave me the link, I would love to follow you back.

    Selina

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  3. Your ideas are extraordinary. Thanks for sharing with us and know that you impact so many students in such a positive manner!!

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    Replies
    1. Wow, what a sweet comment! You have truly touched my heart. Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me. You've made my week!

      Selina

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  4. I also like the idea of giving kids a choice of what to write. These menus are a great way to get students to write! Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome and thanks for commenting! I hope your students enjoy these.

      Selina

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    2. I love your ideas and greatly appreciate the writing menu!!

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    3. Thank you! I'll try to put together some more. My kids really like them, and I get to read a little more interesting stories:)

      Selina

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    4. I love your writing menus and the videos. Thank you so much. If you have other ideas, please share. I'm not that creative. :)

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    5. Thank you so much! I will share more soon.

      Selina

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  5. Selina, you have impacted not only my life but my students as well. It's 3am and I'm still up lookin at you site - I can't get enough of your cool ideas!! Thank you for the writing freebies, I love giving my students options, I normally do a BINGO type thing, but yours are way cooler! THANK YOU!!!

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    Replies
    1. PLEASE, PLEASE share more of the writing menus! I teach at a Charter school and we are allowed to watch YouTube (we just have to list video and what we're using it for) so I'm saving all of the clips to my page so I don't have to look for them when it's time for me to use them. THANKS again!!!

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    2. Denise,

      You've made my day! Thank you for the kind words. I absolutely will post more writing menus soon. In the meantime, my email is selinasmith@gmail.com. Email me your email address, and I will try to send you a few to get you by for a little while. Get some sleep:)

      Selina

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  6. I would love to see your other ideas for writing menus and video prompts. What a cool idea!

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  7. I love the writing menus and so do the students. Please post more!

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  8. Selina

    I love the writing menus. My students can't get enough of them. Each day they ask me when writing is, so they can write from their writing menu. They really love the video prompt. Could you please publish more. We can't wait to see and use the next one!!!


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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I will try to get more together real soon. I just posted a Thanksgiving one. I hope you enjoy it!

      Selina

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  9. I would love more of your writing menus! I used them with my 7th graders, and they love them especially the video responses. More, more, please add more!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I will try to get more together soon. I would love to compile a whole years worth for everyone, but I'm staying so busy. I just published a Thanksgiving one. I hope your students enjoy it!

      Selina

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