Keep Writing in View!

Back to school signs are everywhere.  I love these signs! They give me full permission to splurge on school supplies I like, both practical and impractical. Some I need and some just because they make me feel happy. Anyone else feel the same way?

Keep writing in view!  

Let’s talk about teaching writing to our students in grades 3-5. We know that the school year is going to be very busy, hectic, and maybe a little bit crazy. As we venture into the new school year, let’s decide to keep writing in view for the whole school year.

Where does the view start?

The view starts with thinking about where students will keep their big and little writing ideas. Over the years my students have always used physical writing notebooks, but for the past couple of years I have had my students create online notebooks. Both have strengths and weaknesses.

I believe that a writer’s notebook is a good place to start because as I have observed when students are given the opportunity to write self-selected topics, they’ll often say, “I don’t know what to write about!” In writing workshop students are encouraged to choose their own topics, which is great, but if they don’t know how to come up with ideas they’re lost. Before students can write anything, they need to have some ideas. They need to have writing ideas at their fingertips!

They should have their Writer’s Notebooks at their fingertips.

 I see a Writer’s notebook as . . .

  • a place to hold thinking, ideas and thoughts,
  • to try new things, a place to practice, to revisit ideas,   
  • a tool to support writing, and
  •  meaningful.

During the first week of school, I always center the first writing workshop lesson around students personalizing their individual writer’s notebook. In my next post, I will talk about how my students do this with their physical and online notebooks.

Happy Writing!