expr:class='"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Workshop Wednesday-Writing Must Have!

The amazing Jivey (don't you just love her name?) at Ideas by Jivey is hosting a linky every Wednesday on a new topic.  This week's topic is, "What is your must-have item for Writer's Workshop?"

I don't have a Writer's Workshop exactly.  Our ELA (English Language Arts) is grouped into one 80-minute block in which reading and writing are both taught.  I would LOVE to have more time for ELA and maybe a separate Writer's Workshop someday....hmmmm...

My number one go to item for writing instruction is my Step-Up binder.  I don't know how I could live without it.

This method of teaching writing is so user friendly for the teachers and students.  I love how it helps the students visualize how to organize their writing.  We use highlighters all the time.  This is a compare/contrast paragraph for social studies using the colors.  
Green-Topic Sentence and Conclusion
Red (pink)-Explain details

Back of multi-paragraph planning page:
Multi-paragraphs using colors:
Green-Introductory and Concluding paragraphs (2-3 sentences each)
Yellow-Topic sentence of body paragraph
Red (pink)-Details in body paragraph that support the topic sentence

The highlighters help the students immediately notice is something is missing from their organization.
Is it just me....
or do students like to finish their writing quickly??
It is like...the teacher gives me a question and I will answer it...quickly!
Who needs a topic sentence?
Then, I just say...where is your GREEN?
OR...you have a lot of YELLOWS but where are your REDS? (specific explanations and elaborations)

I am always looking for new ideas to teach writing.  I started using Daily 5 (Daily 4 for me) this year and all the work on writing ideas I have learned from the blogging world have been truly life changing.  I hope I can only continue to improve each year.  I can't wait to get a copy of Pathways to the Common Core by Lucy Calkins that Jivey blogged about.

It is always a work in progress...I am off to grade some on demand extended responses that the class worked on today...yikes!


  1. Thanks so much for linking up!! I love the color-coding- I might try to incorporate that into my workshop! :)

  2. We used Step-Up at my other school. :O)

    We do color coding at our school now too, but it's blue, red, and green. I like colors that match highlighters better, though!!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Collaboration Cuties

  3. Hi Holly - I LOVE your highlighting idea! I'm definitely going to start using that. Thanks for sharing! :)

    Joy in the Journey

  4. I think I will have to try the highlighting next year - thanks for sharing!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  5. I agree, the color coding is a quick check for the teacher and student. For compare and contrast writing or reading, I've used highlighters in this way: lets' say we're talking about cats-everything is highlighted yellow, dogs-everything is highlighted blue, the result-anything overlapping will be green (similarities-yellow and blue make green). The yellow and blue that remains will be the differences. My students think it's great-maybe your kids would like it too. Have a great rest of the week!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  6. Just wanted to let you know you were featured on my 365 Blog Hop Challenge! Great job with your blog and with your resources! Thanks for all the ideas!

  7. What a neat program! I have about 90 min to teach reading, writing, and social studies, so I feel your timing pain. In Texas, we're required to have 120 min of reading and writing time, so I'm not really sure why they thought shaving off 30 minutes and adding an extra subject was a good idea, but no one asked me. ;)

    You should check out flipped classrooms! It should help with some of the time issues and its just a really awesome way of learning. I can't wait to try it out!