Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Workshop Wednesday-Noticings Mini-lesson

It's Wednesday, which means it is time to link up with Ideas by Jivey for Workshop Wednesday.

This week's topic is our favorite mini lesson that we teach during Writing Workshop. It is extremely difficult to pick just one mini-lesson, so I am going to cheat a little and talk about a resource that I use many times throughout the year in my mini-lessons. It is our "Noticing Chart."

I created this chart based off Katie Wood Ray's idea of having students "Read like a Writer." I use this to help teach my students how to notice what the writer is doing. When I first starting teaching writing, I did not give my students time to "notice." I would read them a mentor text, tell them what I wanted in their piece, and would have them start writing. Thankfully, I went to workshops and read books that helped me learn how important it is for students to notice author's craft.

Now, whenever, I introduce a new writing topic-personal narratives, persuasion, historical fiction, nonfiction, odes, etc. I always give the students time to notice. I start by reading one or two mentor texts and jot down as a class what we notice. I then give the students time to read other examples on their own or with a partner. They jot down what they notice on their own charts. We then come together and create a class noticing chart.

Group noticing chart from our Historical Fiction Unit

When I give the students time to notice they have a clearer picture of what they should be writing. Their pieces are better and stronger.

Do you give your students time to "notice" before they write? What's your favorite Writing Workshop mini-lesson?

Be sure to check out Ideas by Jivey and see other favorite mini-lessons. While you are there, check out her awesome 300 follower giveaway.


  1. Love this idea! Goes along with the mentor sentences noticings too!! Definitely using this next year! Thanks for linking up!

  2. Interesting! I like how it's more student directed.


  3. Wow! This chart can be used with all age and ability levels! I will be creating one for station for next week! I love this! Thanks for sharing. :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  4. Great idea! "Read like a writer" is exactly what my students needed to do on their tests this morning! I'll definitely be doing this next year.

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  6. I LOVE this idea. This is one of the gems that you can forever use no matter what grade you teach. I will be implementing this in my class right away. Thank you for sharing. By the way, thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving your blog address. This is my first visit to yours and I am enjoying the wonderful things I am finding!
    Foreman Teaches