Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Workshop Wednesday-Setting up for a Writer's Workshop

I love preparing for a new school year. There is something fresh and exciting about the start of a new year. One of the things I really enjoy about teaching is that we get the chance to reevaluate what we do each year. I love knowing that each year I can tweak what I am doing to make it better.

One area that I have spent a lot of time focusing on is Writing Workshop. I have shared before how much I hated teaching writing when I first became a teacher. Then, a few years ago I attended the National Writing Project. Spending a summer immersed in the world of writing completely changed my perspective. It was doing that institute and reading books by Ralph Fletcher and Katie Wood Rae that transformed the way I teach writing.
First: To help my students and I be more organized I created a Writer's Notebook Set-up. (You can download it for free.) I started using A Writer's Notebook by Ralph Fletcher to help me decide what I wanted in our notebooks. I've shared here how important our Writer's Notebook is in my classroom.

Second: I also spend the summer time working looking through my plans from the previous year. I like to see what mentor texts I used and what new books I purchased over the past year. (Have I mentioned I have a book addiction?) I like to plug in new mentor texts as well as a few of my favorites each year. I find summer is the best time for me to plan when/where I am going to use the new mentor texts...otherwise in the "thick" of the year I forget that I have them!

What do you do to plan your Workshops? Be sure to link up with Ideas by Jivey for Workshop Wednesdays. I'd love to hear what you do to plan over the summer.

I'm also excited to link up with Digital: Divide and Conquer and Third Grade Galore for their new Win, Loss, and a Thing of Cost linky.

My husband and I booked a Disney cruise for December 2014. We went last summer and had the best time. My parents, brother, and his family will be joining us again. We cannot wait for next winter.

I've spent the last two days coaching a few of the teachers going through the newest National Writing Project. It has been really exciting to help fellow teachers work through their inquiry units of study. The loss part of this is that it makes me miss going through the institute. It was a lot of work, but it was a fantastic time collaborating with fellow teachers.


An item of cost I want to share with you is my Graphing QR Code cards. I just updated them and made them cute. They were the first item that I put on TPT that cost so they really needed to be "touched up."

Be sure to link up and share your Win, Loss, and a Thing of Cost.


  1. Hunter, I love using Ralph Fletcher's books in my class. I have so many of his Writer's Notebook series, maybe even enough for a small group!

  2. My principal just gave me a Ralph Fletcher writing book to read this summer. I had never heard of him, but I'm glad to hear y'all recommend him.

    Amanda @
    Teacher at the Wheel

  3. Love everything in your post! Isn't it a shame we can't "take off" the summer?! :-P I wish everyone understood that when we start summer. I do the same- thinking about last year for next year.
    ideas by jivey
    Follow Me On Facebook! :)

  4. I love Ralph Fletcher! I use a lot of his ideas for setting up writer's workshop! Thanks for the freebie!

    (I can't wait to get some technology in my classroom so I can use QR codes!!)

    Collaboration Cuties

  5. My family is making the Disney trip in 22 days (my daughter reminded me). We're going to World and hitting all parks in between. 5 days should be enough...
    I really like those QR codes and answering questions based off of a graph. Very cool. I'm a big QR fan.

    Thanks for linking up!
    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  6. Can you wait all the way until 2014? How nice to have something to look forward to at that time. QR codes are so much fun in the classroom. I've been trying to add them into my teaching a bit more. Your product looks great! Doesn't it feel good to update them? Thanks for linking up and Happy 4th!

    Third Grade Galore

  7. I'm a Writing Project Fellow! It sounds like your experience was as amazing and transforming as mine. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  8. I loved going through the National Writing Institute. What a wonderful experience and even more wonderful that you coached others through it! :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  9. This post just reminded me of one of the Writing Workshop Greats! Ralph Fletcher! Many summers ago I took a workshop with a professor from Columbia University that introduced me to him.

    24/7 Teacher: Amy Harrod