Monday, February 20, 2012

Their Name on the Board

I wholeheartedly believe this comment by Lucy Calkins... 

"When a school system recognizes that writing is a crucial tool for learning to read and to think across every subject area, then time for writing becomes non-negotiable."

Writer's Workshop is a must-have in my room, but it's possibly one of the most rewarding and hardest parts of my job all at the same time.  There are days when it's not easy to manage 25 writers who need 25 different kinds of support, but I can't imagine life without it.  Yet there are times when it's nice to have a little something extra to motivate and inspire more kids to either stay on-task or try a certain strategy.

Sometimes after a mini-lesson I'll draw something specific on the board and invite writers to sign their name to it at any point during their writing time if they try the strategy that the mini-lesson highlighted.  For example, when we were learning how to revise leads, I drew a big L on the board.  Writers who worked on their leads wrote their names inside the L.  

This picture is from a lesson about using ellipses like one of our writing mentors did.  Kids who tried them out signed their name.
We've talked a lot about the use of dialogue, so writers who tried out this strategy signed the quotation marks.

When learning the difference between list language and story language, I wrote some words on the board that we talked about during our mini-lesson that might help their writing sound less like lists and more like stories.  Whoever tried one of the words signed the box.


I don't do this consistently because it's not necessary, but there are days when it's a helpful strategy to have around.  What kid doesn't love to write their name on the board?
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23 comments:

  1. I have no doubt my seniors would like this too!

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    1. Sure thing Laur. They're lucky enough to write their name on the wall too!

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  2. Brilliant! So simple yet effective. This is the kind of post that exemplifies what blogging is all about. The sharing...the give and take of ideas.

    It's also the type of post that makes me think, "Dang! Why didn't I think of that?"

    Kudos!

    And I totally agree that it's the hardest and often the most rewarding subject to teach!
    Firstgradebloomabilities

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    1. Thank you Lisa for the sweetest compliment! Thanks for the pin too. I love being pinned!

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  3. Cute idea! I love that quote too!!! :-)

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  4. I pinned your post on one of my boards. :)

    Firstgradebloomabilities

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  5. I love this idea! Isn't amazing how such a simple thing like writing their name on the board inspires kids to take a risk with enthusiasm that they might not have had otherwise. I also love how these simple things are such a constant part of our job- the problem solving and motivating all in one go!

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    1. Julie, thank you for dropping by and leaving a thoughtful comment. I love hearing from you!

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  6. This is a fantastic idea! We are working on this right now and it is hard to keep track of what students are trying what. This is also a great way for students to see how is taking chances to challenge themselves. Once again thank you for the ideas!
    Jessica

    Apples and Papers

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    1. Thanks Jessica! I'm glad that you found this post helpful.

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  7. Love this idea!Do you care if I mention/link to it in my www on Wednesday? I think I'm going to try it tomorrow!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Tammy

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    1. Tammy, oh my, no I wouldn't care. In fact, I would be totally honored to be linked. Good luck with it tomorrow. I'll be looking forward to hearing how it went. Thanks for coming by. :)

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  8. Love the visual cues on the board to motivate your writers to try something new! Writing is such a fun thing to teach!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    1. Lori, I look forward to your consistent comments. You always say the most positive things. I think I could post something absolutely ridiculous and you'd find something nice to say about it. Thanks!

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  9. I can not wait to try this out! Writing on the board is such a huge motivator for my kiddos....now just to find the space for it!

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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    1. Laurie, I'm glad that you're looking forward to trying this out. Yep, the ever present problem of space!

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  10. I love having the kids sign when they work on whatever your lesson was about. Thanks for visiting my blog. I can't wait to explore yours too!

    ❤ Karen
    Flamingo Fabulous in Second Grade

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    1. Karen, I love that you dropped by. Thanks!

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  11. I just found your blog and started following. It's great!

    Glitter and Glue

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    1. Kristen, I love it when someone finds me. Thank you! I'm following you now too. :)

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  12. Tammy,

    I'm your newest follower. I can't wait to try this on Monday. We're focusing on dialogue next week, so I'll probably use the quotation marks, too! :)

    Jen
    Hello Mrs Sykes

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    1. Jen, I love those words - "I'm your newest follower." Thanks for coming by. Good luck with this idea and with dialogue!

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