Pulling out our handy-dandy binoculars, our first series of mini-lessons was zooming in on small moments. Our writing mini-lessons are all based on mentor texts. Our school does not have a writing curriculum, so I have the freedom to pull from some amazing books. I love having students model their writing after real authors! For zooming-in on small moments, we have used Fireflies, Roller Coaster, Owl Moon, and Thunder Cake. (Thanks to Katie King for the suggestions!)
The last 7-8 minutes of our writing block are reserved for sharing. This is the biggest motivator for my kids; they LOVE sharing their writing. Typically 4-5 students share each afternoon, so every child has the opportunity to share each week.
Our sharing routine looks like this –
- Encouragement/Building Community Teacher: “I choose __________.” (in a sing-song voice) Students: “Let’s go __________!” (in a sing-song voice that matches mine)
- Sharing the Work: The student puts his/her work under the document camera so it projects on the screen, and wears the microphone to share.
- Specific Compliments: Then, the friend who just read his/her work chooses 2 friends from the class to give a specific compliment (“I love how you told me what the water felt like.” “You did a great job of including periods, so the reader knew when to stop.” “I really liked how you underlined words you were unsure of how to spell rather than stopping writing.”
And that, friends, is our writing routine. It is working for us right now and even in the couple of week since we’ve started, we are seeing HUGE progress. It has been wonderful!