Workshop Mania!!

Happy FRIDAY!!!  I am so ready for this weekend it is insane.  Last night I saw Dave Barnes (www.davebarnes.com) live and it was so amazing.  He is my favorite singer and will forever love him!!  Francis and I are dancing to “Nothing Fancy” at our wedding.  If you have not heard that song it is a must download; so amazing.  At dinner before, we were sitting right next to him and I didn’t even notice…but when I did I was obviously freaking out!

Today I wanted to talk about using the Workshop model in my classroom. I started at a new school this year and my principal is VERY into Lucy Calkins.  I have decided to fully embrace her curriculum and use it to fidelity, as much as I could.  I must say, so far it has been an amazing and teaching changing experience.  I love that the accountability is put on the students and SO much more time can be spent with one on one conferences.  I have been focusing on Writer’s Workshop so far this year, and watching the growth my students make daily has been inspiring.  Some days I come to school drained and tired, but after I run my mini-lesson and send the kids off to independently write, it reminds me of why I do this.  I have a couple of students who say the best things and just makes me realize I AM REACHING THEM!  Maybe not 100% the way a standardized test would judge it, but they are learning and that is all I can hope to do.  Anyway I digress…  The workshop model is great, you teach for roughly 10 minutes and then the kids write.  Literally they just write, write, write. I go around the room and meet with them one on one and take notes about each student but it is SO MUCH easier than giving them busy work.  The best part is I have been able to use my “artistic skills” in my poster making.  What that really means is I have gotten to use pretty markers and make posters every day for the kids.  It also gives me an excuse to spend money on art supplies that I will probably never use, don’t tell Francis 🙂

Check out some of my Workshop posters!  These bad boys stay up for the entire unit and my students refer to them to help them build their own writing in their writer’s notebooks.

My kids use this ALL THE TIME!!
My kids use this ALL THE TIME!!

Here is a sneak preview of my Reader’s Workshop (and my amazing artwork 🙂 ):

Nonfiction Reading Unit
Nonfiction Reading Unit
A poster displayed for the whole unit!
A poster displayed for the whole unit!
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