Greetings new friends. My name is Crystal and I blog at Kreative in Kinder.
I am so excited to be a guest blogger for Hadar's amazing blog today. I puffy heart love her (and her cutie patootie fiance too)! Here we are in Vegas last month. So. Much. Fun.
I am equally excited to be able to share my love for writing with you today. I don't consider myself a guru by all means, but writing is something I am very passionate about and I have been fortunate to share that love with others.
Who am I? Well, outside of being a wife and mother to three crazy teenagers, I am a kindergarten teacher. Really, I know nothing else. It's my world. I have parked my trailer there.
When I first started teaching, my mentor advised me to pick a subject each year to put all of my extra effort into. Now, of course I taught everything, but that year I spent tons of outside time reading books, searching online for resources, etc to help me become a better teacher for Writer's Workshop. I can't tell you why I chose writing that year. Maybe it's because I love to write so I thought it would come easier to me. Who knows. Anyway, I threw myself into my learning and everything else was history.
Be still my heart. I can't tell you how much I love teaching writing now. For many teachers, they live for the light bulb moment when students begin to read. Don't get me wrong, I love that moment too but I equally love when a child experiences when they publish their own piece of work.
It's important to understand that reading and writing go hand in hand. Children must understand what words are and the purpose for books before they can understand the concept of becoming authors themselves. After working through my own classroom kinks and finding a system that works for my classroom (year after year), I created the presentation Kindergartners Can Be Authors Too! that later turned into this unit. It took me a year to create and it was more than a labor of LOVE!
So, do you teach Writer's Workshop? Do you know what WWS is?
During my research phase, I found children's books to provide contextual evidence of each stage of the writing process and bonus points...my kids are obsessed with them! I share these books with you in this unit along with teaching you how to use them as a reference.
So, really. My "system" isn't really anything fancy. I have found steps and added funny rules to each steps that create peace of mind for myself along with accountability pieces for my students. It's a win, win. For example, on Step 2: Draw and Color, you see that the number five in in parenthesis. That is because I have the rule that all illustrations should be colored with at least five colors. This is simply because I was tired of my students coloring EVERYTHING red. My kids have never bucked me on this rule. They totally embrace it. With each step, I provide examples of every chart I make with my class too, along with detailed instructions. :)
No matter how you teach Writer's Workshop, it's important to know your end of year goals. This will help you space out your year and stay focused. Remember your goals should be realistic and attainable. I'm happy to share mine with you!
I hope you have learned a thing or two about Writer's Workshop. It's hard to put into one post what took me a year to write but hopefully this has your wheels turning. Children are capable of what you believe of them. I can tell you that it is completely realistic for your kindergartners to become little authors. If you want to see more of my unit, click here or the picture above. When I wrote it, my goal was for teachers to read it and feel like they were in a one on one training with me.
Last, I'll leave you with another freebie download. These are a few fun writing posters I made. Just click the pictures to download them.
Thanks Hadar for letting me crash on your super sweet blog! Isn't she the best?!!
Please come by my blog and facebook to say hi. Love and virtual hugs!