Disclaimer #1: Anyone who reads my blog knows that I love words and constantly weave vocabulary work throughout the school day typically at ease without much planning. However, my writing workshop has always been weak in my opinion. And since I am the one who has to reflect on my writing workshop, I thought about how to change my writing workshop over the summer.
This summer I read the following books: Opening Minds by Peter Johnston, Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher, 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know by Jeff Anderson, Notebook Connections by Aimee Buckner, and I Can Write Like That by Susan Ehmann. I highlighted, sticky noted, wrote all over these books to build my treasure box up when I started writing workshop this year.
I attended the All Write conference which was the BEST conference I have ever attended in terms of my professional growth. It was a weekend of learning, questioning, and meeting so many friends from twitter in person. Conversations in the car ride there (thanks Gretchen) and home (thanks Mary Lee & Josie) were the icing on the cake for me.
I was not positive how all of my summer learning was going to fall together for Writing Workshop as the school year started. I had a million ideas floating in my brain about how I wanted to change my workshop. I couldn't wait to open my treasure box of ideas. I wanted to include everything the first few weeks of school. I felt like a giant snowball rolling down the hill, and I just wanted to stop it and slow down. So I did!
I often write about how sometimes the best laid plans go out the window because of a shift o due to students questions or comments, but this time it was my decision to abandon my writing lesson plans. It took me three weeks to open up our writer's notebook (please don't tell anyone) I knew I wanted to borrow the ideas from Ralph Fletcher's new book: Boy Writers which I was able to read during dinner at All Write. Franki let me borrow it for 15 minutes, and the clock was clicking, but that 15 minutes continued to change my thinking about writer's notebooks along with the conversations from my Allwrite weekend.
Below is my first day of writer's workshop, I only wish I knew when I was writing on the dry erase board that I am going to use it for a picture in my blog. At least it is authentic and better YET, I feel much better, at least this week, about my writer's workshop. THANKS to all my colleagues who have shifted my thinking and continue to help me grow as a writer both on my blog and my professional writing.