Friday, August 22, 2014

Teacher Week: What I Love to Teach

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for the final link up of Teacher Week.  I am excited to share with you my love for writing in the primary classroom along with some freebies.
My 3rd grade blogging friend Amber posted this picture on her Instagram a few weeks ago as she was setting up her new classroom.  I love her writing area so far.
Write Pencil Headers: Freebie in Amber's TPT Store HERE
What Do Writers Write Pencil: Freebie at The Teacher Wife blog HERE

Last school year I took graduate school courses for my K-12 reading endorsement.  One point  emphasized through every course is that reading and writing go hand in hand.  When defining literacy, we cannot limit the definition to only reading.  Children need to master concepts of print before they can progress to becoming authors.  
The Heart Map is a perfect beginning of the year activity.  Students can draw or write words for things/people they love.  Also a great way for teachers to learn more about their student's interests.  To avoid students from complaining that they don't know what to write about, have them keep this in their desk or folder for future reference. 
Grab this freebie at Mel D's blog HERE

Each day a specific time should be set aside in your schedule for writer's workshop.  Time management is tricky.  If you teach half day Kindergarten, devoting an hour each day out of the 2.5 hours you have students may not be manageable.  You have to decide what works best for your schedule.  Below is the framework I use:
Mini Lesson: 5-15 minutes
Writing: 30-40 minutes
Sharing: 5-10 minutes

 The purpose of conferences is for me to give encouragement and suggestions to students. I stumbled upon this pin (shown above) last year and was inspired to implement a schedule where each student has an assigned day of the week that they meet with me.  I found this schedule to be most beneficial because it guarantees that I meet with each student during the week.    Once I am done with those conferences, I work with my low students or check in with any other students that require follow up.  Conferences require proper documentation.
This conference sheet can be found for free HERE.  I keep each student's sheet in their folder for easy reference during parent-teacher conferences or meetings with staff members.

This is a time for students to gain self confidence and take pride in their work. I allow at least 1 boy and 1 girl to share.  When a student shares, I ask the class for feedback.  Reflection is one critical component for growth. To ensure that it isn't always the same students sharing, I have an Excel document for each 9 weeks.
**Regardless of how you teach writing, it is important for teachers to develop realistic goals to reach by the end of the year.   **
This resource can be used with Kindergarten or 1st grade students.  I used the sheet shown at the bottom of this preview as a visual reminder to students.
Grab this freebie HERE

Monthly words for writing via Busy Teacher's Cafe
Picture source: First Grade Fresh

If your district uses Lucy Calkins or you are interested in learning more, visit this blog post.

Whew!  That was a long post!  Thanks for reading and I hope you could enjoy some freebies.  
Stop by Monday for a Monday Made It post.. a new organizational tool.


  1. I totally agree that writing and reading need to go hand in hand - important to remember that! Thanks for the freebies and ideas! I am trying to boost some of my writing instruction and love to find new ways of teaching things!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Alex! Happy I could help.

  2. WOW! Thank you for sharing such important thinking. Your connections and links are great. It's important to set our routines early and encourage our students to remember that they are both readers and writers.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind feedback, Maria. I was a student at Bailey many years ago... small world! Have a great week!

  3. Thanks for sharing, Allie! I'll be adapting the ideas in your post for third grade. I especially love the student conference sheet because it focuses on positive comments as well!


    1. I love that conference sheet, too. I am glad my post could help you.

  4. I just found your blog! Thank you so much for all the resource links. We're implementing Lucy C this year with our firsties. I can't wait to read more :)

    1. I am so happy I could help. You will love Lucy Calkins!