To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.
Here we go! This is the very first in 180 days of professional development. Ahh! Are you ready? I don’t know if I am yet. :) Feel free to join in through the comments or (if you’re a Federal Way Public Schools employee) via e-mail.
Routines Cycle 1: Revving Up
Day 1: Establishing General Procedures
Remember that the bulk of the information about establishing procedures can be found in the Day by Day text. I’m just including the challenge and reflection questions. I know some of the questions may be difficult to answer for this year’s students, especially because school doesn’t start until Thursday, but I think we can still give it a go. (I need to disclose that the phrase “give it a go” really irritates me)
Challenge: Brainstorm a list of all the procedures you want to teach your students this year. Then, set aside time to teach those procedures and to rehearse them with your students.
I have two lists I’ve used in the past few years to teach classroom procedures. I usually write them down on sentence strips and stick them to the whiteboard. Then, throughout the day, I pull down a procedure, stick it to construction paper, and brainstorm appropriate look-fors for each procedure. Other than the charts we make for Daily 5, which includes Work on Writing, I’ve never compiled any routines specifically for Writers Workshop. Perhaps that’s why it’s always been such a tremendous pain. Here’s what I see myself needing to teach:
- Selecting which type of paper will be best.
- Getting a new pencil or an eraser.
- Taking Post-it notes
- Dating work
- Writing even when you have no ideas
- What rereading writing looks like
What were the most challenging procedures to teach your students for writing workshop?
EVERYTHING. Honestly. I couldn’t even get them to date their work last year.
Why do you think they were challenging to teach and/or for your students to internalize?
They’re the ones I’m least familiar with. I just realized at this moment that I’ve never ever ever seen writing workshop modeled. No WONDER I have no clue what it’s supposed to look like. Yikes.
Are there any procedures you taught that need to be differentiated to fit the needs of particular students in your class?
I hear that I have a student who refuses to write. I’ll need to see how he chooses to work this year, and then I’ll modify accordingly.
How will you make exceptions to the rules without looking like you’re playing favorites?
I’ve found it really useful to consistently use the phrase “stamina for annoyances,” not just in writers workshop. I tell students that although there may be a classmate who is irritating because they are still working to achieve appropriate behavior, it is also our responsibility to work on our stamina for annoyances so we don’t lose out on learning opportunities just because of someone else.