I am a Prek teacher and my students (3 to 5 year olds) are comming to me and saying, "what does that say or how do you write that. This tells me that the children are ready for writing workshop, do you agree? In student teaching I used writing workshop, that was a Kindergarten class. I was going to use books first to get the children excited and then let them create their own books. I am planning to dicate the children's stories. I am aware that i will have to be patient with the writing process becuase of thier age level. What comments or suggestions do you have for starting writing workshop in my classroom?
Thank you for your great comment and questions. It really does sound like your students are ready to be authors. It depends on your comfort level with where you start. I love to just fold the paper in half to make it a book and send them off to wirte. Of course we share a mentor text together and talk about how authors write books and stories and that they are going to be authors too. I get them all excited and they share what they are going to write about and then they are off. I love to start off the first days like this to see where they are with this and how they handle it.
(Make sure to explain that they probably won't finish their book that day and that is okay. Writers like Eric Carle take lots of days to write one book.)
Depending on your style this might sound crazy to you. I like to work backwards. I observe difficulties and then address one of them the next day as our minilesson. For example this year I noticed the students got right to work drawing their pictures in their books, but most of them didn't write their name on the book. The next day I used mentor texts to show how the author's name is on the cover. In the next few days we addressed what to do with your book if your finihsed, where to get another book, using more details and colors in our drawings,...
You will want to make sure you have students understand how they will bring their books to you to write their words. You will be surprised at what your young students produce. They have a lot of experience with stories and will be so excited to write their own. I focus a lot in the beginning on choosing topics. They can write about something the like or love or know a lot about, an experience, or even look around the room for creative ideas.
Good luck and let me know how it goes!
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