Thursday, July 18, 2013

Workshop Wednesday...on a Thursday!

Summer school is in full swing here, so I'm up to my eyes in fingerpaint and hugs..did I mention how crazy different kindergarteners are compared to seventh graders? Anyways, I am in the process of trying to figure out how to implement the readers' and writers' workshop into my middle school classroom. We have 60 minute blocks here, which seems like no time at all! During my student teaching, we practiced the Lucy Calkins' method of workshops, and I absolutely fell in love with it. I decided that I would come up with a small resource list for you of items that I will be using in my classroom. Hopefully this list will eliminate some of the searching!

First, I wouldn't know where to begin with Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files. Her items, featured below, really inspired me to make implementing a workshop, a reality.


These board will both be up in my classroom this year. I've decided to use black plastic tablecloths as the background because we do not have black paper available to us at the school.

My school will also be a 1:1 technology school with all of my students receiving a MacBook Air. Because of this, and limited bulletin board space, I've decided to take another hint from Kristen and create my own bulletin boards. I'm using black posterboard and teal duct tape to create spaces for "MacBook Tips & Tricks" and a designated spot for "Anchor Charts." I also have a Common Core Word Wall, a spot for mentor texts, and a student exemplar section. I've have been inspired so much through the anchor charts I see on Pinterest. I was browsing though the TWRCP website, and stumbled across another list of Anchor Charts that I thought you might be interested in:

They have information that is useful for K-8 teachers. Love it! 

I'm going to use clothespins to display my anchor charts. I'm just hoping that are supply order will be enough to cover chart paper!

I've also decided that I am going to try a DIY book boxes project. Since I am seeing about 120 kids a day, it would be impossible for all my students to have their own box. I'm aiming to collect 30 cereal boxes and modge podge them to match my classroom. Hopefully, about 5 composition books will be able to fit into each, that way I can have a box for every group of students in my class. I'm unsure how this project will go, but I can try!

I'm thinking I'll wrap them in a paper similar to this:

I loved using mentor texts to teach skills during my student teaching, but I was having a hard time finding a comprehensive list of mentor texts (that I have access to), skills, and were an appropriate length. The best list I've found so far, has been put out by Scholastic and is called, "The Common Core State Standards Collections for English Language Arts," but I would much rather have one put together by a teacher...any ideas out there?

My curriculum maps for my county won't be finished until at least August 1st, which gives little time to plan. If it's anything like last year, we will start the year with biographies and autobiographies. I hope we do because that will be a nice transition into setting up our reading notebooks. I'm thinking about making them interactive as many ideas running though my head!

I'd love to hear about how you run your workshop...especially with older grades! 

Thanks to Ideas by Jivey for hosting this Workshop Wednesday! Hope it was useful!


  1. I know just what you mean about so many ideas running through our head! Whew! Thanks for linking up! :)
    ideas by jivey
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  2. I'm switching my CAFE to CRAFT too! I love it!
    Grade 4 Buzz

    1. I still have to make the strategy cards to adapt them for the "big kids"!

  3. I'm in the same shoes as you! I am teaching ELA and literature for the first time after teaching social studies for a while and inclusive 5th grade last year. I am going to do readers and writers workshops for all three of my grade levels (6,7,8). I'm excited and nervous, having never taught it before. Can't wait to follow you this year! Hoping I'll learn some good tips!

    1. Awww, thanks! You're too sweet! Hopefully I'll have something to share! :)

    2. Sarah-How do you plan to incorporate workshops into your blocks? I have the same schedule, but I teach 5th grade...I really want to use the workshop model, but I am not sure how to set it up...any advice is appreciated!

  4. Try and Great resources.

  5. Jenifer Stewart has some mentor text lists that are great. The books are aligned with common core and have the lexile levels listed too. I have her mentor text list for writing workshops and I think I will end up referring to it a lot this year.

    Funds of Knowledge

  6. I started with CRAFT last year but didn't keep iet up. Would you be willing to share your strategy card ideas?
    Thanks for your great blog!

  7. I am interested in your schedule for workshops in 60 minute blocks...I teach 5th grade ELA and have about 65 minutes with each of my 3 classes. I really want to use this method, but I am not sure how to fit it all in.