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What Do I Teach During My Writing Block?

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Are you struggling with how to teach an effective writing block? If you are a kindergarten, first, or second grade teacher looking to run your writing workshop, look no further! 

I’m going to give you four steps to mastering your writing workshop! 

Please note that you can watch the content in this blog post by clicking the video below! 

Before diving in, let’s understand the structure I follow for a writing block. There are four essential sections:

Warm-Up: Getting into the Writing Zone

Direct Teaching: The Core Lesson

Independent Writing: Putting Ideas into Action

Closure: Reflecting and Setting Goals

Warm-Up: Preparing to Write

Warming up for writing is crucial. I noticed a gap in my classroom—I would always do  math warm-ups, reading warm-ups, but writing?  It was straight into the lesson.  So, I like to start by warming up the writing muscles.  I incorporate syntactic awareness and editing drills.  These exercises, lasting around 5 to 10 minutes, lay the groundwork for grammar skills in real writing scenarios.  Syntactic awareness provides a way to build a student’s “grammar ear.”  It’s made up of quick exercises—like sentence stacking—helping bridge the gap between grammar identification and practical application. Syntactic awareness is much more effective for grammar instruction than isolated grammar worksheets!! 

 

Direct Teaching

In the direct teaching phase, I focus on modeling skills, offering lessons aligned with specific writing genres, and emphasizing the writing process. This involves conceptualizing ideas, planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Modeling is key—I show them what it looks like in my writing by writing right in front of them so that they can hear exactly how I am thinking about what I’m writing and how it shows up on paper. I show them step by step how to plan, structure, revise, and edit their writing. The lessons are short, focused, and always driven by a learning target that will be assessed. 

Independent Writing

If you’re students aren’t able to stay on task because they lack independence, then you might have a framework issue. It’s critical to empowering students with a strong understanding of the writing process  because this is actually what makes them independent writers! If students know the steps and execute without constant supervision, then they have very few reasons to rely on the teacher for help.  This phase allows me to circulate the classroom, provide individualized coaching, and watch them apply strategies from the lessons.

Closure

Bringing the class together for a quick share-time is crucial. It reinforces the learning target, celebrates student accomplishments, and sets goals for the next session. Shouting out standout student work boosts motivation and creates an atmosphere of excitement for the next writing session. Don’t skip this part! This is the time that you can really catapult student success and showcase the amazing things happening. Even if they are approximating skills and strategies… your recognition will encourage them to keep going AND get other students to try those skills out as well. 

 

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Rock Your Writing Block in 4 Easy Steps!

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