Daily Schedule

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Secret Weapons: Writing "Tools"

Two of my secret weapons during Writing Workshop are pictured.

First, I happen to have a large-ish supply of magic rubber bands. I told the children that a neighbor of mine is a witch (a kindly one) and she offered to put a spelling spell on some ordinary rubber bands. These bands, when used correctly, allow the user to hear the words they want to write by S T R E T C H I N G out the sounds. A demonstration followed, and really difficult words were sounded out by volunteers. Of course, the "dictionary spelling" is often different, but this tool helps many children get unblocked by thoughts that they are not "real" writers. Of course they are.

Next, I have mints. Research has shown that peppermint helps people focus, so I tell the students if they suck slowly on the mint while they are writing, their thoughts will come more easily, and they will be able to work in a quieter and focused way. Sometimes we have mint gum and sometimes just plain old peppermints. I don't know about focus, but I do know that children LOVE writers workshop - coincidence?

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