Managing a Writer’s Workshop is NOT an easy task! So many writers! So many ability levels! And only one teacher! Writer’s Workshop begins with a mini-lesson, followed by time for students to write, and finally a sharing time. I found that sharing time was often hardest to fit in. Before I knew it we would all be busy writing and already be late for lunch! Uh oh! No sharing today. Time to line up. I also found that I needed to give kids a lot of feedback in the beginning of the year in order to establish a strong Writer’s Workshop.
So I started a Writer’s Brag Board. It is NOT fancy! It is also not cute (Thanks Pinterest for upping the “CUTE” factor for us all). The Brag Board allows me to “share” good things I saw happening while kids are cleaning up from Writer’s Workshop. As kids are shuffling around the room and putting away folders etc. Over the noise and movement you can hear my voice, “Boys and girls, today during writing time, I saw Jessica add details to her pictures.” Jessica comes up to write her name on the board. “Boys and girls, today while you were writing I saw Cole write and check the word wall to spell the word can!” Cole comes up and adds his name etc.
I can also use this to praise behaviors I want repeated for a successful workshop. “Ethan! Ethan is going to put his name on the Brag Board today! Ethan stayed in his seat the entire time we were writing today!” or “Boys and girls, it was so quiet in our room today! I saw Hope whispering as she reread her writing! Hope come add your name.” If kids are doing it right- tell them! Too often we are always focused on what needs fixing. The Brag Board keeps us looking for the positives! What if you Brag on the same student more than once? They get to put a star by their name.
Here’s a Writing Brag Board from the “teaching trenches”. I taught it to a teacher and then saw it in her classroom when I went for a visit. Keep it going! Will this be in your “teaching trenches” next? Let me know!