Writing to Read in Kindergarten with Nellie Edge and Julie Lay

Can I just say, this was my third time attending this particular conference in the past four years.  I love it that much.  I learn something new or discover a new way of implementing authentic writing in my classroom each time I listen two these two ladies speak.

Best of all, I am reminded of why ALL the things I do in my classroom are important to the lives of young children.  Sometimes we are not supported by the forces that be, and the lines of what we are doing in the classroom become foggy due to the demands of administration.  With that being said, I feel revitalized after this week's two day conference, and I can't wait to  roll out a new schedule for Writer's Workshop this school year.

One change I will make this year will be with my writing journals.  I will follow Julie's Writer's Workshop model, which requires students to only write in their official journals when they are at my teacher table.  Last year, I had each child write in their journal at once, and it was a constant plate spinning show, even with an instructional assistant in the room during our writing block.  Instead of  that hot mess, Julie suggests having four to six writers per day visit your teacher table.  This gives you a much smaller audience for teaching critical writing skills, and it certainly makes me more accessible as a teacher.  The rest of the class will also be writing during this time, but they will be assigned a type of writing that does not require nearly as much teacher attention.  {Kindergarten teachers, you know what I am talking about!}  I am looking forward to starting this our first full day of school.

I consider professional development workshops to be one of the best resources for teachers.  This is especially true when the topics are meaningful, research-based, and test driven in the classrooms of REAL classroom teachers and students.  Kindergarten (and preschool) teachers, if you ever get the change to attend a Nellie Edge conference, please do.  Be sure to check out her home on the web.  She has a bajillion and one FREE resources for meaningful and authentic literacy lessons.



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