Writing with Influence: Day One Reflections 2016

Overall Take-Aways:

What part of today squares with your beliefs? What is still circling inside your head? Let’s reflect on today’s work before we move on to tomorrow’s…




15 thoughts on “Writing with Influence: Day One Reflections 2016”

  1. Today’s presentation really clicked for me. Having taught KidWriting in the past, the beliefs of a Workshop Teacher are very similar…writing should be authentic, giving lots of time to write, the teacher writing in front of students, and not assigning but …TEACHING! I am eager to learn more about how to use Mentor Texts to structure lessons. I enjoyed studying what the writers did that I can do in my writing and I look forward to sharing and developing this with my students! Thank you for a great day!


  2. Going into this workshop I knew that I needed guidance on conferencing and coaching students with their writing. I find myself writing comments like “add sensory details,” etc. After today, I’ve realized how unconstructive that is for writers. I’m excited to try the conference format in my classroom because I think following that time frame and teaching structure will not only allow me to personally connect with students through their writing, but it will also help me to effectively and meaningfully meet with my students in one writing period.


    1. Today’s workshop was very beneficial. It gave me many ideas to try in my own classroom. I especially liked the conferencing section and feel it would be easy to incorporate into my writing process. I agree that the students should be accountable for their own work, and the teacher should be the facilitator. I also agree that the conferences should be short and sweet, which allows the teacher to meet with everyone in a timely fashion. I have used a journal for free writing the past couple years. These were writings the students could abandon or go back to at their leisure.

      Thoughts . . . The mentor books are great, except I don’t have any of them.
      I really like the time limits for each section of the workshop, but am not sure I could meet them. Time is always in issue in elementary.


  3. Today I was exposed to writing conferences. I now realize that conferencing should be student-centered and encourage students to take ownership of their writing and revisions. I feel that this one-on-one time with students will be especially beneficial to reluctant writers and allow them to become active participants in the writing process.

    The term “mentor texts” was new to me, but after today’s workshop, I realize that I use them frequently in the classroom. Most of my writings are based on texts in class; however, I don’t often refer back to the text when writing. When I return to the classroom, I plan to use the strategies discussed today when it comes to mentor texts.


  4. Today clarified some things I’ve been questioning. I believe that forcing unanimity of structure and topic is not good practice but in fact paralyzes some students’ responses, and that students need to examine and emulate mentor texts. “Reading as writers” makes a lot of sense. I wonder how to make sure that the students have a firm grasp on grammar use and nomenclature without teaching it separately. How will I make sure that I cover everything?


  5. One of my struggles last school year was in my teaching of writing. I felt stale in many aspects. Today’s session gave me new perspective in how to handle the mini lesson using the mentor texts in a better way than I had been, as well as how to make the conference more constructive and beneficial for both students and myself. (Also have a running list started on Amazon of books to read…) Looking forward to what tomorrow holds!


  6. Reflecting back on day one, the part that stands out the most for me is the Lucy Calkins video in which she demonstrates how to read your writing like it’s gold. I find that most of my students don’t read any pieces of text with that kind of expression and especially not their own writing. Using this strategy will certainly impact how my students share their writing in my classroom. The one thing that is always circling around in my head as I learn about new ideas and strategies is how to find the time to implement them with all of the expectations I must meet as an ELA teacher.


  7. There are many things circling inside my head right now as far as conferencing and time management during my 45 minute writing block. So many good ideas that I would love to incorporate.
    One of the biggest points I gleaned from today and is also one of my beliefs is to teach these concepts in context and not in isolation. I think that is a key point. Using mentor texts is great way to do this. Students will retain much more when seeing examples of these writing characteristics in actual written examples as opposed to just speaking of them with no examples to show.

    I enjoyed day 1!


  8. The information presented today has practical applications to help us with designing instruction for writing activities to meet the needs of all students. I like the idea of utilizing mentor texts within one’s lesson. I am still contemplating how to implement fully with students who experience learning difficulties.


  9. There are many things that align with my thinking and beliefs from today’s workshop. I truly feel it is very important to show enthusiasm and enjoyment for what we are teaching our students. That being said, I feel that it needs to be sincere and not ‘put on’. We also need to be knowledgeable about such topics. I agree that authentic writing helps students feel in control of their learning and make great growth. As teachers we need to be vested in improving our own writing as well. If we understand how to correct and make continual adjustments/improvements to our own writing we will improve our ability to instruct our students more effectively.

    What keeps circling in my head is…how do we get teachers the training and professional development that is needed in order to be more skilled in explicitly teaching writing?

    Thank you for a great first day. I am looking forward to learning a lot over the next four!


  10. I love that you teach writing as fluid, moving and changing form constantly. I think so many educators want to have a structured model that all children’s work fits into. When students see that they control their writing, it’s so powerful!
    I am still eager to hear how to help lower students who struggle with writing can feel more success. I can motivate them on occasional high-interest works,….but often find they “tucker out” as the process continues. Ideas welcome!
    Had a great time today!


  11. I left today’s session with many thoughts of how this year’s writing is going to be different. This year, I am looking forward to devoting more time to writing, incorporating mentor texts, and having meaningful, student-led conferences to give my students more positive and successful opportunities to grow as writers. You have shared such valuable information and resources, and your enthusiasm and passion for writing and the teaching of writing is evident and genuine. I am looking forward to the next two days!


  12. I have always been a firm believer in having fluidity between reading and writing, but today made me really think about mentor texts on a different level. I will definitely enhance my approach to them, continue to build upon them, and use them as authentic learning in future lessons. After today, I am also going to tweak my approach to conferencing. The video, the handout, and the discussion made me realize I need to step back as a teacher and instead be more of a guide to student inquiry/learning.

    The main question that keeps circling my head is how do I increase my time spent on meaningful writing. I hope, as I go through the next few days, this time management issue will become clearer.

    Thank you for making Day 1 interesting and worthwhile. I look forward to what is in store tomorrow.


  13. I have been teaching math for the last eight years and will being teaching writing this year to me 5th grade students. I received a lot of information today that will hopefully help guide me as I begin this endeavor. One thing I am still pondering is managing the conferencing phase in the time period that I have with my students, which is 45 minutes.

    I found the hints/suggestions sheets on how to run a successful conference with your student to be very helpful. I will definitely be incorporating these into my conferencing sessions. Thank you!


  14. I loved the integration of mentor texts with writing. It is such a core part of the writing process. Also loved the video about conferencing with students. Made so much sense and gave a great manageable approach!


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