Tips, Titles and Tools for Teachers

Instructional Resources for the 6 Traits of Writing

I know we are all looking forward to our workshop with Jennifer Jacobson on Tuesday! The Atwood staff raves about the time they spent with her last year! For this week's newsletter, I gathered resources related to writing workshop and the 6 Traits of Writing to share with you!

I know many teachers at Atwood have read No More "I'm Done!": Fostering Independent Writers, which is one of Jennifer's books. If you have not checked it out yet, I highly recommend it! Don't be deceived by the words "in the primary grades" in the title! This book has many ideas, mini lessons and routines that apply to the upper grades as well, especially in your work with reluctant and struggling writers. I hope to highlight a few of her ideas for the beginning of the year in this week's newsletter!

If you are interested in collaborating during your writing workshop, just let me know!

Happy Writing,


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Routines That Support Independence

In Chapter 3, Jennifer highlights eight practices which lead to significant student independence and a successful writer's workshop.

Students must:

*Write every single day.

*Choose their own topics.

*Receive differentiated instruction during writing conferences.

*Examine writing to develop a vision of success.

*Learn from mentor texts.

*Focus on one or two goals at a time. (I need to remember this one!)

*Benefit from the rewards of authentic audience.


Your daily writing workshop should include:

*a writing mini-lesson,

*writing time, and

*author's share.

There are many ways that you can break down the time for these elements. Jennifer shared that her first grade writing workshop had a twenty-minute mini lesson (during her morning meeting), twenty-five minutes for writing time, and fifteen minute for author's chair. You can adjust the these times to fit your schedule, but it's important to reflect on ways that you can include a mini lesson, time to write and time to share into your daily writing workshop. I will be the first to admit that time to share was the first thing I cut out when I was running out of time, but this book reminded me of the importance of this part of the workshop. Jennifer only let three students sign up to share each day, so it took more than a week for all students to have an opportunity, but a time to share writing provides your students with an audience, as well as potential feedback from peers.

In addition to chapters on spaces and routines that support independence, the book also includes a chapter for "A Year of Minilessons for Growing Writers" (connected to the 6 Traits) and "The Secret to Independence: The Desire to Write". I highly recommend using her book as a resource for gathering new ideas for running a successful writing workshop!

Quiet 10

I loved Jennifer Jacobson's simple suggestion of giving students ten quiet minutes each day to write as a part of writing workshop. What a powerful idea! For ten minutes each day, students work in a space that is "conductive to thinking, imagining and writing". During these ten minutes, Jennifer suggests that the teacher should turn on some quiet music and write, too, as a model for students. She says that "writing alongside your students is the very thing that will have the greatest effect on their writing growth."

Last week I was able to participate in Quiet 10 in Poohnay's second grade classroom. I was so impressed with how her students turned on the music and settled into their writing routine for ten focused, quiet minutes!! At the end of the ten minutes, the music was turned off and Poohnay and I began to conference with individual writers. The room had a productive bustle for the remainder of writing workshop as students continued to work on their narrative story project. I know many other teachers have raved about this daily routine, as well! If you are interested in introducing Quiet 10 to your students or giving your students ten minutes a day to work in their writer's notebooks in the upper grades, I am more than willing to help you launch these routines!

Professional Books for The 6 Traits of Writing

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Writing Fix

If you have never been to the Writing Fix website, I highly recommend you check it out for lesson ideas and mentor texts!

Here is the link to their page connected to the 6 Traits of Writing! You will need to scroll down the page to find links for each of the traits. The site includes lesson plans with graphic organizers connected to particular mentor texts. As you begin working with the traits of writing, you may want to check out this site for lessons and book recommendations!

In the top left corner of the page, you will also see links for lessons connected to Mentor Texts, Writing Prompts, and much more! The lessons on the site can be used K-12. Enjoy!

Mentor Texts for Ideas

Mentor Texts for Organization

Mentor Texts for Voice

Looking for Mentor Texts for the Six Traits of Writing?

If you are looking for a mentor text for a particular trait, check out this website!

The author recommends a mentor text for each grade level connected to each trait of writing. Let me know if you are looking for a particular book and I can help you find a copy!

Here is the link to a PDF version of Picture Books for Teaching the Six Traits.

Blog Posts for Writing Workshop and Mentor Texts

Mary Lee Hahn shares a few new titles to launch writing workshop and writer's notebooks in this post. Her book recommendations could be used in any classroom K-5!

Great blog post on Teaching Writers About Writing Workshop!

Check out this blog for recommendations for Beginning of the Year Read Alouds for Writing Workshop!

Shelly Moody

Instructional Coach Grades K-5

Atwood Primary School

Williams Elementary School