TRAILBLAZERS

PUSD Writing Project - Volume 1 Issue 8 - October 5, 2015

Writing Workshop October Goals

Our goals will shift in November, so take a moment to reflect on where you are with these two goals and let us know how we can support you to reach them:


  • To plan and implement 10-15 minute minilessons that include these 5 components: Connection, Teaching Point, Teach, Active Engagement, Link -- Is there a specific minilesson component you'd like us to support you with this month?

  • To establish clear Writing Workshop rules and expectations during the minilesson, independent writing, and sharing to ensure all of your students are actively engaged. -- Have you created an 'expectations' anchor chart to support your classroom management? Check out the examples below from our Writing Lab #1!
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Shout Outs

Check out what's happening in our PUSD Trailblazer writing workshops. Send us photos from your workshops to share!

Establishing Writing Workshop Expectations

Have you established clear expectations with your students for writing workshop? What does the Minilesson look and sound like? What does independent Writing look and sound like? What does the Share Time look and sound like? How does writing workshop feel?


If your students aren't meeting your expectations, ask yourself if you've taken the time to explicitly teach them to your students. If not, it's not too late. This is a critical minilesson to teach in the beginning of the school year.


Also consider: Do you have a system in place for positive recognition when students meet those expectations and corrective action when they don't? Ask your colleagues what works in their classrooms, and let us know how we can support you with this goal this month.


Check out the anchor charts below that serve as "3rd Educators" of the expectations these teachers have established with their students. Is a similar anchor chart posted in your classroom yet? If not, do it now! If so, keep it posted all year long!

Online Food for Thought

Writing Partnership Tips

Check out these great anchor charts that teach students how to take writing partnerships to the next level.

Peer Conferring: Students Teach Each Other to Revise in Order to Orient their Readers

Peer Conferring: Students Teach Each Other to Revise in Order to Orient their Readers (3-5)

Websites & Blogs Worth Following


Columbia University's Teachers College Reading & Writing Project has a collection of classroom videos on Vimeo that take you inside reading and writing workshops at various grade levels. Check them out here: https://vimeo.com/tcrwp/albums

Books You Won't Want to Miss

Mark Your Calendars!

Join us for our 2015-2016 Trailblazer Writing Labs! You won't want to miss these ongoing opportunities to come together as a community of writers and teachers of writing to dive deeper into various aspects of writing instruction.


These labs will be held on the B Mondays listed below from 2:00 to 3:30 P.M. at McKInley TK-8 School of the Arts. Attendance is voluntary. Goodies will be given away at each lab to those who participate. Let's keep the energy alive!


#1 September 21, 2015 ~ Architecture of a Minilesson / Immersion

#2 October 19, 2015 ~ Writing Conferences

#3 November 16, 2015 ~ Student Work & Resource Share

#4 January 25, 2016 ~ Qualities of Writing/Mentor Texts

#5 February 29, 2016 ~ TBD

#6 April 18, 2016 ~ Student Work & Resource Share

Trailblazer Writing Lab #2

Monday, Oct. 19th, 2-3:30pm

325 South Oak Knoll Avenue

Pasadena, CA

  • We will meet in Room 109 - enter through the main school entrance on Oak Knoll, turn left on the main hall, room 109 is the first room on your right
  • We will have yummy treats AND give away BOOKS!!!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Teacher Appreciation Night at Vroman's Bookstore

Thursday, Oct. 8th, 5:30pm

695 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101

Please join the annual Teacher Appreciation Night at Vroman's Bookstore!


  • A special performance by children’s singer/songwriter and teaching artist Emily Arrow will kick off the night, followed by her tips for how to bring music and songwriting into your classroom.
  • Then, their knowledgeable staff will recommend great new books for your classroom discussions and libraries and share some services they offer to teachers, as well as information on this year’s Young Readers League.
  • They’ll have snacks and beverages, plus a bunch of goodies (including books!) to give away.
  • You’ll also receive a 20% off coupon to use for any personal shopping that night.
RSVP to email@vromansbookstore.com