Data Notebooks


Writer's Workshop: Journals or Folders?

Hey, hey everyone! How's it going?

Ok, so I decided that one area that I would really focus on this year is creative writing. This has always been an area that I have felt that 
I needed the most improvement.

The first few days, I just gave a simple mini-lesson, and then they wrote. Our writing music is a nice jazz instrumental album, and they absolutely love it. Any of my co-workers can tell you that I am the music queen, we listen to it all day long!

Anyways, I just gave them some paper from some extra writing journals that I have. One difference this year is that I modeled a lot more, and before they could leave the mat they had to tell me what they were going to write about. It's amazing how that one simple step gave them a purpose for writing, and they were so engaged that I was just looking on in awe. 

One student told me that he decided that he was going to write about his hand. I thought that was an interesting choice! I was just glad that this was his focus, and he did it! Sorry, I forgot to take a pic of his writing on the other side. 

Here are a few more writing samples from the first few days.

I have always used writing journals, but this year I have decided to use writing folders for writer's workshop. (Not to be confused with the notebooks where we decorated it with journal swag, 
I plan to use those for the morning message!)

On the inside of the folder, one side is labeled I'm done, the other is labeled Keep Going!

So, this is the beginning of my creative writing journey, and I'm so excited about it, it's getting a bit ridiculous!

How do you conduct writer's workshop?


  1. I usually use journals in first...not sure what I will do this year. Do you just let them use inventive spelling when they write?
    First Grade Blue SKies

  2. Lucy would say to use two-pocket folders. Do you have her new writing workshop curriculum that's aligned to the Common Core? If you don't and want it, I can email it to you? Let me know.

    Jen Jones

  3. We do Lucy Caulkins and she suggests folders. I liked journals before the implementation of LC, but I am a huge fan of this curriculum and folders now and I don't think I will ever look back. Thanks for sharing your kiddos writing.


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