Writing Workshop Wednesday

We use Lucy Calkin's Units of Study.

We have used it so many years now I can't remember when we began. I LOVE it. Ms. Calkins has even aligned it to the Common Core Standards. I think it was alright the way it was, but they had to make it more rigorous. 

Anyway, we are on our "Author's as Mentors" Unit. 
We began yesterday having our discussion about "Small Moments". We have been working on this since the beginning of the year. One of my firsties raised his hand. I called on him. He asked, "What is a Small Moment?". I think I nearly banged my head on the table. REALLY????
I explained in my best, calm, teacher voice what "Small Moments" were. He responded, "Oh, Yeah! I know that!". {{{SIGH}}}

We talked a little more about "Small Moments" just in case anyone else couldn't remember what they were. I gave them some examples they could choose from:

Two weeks in Cape Cod OR Whale Watch Trip
My Weekend OR Driving and seeing the snow on the ground that looked like diamonds
(They got it!)

Then I read Angela Johnson's The Rolling Store.
What a beautiful book.

This book is about a grandfather telling the story of a "rolling store" that used to visit their community every Saturday. It is a beautiful story.

The "Small Moment" that Ms. Johnson writes about is the grandfather's memory and passing down the story of "The Rolling Store".

We discuss what Ms. Johnson's "Small Moment" is in the story and how she made it into a story.

I had the students think about a "Small Moment" they would like to write about. Then I had them "turn and talk" to their elbow partner. I had our Literacy Coach in the room with me at the time so the two of us went around and checked to see if each student had a "Small Moment" to write about.

I sent them off as writers to write their "Small Moments".
They had enough time to write their "Small Moment" and extend it a little. After that, if they had finished writing, they could sketch a little bit.

I asked a student to share at the end of our Writing Workshop.
This was the end of our first lesson in "Authors as Mentors". 
What a great beginning!

I am hoping to post each Wednesday about Writing Workshop.

Have a wonderful day!


  1. Hi Beth Ann,

    I am going to have to check out The Rolling Store to add to my small moment collection. Within the next two weeks, I will be hosting a writer's workshop mentor text linky party. I had one a few years ago. I'm hoping to add to and update the list of mentor texts to share with everyone. I'd love it if you would consider linking up. This post is perfect to link up.
    Funky First Grade Fun

  2. Love that you are doing this. Working on adding writing workshop.

  3. Oh that's cool. I can use that! I'm going to buy The Rolling Stone.
    Thank you!


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