Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Weekly Writing Inspiration and December Essay Writing

I hope you are getting some great shopping in at the TpT Cyber Monday sale. I spent my fair share today, but I got so many great things!

I wanted to share some writing resources I am really excited about right now.  When I first start blogging almost two years ago, I did a weekly series called "Weekly Writing Inspiration." This is something I started in my classroom several years ago. Each week for our journal writing we used inspiration instead of prompts. We had a quote of the week, a poem of the week, and a picture of the week.  We discussed what we observed, the meanings, and how they could inspire our writing.  It really got the kids to think critically and creatively. As creativity and critical thinking are two of the four 21st century skills, they are something I want to continue to emphasize.

Weekly writing inspiration is something I have done in my class every year, but it usually falls off somewhere during the year because I start running out of time to find a quote, poem, and picture each week.  I have always meant to sit down and compile 40 poems, 40 quotes, and 40 pictures. It never happened as many great teaching ideas find themselves.

Well, the other day I found some resources on TpT that helped me fulfill my weekly writing inspiration goal.

Panicked Teacher's Quote of the Week

Panicked Teacher's Idiom of the Week

Picture of the Day (We just may not do it every day).

We started doing one of these each day before Thanksgiving. We discuss the meanings and use the handouts from the packs. Then, each day we use the quote, idiom, or picture to inspire our journal writing. I just will have to pick out a poem then each week. My goal is to get a monthly poetry pack made with poems to analyze. I made one for March last year. Hopefully, I can get one made for December in next couple days. :)

To help my kids get better at multi-paragraph essays, I want to make sure we do at least one essay per month for the rest of the year.  I decided to start making a monthly essay menu with four choices for each of the writing types: informational, opinion, narrative, and research. They will be able to choose, but in 3 essays they need to do an opinion, a narrative, and an informative.  I am excited to share my essay menu for December with my students on Wednesday. 


What are your favorite resources for writing and the Common Core?


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