Wednesday, June 1, 2016

End of the Year - Reflect on Writers' Workshop

This is our last week of school with the kids and I am trying to make it as meaningful as possible. I think a part of doing that means having the students reflect on the work they completed and acknowledge how much they have learned. Check it out here for FREE 

In Writers' Workshop, students published six different genres of writing: Narrative Story, Informational Essay, Research Essay, Poetry Book, Historical Fiction Picture Book and a Magazine! Each writing unit was beneficial in all different ways (to both me and the students!). The Narrative Story was the first unit. It was fun for the students and allowed me to assess where each writer was at the beginning of the school year. The Magazine unit was a culmination project that focused a lot on creativity as well as putting together the knowledge they had learned throughout the school year.

The Writing Reflection sheet is a very successful way for students to value the work they completed and feel accomplished at the end of a school year. It asks questions such as, Which piece of writing makes you feel most proud? Which piece of writing was the most difficult and what about it do you think was most challenging? Which piece of writing did you learn the most from? What did you learn?

After I reviewed this sheet and the questions with students (before passing it out), we had a class discussion as to WHY I am giving them this sheet. This elicited really great responses from students which helped make this assignment - on the last week of school - meaningful.

Next, I handed out the folders that contained only their published work. I kept this bin on the last shelf in the Writing Center and labeled it "Student Writing Portfolios"  (shown below). Each time a unit/writing was published and the rubric was filled out, I placed both things in the folder. This makes it easy to collect their work and have it all in one place.

Students then placed each piece of writing side-by-side on the floor or table and read through the pieces. They then completed the Writing Reflection Sheet.

This was a great way to end Writers' Workshop! After reading through the sheets, I am convinced that this was an important part of ending our fifth grade year together!

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