As I was walking down the hall this afternoon, I was stopped by one of our wonderful Kindergarten teachers. Our conversation went something like this:
Her: Hey, when are you going to do a writing workshop thing after school?
Me: That'd be great. Just need to find a good time.
Her: I wanted to start up writing workshop with my kindergartners. Where would I start?
Good question. I firmly believe that it is never to early to get children writing. I love to write and find the creative outlet very rewarding. I also love teaching writing.
So, where to start in kindergarten. Well, you can't bake a good cake if your ingredients stink, so start with quality ingredients. I would start with handwriting. As I tell my firsties, "What is the point of writing it if I can't read it?" Depending on your class, you may work on handwriting until Christmas or beyond. That's okay. Start your writing workshop with journals. They can draw pictures or write or both (driting). Be sure to encourage picture details because that will translate into writing later. Then work on handwriting.
When your class is ready to move into more formal writing, start with sentences. Yes, sentences. You can have the most wonderful thoughts, but if you can't express it in a good sentence it is bunk. So, teach your little angels to write an amazing sentence and illustrate that sentence. When they knock out a super sentence, then they will naturally begin to add more. As they do, be sure to insist upon quality for each sentence they write. Teach them to have that writer's mentality. Words are our tools, and we must use them well.
For those of you that like to follow a format, I hope you've come across Debbie at Sailing Through 1st Grade. She has a great format called, whatda know, Super Sentences. She debunks the mystery of the perfect sentence by giving students a formula to follow. I used them this year with my firsties. They were struggling with expanding sentences. I wasn't used to having this problem and was baffled. I stumbled across this product and thought why not. Not just one light switched on but a whole stadium full. They finally got it. So, check them out! She offers several freebies on her blog. You can find them by searching for super sentences on her blog. If you get sold on them, feel free to stop by her TPT store. She has created formats for the entire year each with a different topic or theme. Just click the picture below to take you there.
When you work on revisions, look to common core for guidance on what to focus on. You might have different expectations for each student, but remember to keep expectations high. Good luck with your writing. I hope this helps!