Friday, July 19, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Pre-Writing Setup, Pin to Win, and Guest Blogging

After you read this post, please visit one of my favorite girls, Christy from Teaching Along the Yellow Brick Road, where I'm guest blogging about some Fabulous Finds for $1!
I'm always very excited to link up with my BBB, Jivey, for her wonderful Workshop Wednesday! Our focus is the "pre" setup before students arrive. What do you do to get ready? Last week I talked about Reading Workshop, you can read about it here-pick up the reading freebie!

This week I'm going to talk about my Writing Workshop. As many of you know, Florida 4th graders are tested in writing, so we have a larger writing block than other grade levels. There are so many areas to focus on, but one of my favorites is word work and exposing them to new vocabulary, sure way to get better writers! I LOVE synonyms and I've created a couple of items that enhance my students' writing.
First, are my Synonym Work Mats. My students love playing these synonym matching games! I introduce, review, and practice synonyms with these mats. My students need as many exposures to new words as much as possible and they think they're playing a game (they are, but still learning!). I love tricking them! They play these games in their Kagan groups and I can quickly circulate and assess their learning and knowledge.

I've printed and laminated my new mats and matching synonyms (had to cutesify them) and I keep them all stored in an accordion file folder (Target $1). It's a great hook to a writing lesson and will be making several appearances in our classroom!
The perfect companion to my work mats are my Synonym Rings. Every summer I cut these useful tools for my students. My students use these everyday during writing-what's exciting is when they whip them out during other content areas as well! I have to make them every year because they're well loved all year, and they all want to bring them home, which of course, makes me ecstatic! :O)

I provide them with a slider pencil box that's used as their Writing Toolbox. I stock it with pencils, erasers, mini post-its, colored pens, and a highlighter. All year I've collected Crystal Light containers to use this year just for something different.(pictured right)

 I use matching synonym posters to go with my rings. I introduce a new synonym each week, but my students have all cards on their rings accessible at their desks.

 Both of these products are discounted until Sunday! Save money and buy the Synonym Bundle!
Be sure to check out Jivey's Workshop Wednesday post to see lots of great ideas!
The winner of my Pin to Win Multiplication Rings is...
 Amanda! Congratulations! Thank you all for your sweet comments and support!

Want to play again?
Pin either of these products, or both, and you can win! I will choose a winner for each product! Good luck! Don't forget to copy the URL address after you pin, post it in the comments, and leave your email if you're not a blogger. :O)


  1. These look like great products!

  2. What great ideas! Thank you for sharing!

  3. I love these synonym activities. I especially like the ring as a handy resource. There's not enough wall space to keep all these posted in my room. I've tried having student record/paste a synonym reference in their notebooks, but these rings are so much more convenient. I'm planning on purchasing the bundle.

    Thank you!

  4. I love the key ring idea. I'm sure my students would love it. I added these to my wish list.

  5. I love the idea of keeping the synonyms on a ring for the students to use quickly and easily. I love your ideas for storing all their writing tools too. When do you start your new year?

  6. I love the idea of having synonyms at a quick grab for students!

  7. Love this idea to get them using new words!

    Literacy Spark

  8. These look like great ideas!


  9. Found out this week that everyone in our district will add an additional 30 minute writing block to our 90 minute reading block. They do not want the writing focus to solely be on 4th grade...which I am screamin' "Hallelujah" after just comin' out of 4th grade. FCAT writing just about sends me over the edge from nervousness.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  10. This looks like great ideas. I just found your blog through another blog. I can't wait to read more post. Thanks for sharing.


  11. Love these!!!

  12. I love the synonym rings!! I am going to be on the lookout for those slider boxes. They would work perfectly for my book boxes (we switch for reading and I keep the pencils supply for reading in the classroom anyway!). Thanks for sharing, friend!! :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  13. These are on my wishlist! They look like such a great tool!!!
    Thanks for the opportunity!!!

  14. I LOVE the idea of the Writer Toolkit using the pencil slider box! I am SOOOO stealing that idea! I know I will always find inspiration from your site, Joanne! Thanks!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

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