Throwback Thursday

After two weeks of traveling, I'm happy to say that we're FINALLY home!  Woo hoo!  Now it's time for a little....

This week's throwback is inspired by a few books I've started reading.

I bought these books a while back, but time wasn't exactly on my side, so I'm just now getting around to reading them and devouring every.single.word.  I can honestly say that teaching writing is an area where I REALLY want to grow this year.  I mean, I feel like I have the hang of it...I can see tons of growth in my kids' writing every year...but I KNOW I can do more!!!  I'm so excited to see what I learn from these books!

Now here's a little post all about my Writer's Workshop anchor charts from August 2011.

Originally posted August 31, 2011

I’ve always been a big fan of writing.  I love to see the progress my kids make throughout the year…it’s always so remarkable!!  No matter what stage they’re at when I get them, they always grow.  Even a *little* growth is A LOT!  I was excited to start Writer’s Workshop this week.  Even though I love teaching writing,  I always feel like this is an area where I can improve.  I mapped out this week’s writing plans to a T and so far, we’re off to a great start!
My littles were excited to get their draft books on Monday.  I had some advanced writers, a few reluctant writers, and everything in between.  On Tuesday, we talked about WHY writers write and made an anchor chart with all of our ideas…
writers workshop1
Then we read Click, Clack, Moo and talked about why the animals & farmer in the story wanted to write.
We revisited our anchor chart today and made another.  Today we learned all about WHAT writers write.  I brought in a few examples of things I write…grocery list, to do list, thank you note…and showed them my blog{s} and my email, too!  It was fun to see their little wheels turning realizing there are LOTS of reasons we write…not just to write stories!!!
writers workshop3
After I showed them examples of all of my writing, we made another little anchor chart all about WHAT writers write…
writers workshop2
I’m hanging all of these up in our little “Do you have a writer’s eye?” center area. 
LOVING our Writers Workshop time so far!!! 
Tomorrow we’ll be creating a “What Can Writer’s Write About?” anchor chart and making our maps of our hearts.  I was inspired by these awesome heart maps I found via Pinterest {click on the pic to take you to the original source}.
On Friday, I’ll be passing out their mini offices and we’ll be decorating our draft books and celebrating our first full week of writing!!! 
I’d love to hear about any fun activities you do to kick off writing in your classroom!!
Happy Wednesday!!


Now it's your turn to link up with your "throwback" post!

While you're throwin' back, you can hop on over to my FB and see what I've got in store for today's deal of the day {for the 12 days of Christmas!}  Only 7 more days of deals...only on Facebook!!!


  1. HI Cara,
    I am reading Teach like a Pirate this summer, talk about igniting my fire for teaching!! Def. put it on your reading list!! Love your anchor chart for why writer's write--I just pinned it to remind my self I want to make it!!
    Tales of a First Grade Teacher

  2. Hi Cara,
    I love your "Throwback Post"! I adapted anchor charts similar to yours in my own classroom! Thank you so much for sharing them!! :) Have you also read "Craft Lessons" by Ralph Fletcher? I love both the fiction and nonfiction additions! The lessons are quick, simple, and effective! :) Have a great day!


  3. Thanks so much for hosting this party! I love going through all of these blogs to see what I might have missed. I am also excited to attend your session at the Extraordinary Educator Conference! Have a great weekend.

    Renee Dooly
    Fantastic First Grade Froggies

  4. I just love revisiting all your fabulous posts. They reengaged my mind to all of your brilliant ideas. I made a heart map with my class last year and they thought they were the coolest things! Definitely challenging myself to become a better writing teacher this year...its so my weakness!

    For the Love of First Grade

  5. It's a coincidence, but I chose an old post about writers workshop with my class, all about the fist book we ever self-published! I had read some inspiring books over the summer and promised myself that writing would be a focus in the coming year. It turned out the be the BEST thing I've ever done in 20 years! I only wish I had more time to publish more than one book each year!
    Thanks for hosting!
    Whimsy Workshop

  6. You wrote about your students' "mini offices" - can you explain more? (Or link me to a post where you already explained?)

    As a sidenote, my teammate used your "Why Writer's Write" anchor chart in her room this year, and I always thought it was adorable, but didn't know where it came from!!!


  7. I love Katie Wood Ray. I have read both "In Pictures and Words" and "About the Authors." I was even able to see her and Lisa Campbell two years ago in Rochester, NY. "About the Authors" changed the way I ran my writing workshop with my kindergarten class.

  8. Thank you for sharing how you launch writer's workshop. Do you have a post that explains what your "draft books" are? Do you have your students keep all of their rough drafts in a notebook? I'd love to hear more! Thanks, again for sharing and for the fun linky!


  9. In Pictures and in Words is on my summer reading list too. Currently reading Catching Readers Before they Fall; first reading and then writing! Loved your anchor charts - pinned them.

    rubberboots and elf shoes

  10. I love Click, Clack, Moo! I hadn't thought of using it like you have. I enjoyed reading all of your ideas! Thanks for hosting such an awesome party : )
    Kids Math Teacher

  11. I'd already pinned those anchor charts and didn't even realize it was yours! That's an awesome post. This is my first time joining in on Throwback Thursday.

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  12. Thanks for hosting Throwback Thursday again, Cara! I linked up, and have been enjoying going back to read posts from the past.

    Primary Inspiration

  13. Love that pencil. I tried making one myself last year and it didn't look that nice. Writing has always been the hardest for me to teach. This year we have a new program that is all writer's workshop so I'm excited.

    I Heart Teaching Elementary

  14. I just bought the same Katie Wood Ray book today--In Pictures and in Words! I am finishing up a writing course and thought that was the last piece of the puzzle I needed to put it all together for the upcoming school year. Love it, thanks for your other inspiration as well!

  15. I was able to see Katie Wood Ray and Matt Glover at an All Write Conference, amazing! Read In Pictures and in Words 2 years ago and it completely changed the way I teach writing!

  16. I'm so glad you chose this post!! It is exactly what I needed to read. I took a grad class, Teaching Writing K-12, in the spring, so I started doing Writer's Workshop towards the end of the year. This time, I want to start it from the beginning of the year but wasn't sure how to lead into it. These lessons/activities that you have described would be perfect! Also, I plan on reading The Best Story by Eileen Spinoli that first week or so along with Click, Clack, Moo. Oh the wheels are turning!! #teachernerd :)