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Daily Quick Writes

 Hi Friends!  

Confession time…writing is my LEAST favorite subject to teach.  I know, I know…teachers shouldn’t have favorites!    In all seriousness, teaching writing to first graders was not my favorite subject to teach. I was in a place where I thought, “If it’s boring to me, isn’t it boring for them?”  I desperately needed to spice things up.

That year I made it my professional goal to improve my writing instruction.  I spent time reading, researching best practices and developing a system that would work in my classroom.  As a result the Daily Quick Writes were born.

The idea behind the quick write is to focus more on the quality of writing, instead of the quantity.  A quick write prompt should only take 5-10 minutes…we all have time for that!  The prompts are versatile and cover a wide range of topics.  They were designed to encourage your students to express themselves as they learn the art of writing!

I typically used a writing prompt a day as a writing workshop warm-up, however it can be used any time that works for your classroom.

The original Daily Quick Writes were designed for kindergarten and 1st grade students. When I moved to 3rdgrade I developed Daily Quick Writes for BIG KIDS.  

The prompts are similar, providing an amazing opportunity for differentiation!

Over the past few years I have had many requested for a blank version of the Daily Quick Writes paper. I have good news friends, I FINALLY did and it is a FREE download!

Daily Quick Writes

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Daily Quick Writes for BIG KIDS!

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Meaningful Small Group Reading Instruction

I try my best to choose books that my kiddos will LOVE to read.  Scholastic has been my best friend.  BONUS POINTS!?  DOLLAR BOOKS!?  SIX PLEASE!
With that said, I’m not a magician or a millionaire.  I do my best and use the resources that are available to me.  I have found that if I show my kids that I’m excited, they quickly join the club! 
It is also important to note that it is also equally important that your students have experiences reading boring stuff.  Lets face it, that’s life!
Choosing a high interest text is especially important for the learner who hasn’t found their love of reading yet.

The most effective way I have found to teach comprehension strategies is to model.  I read aloud to students then stop and show my thinking aloud when appropriate.  After I am done, we discuss what I did and my thinking as a group.

This strategy is especially effective for learners who have a difficult grasping abstract thinking.

In a perfect world our students would be leading and actively
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engaging in a discussion about their book.  Everyone would be excited and critically thinking about the text!  That’s the goal
but it is also just that, a GOAL.  We have to teach our students HOW to have an intentional discussion about their reading.  How can we
expect our students to actively engage in intentional discussions if we, the teacher, aren’t contributing?? It is important that you understand what is going on in the text and are able to model during the discussion when appropriate.    
I have found that most of the modeling I do takes place at the beginning and end of the discussion.

Click the picture to learn more about my book club packets!
At the end of every small group meeting I give an assignment.  My students use the writing prompt in their book club packets as their assignment.  Each small group meeting is packed full of instruction.  This is their opportunity to show me what they have learned. 

Independent practice is a great way to see who still needs more instruction and practice!

This is how I structure my small group reading time!  

disclaimer:  This is how small group instruction looks for me in my classroom.  What works for my kiddos may not work for yours.  You know your students the best, you are the only one who can decide what is best for them!

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Guided Reading Instruction

Are you looking for the perfect addition to your guided reading toolkit? LOOK NOT FURTHER! These guided reading instruction cards are the perfect way to support your instruction.

Each card has a list of behaviors to support and teaching points to reinforce during instruction. The best part? This is a FREE download!  Sign up for the newsletter below to get your freebie.  Share your guided reading toolkits on Instagram and tag me!

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