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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Using Skills Charts in Peer Workshopping Classrooms

"Everyone is good at something", so capitalize on your students' skills by starting your first peer workshopping session with a Skills Chart. Use the filled in version below, or make your own by using the blank chart. Then, Xerox one of the Skills Chart and the Workshopping Notes chart front to back (2 sided). Have students complete the Skills Chart.  

Use large chart paper or the below handout to create a Master Skills Chart:

Now, it's time to implement peer workshopping! Use the Skills List as a peer workshopping list, and introduce skills one at time with mini-lessons. Give students time to practice the skills through writing activities then peer workshoppings. 

Be sure students utilize the Master Skills Chart by going to peers for help with skills. As students master skills, add their names to the Master Skills Chart.  Be sure to provide handouts or reference materials for those listed as master teachers. It takes practice to teach rules to others, and you may have to model this for in small group settings until students get the hang of how to go over rules with one another. As you conference with students, complete the Workshopping Notes sections to chart writers' growths. 

In the end, students benefit from peer workshopping because they need meaningful practice to improve and master skills. 

Happy Peer Workshopping!
Educator Helper

Other Peer Workshopping Activities:

Writing a Rough Draft (Lower Level)

Writing a Rough Draft (Upper Level)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Are You Ready for National Grandparents Day?

September 13, 2015, is National Grandparents Day! It's great to celebrate grandparents every day (yes, I'm a Meme!), Sunday is set aside to honor grandparents. What activities will your students create to form lasting memories? There's no need to spend money for a gift. Instead, print out the activities below to make National Grandparents Day extra special!

What's your favorite memory of time spent with your grandparents? I have so many wonderful memories that it's hard to choose just one, but I'll give it a try:

My Memaw and Big Papa (Mom's Parents)
    It was in the 1970s when my grandparents, my mom, my brother, and I loaded into a pick-up with a camper on its bed and headed off to Yellowstone. Along the way, we had many outrageous adventures: the night Memaw dressed in white and looked like a campground ghost; the afternoon the pick-up broke down at Big Piney; traveling off the beaten path to tourist destinations, and the highlight of the trip--Old Faithful. These are wonderful memories that I cherish!

My Grandpa and Grandma (Dad's Parents)
   When a devastating tornado hit Wichita Falls, my grandparents lived on the edge of Maysville near the river where there was an orchard of pecan trees. As we walked under the shade, we spotted items we thought were trash. They turned out to be checks, mail, and pictures, and most were in good condition. The address on the checks was Wichita Falls, and we surmised the checks arrived from the area by the killer tornado and its strong winds. We gathered the items and sent them to the Chamber of Commerce in Wichita Falls. This taught me several things: be sure to store pictures in ready to grab boxes in case of natural disasters, always put your name and dates on backs of pictures, and be a good neighbor and return items that belong to others.  

National Grandparents Day is a great time for sharing memories, and for making new ones! 

Happy Grandparents Day!

Free Grandparents Day Activities to Make and Give: