Dena and I spend our summers creating new resources to enhance our use of writer's notebooks and writer's workshop.  Last year, we created our Writer's Notebook Monthly Bingo Cards.  This year, we are ambitiously working on two new products: 1) Sacred Writing Time PowerPoint Inspirations and 2) Writer's Notebook/Workshop Menus.

New Product #1:
Our SWT Powerpoint slide for August 31
Our daily ten minutes of Sacred Writing Time is essential to our weekly writer's workshop day; in both our classrooms, the first ten minutes is guaranteed quiet writing time when students can explore new ideas or continue writing about previously-started ideas.  The students' job is to come to class with an idea that--in the last twenty-three hours--has made them think, and they are to write that idea down (in paragraph form) so that they can remember it when we begin a new writer's workshop piece.  Most of our kids--by the halfway point of the year--become very good at coming in with their own ideas for SWT, but there are those students who need to be prompted.  We are developing this new set of daily prompts to give students without an independent writing topic something interesting to respond to.  There will be a different slide for every day of the week between August 15 and June 15.  Click here to access the 17 slides we made for August. 

New Product #2:
Our "Italian Menu" of Writing Ideas

Our Bingo cards provide a lot of topics and interesting structures for Writer's Notebooks, but we wanted a new tool that would also help our students pre-write over multiple days in their notebooks on singular ideas for writer's workshop.  We both believe that when pre-writing takes multiple days before a student begins a draft, the draft will be much better.  Our new set of nine workshop/notebook menus provide both fun topics and structured suggestions for students who need to strengthen the thinking and lengthen the time spent developing an idea for a draft.  Here is access to the Italian-themed menu; each menu will figuratively focus on food from a different culture. 


  1. I love the daily SWT pages. Thanks for sharing!

    Your post made me think. I always make sure to give students time to read. And I always have great readers. I need to give the students the same opportunity to write!

    Inside this Book

  1. These are great! You guys are working so hard and, believe me, we appreciate it!

  1. Wonderful ideas!

  1. Great way to get kids to focus on expressing their thoughts. Over the past 10 years, patient, thoughtful writing has become a lost art as technological gadgets distract and interrupt the thought process. Keep up the good work.

  1. I LOVE your SWT ideas! Heck, I love ALL your ideas.
    I'm bummed that the link to your SWT slides isn't working. Is there some way I can access them?
    Thank you for sharing our ideas. Have a great school year!

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