I worked with two groups of students today. I read from Knucklehead by Jon Sciezka. I read the chapter called Cooking. The students really got a kick out of that one. Then I asked them to think of many different things that they enjoy doing. They shared with a partner. Then we went over to the guided writing table to get things going. I shared with them a writer's secret on who to get the ideas flowing. I used a four column chart to plan out the writing. I started with the prompt, then topic, insider info and then working main idea. I used the Kelly Gallagher model of I do, You do model. We spoke of a prompt. Then we brainstormed topics to explore. I then showed them how I could take one topic and "flesh it out" with my thinking. They did the same. Then I showed them in a think aloud how I look over those idea and can come up with a working central idea. I got this idea from Alana Morris and I wanted to try it out today. It went exceptionally well. I will explain more later. They were writing up a storm and we didn't get finished with the next page where we started with the body. I modeled how I combined some ideas and then wrote about 2 of them. I had them do the same and then time ran out! Why does time always run out? I asked them to reflect on this new tool that we used and how it could help them as a writer. They told me that it makes it easier for the ideas to flow. Many said that now they could think of and write about more ideas because they had time to think about it and then write out their thoughts, before they drafted. I told them that this is what we called prewriting. Fun! Here are some photos that I took, while they were in the process of thinking and writing. Enjoy!