Writing for long periods of time is HARD. For any age! But it is vital that our students write for as long as possible every day – that’s the only way they’re ever going to grow! Lucy Calkins even goes as far to say that they should be writing for 50 minutes a day. You’re probably reading this thinking “Lucy and Kelly Anne are insane… who has 50 minutes of Independent Writing time??” Well, I’m here to tell you, I sure don’t! I never get 50 minutes of Independent Writing… and even if I did, I’m not so sure my writers would be okay writing that long! They’re kids and it’s hard for them to sit that long! But it’s worth it if we can get there.
In my opinion, building up that writing stamina is one of the most vital parts of writing! Without it, you’ll never get your writers to grow, you’ll never have any peace and quiet for Writing Confrences and you’re destined to be micro managing your writers all. year. long. Oh heckkkk no. So in order to build independent writers, I make sure we talk about our writing stamina A LOT. First, I teach an entire lesson on it. If you’re interested in what I do – you can snag that lesson and unit for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. (Click on your grade level to go to the unit). I also use my Setting Up Writer’s Workshop Anchor Charts to create an anchor chart that will be up for them to refer to all year long. Lastly, I like to bring some data in. I create an anchor chart where we can keep a line plot of their focused writing time. It allows us to quickly set a goal every day(ish) and then track it! This may seem silly, but without tracking their goals, writers tend to forget what they’re goal is in Independent Writing. You may get a lot of fake or unengaged writers who just aren’t feeling writing… and that’s okay! Just shoot for what the majority of students are doing!
If you want to track your classes’ writing stamina, grab this anchor chart freebie! You can print out the pieces and make it yourself, or get it printed at your local printer as a completed poster. The options are endless! Snag your freebie HERE or by clicking the image above!
What tips and tricks do you have for getting your writers to focus on their writing? I’d love to hear!
Kelly Anne 🙂