Tool kits are wonderful! Who doesn’t love a cute bag? It is a cute bag, and all sorts of treats that can help you teach in one. I used to have one big writing tool kit. It got to be too much. Similar to my personal bag it was cumbersome and I was beginning to get a fear it would cause me to be a hunchback, and I could never find anything in it.
This is when I decided to make a tool for each unit. This is what I put in my writing tool kit for How-to (but these materials can go in any writing unit tool kit).
1. Mentor Texts
– these are read aloud, used in mini lesson, used in shares, copies put in writing center, as well as in the tool kit
– My personal favorite mentors for the how-to unit are
Walk On by Marla Frazee
How To Potty Train Your Monster by Kelly DiPucchio
My First Soccer Game by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Everyone Can Learn To Learn to Ride a Bicycle by Chris Raschka
2. Checklists and Rubrics
– I use the teacher facing rubrics and student facing ones from writing pathways. These always help me when I don’t know what to teach. I can look at them and see what the student is not doing, then teach that! I can also use the checklist to help students self assess.
3. Student samples and my samples.
I think it is important to show students other students writing as well as your own writing in conferences to help them see what you are talking about, and know that other students did it, so they could too,
4. Pictures of charts
This will help them remember your mini lesson and can be visuals you leave with them in their writing folders to support them.
5. Extra paper, pens, revision strips, scissors, extra booklets and tape
Nothing slows down a conference like having to take a trip over to the writing center to get the materials you need to help the student continue their writing.
Put it all together in a cute bag/folder and you are ready to confer and take on the world!