The Daily Five book does not give a lot of information about work on writing. Based on what I read though this is how I decided to get started with it.
First, I added a spiral notebook to everyone's book box. I do not really like to use spirals for writing with my kindergartners but I decided this would be the easiest type of journal for me to manage. I wanted something I would not have to run off, put in or take out of brads, or switch out or send home.
We talked about why it is important for us to write everyday. My kids said to help them become better writers, for fun, and to help them become better readers.
We reviewed their jobs for read to self- read the whole time, stay in one spot, read quietly, and get started right away. Then we talked about how they would have the same jobs during work on writing. We decided on "work the whole time" instead of "write the whole time" because one of my students pointed out that sometimes she would have to stop and think or draw and she may not be writing during that time.
I did a quick model on what to do when they get to a word they are not sure how to spell. The sisters teach their students to draw a line and keep going. I teach my students to stretch out the word the best they can and write what they hear. I teach them that even if they are only sure about the first sound to write it, skip the rest, and move on to the next word. Whatever you prefer, make sure you teach this first. It will come up quickly and definitely be a stamina breaker.
Since I talked about urgency, rules for work on writing, and what to do when they reach a word they do not know, I decided to save how to work with materials or choose a spot for another day.
My students got their book boxes and one marker and sat around the edge of the carpet. Today I limited their space and what they were able to draw and write with. After we build a few minutes of stamina and practice the work on writing "rules" I will teach them how to choose a spot in the room and how to use other writing materials such as crayons, colored pencils, and boo boo tape.
I made sure to review with my students the three ways they have learned to write- curly writing, using letters they already know, and book writing. We also talked about how all of the words on our word wall should be written in book writing- just as they are on the word wall.
I did notice that the conversations that broke our stamina had to do with writing, but since I want them to be able to manage themselves I had to stop their work. We are going to use a large graph to record our writing stamina just like we did our reading stamina.
Here is a picture of our reading stamina graph. This is exactly like what we will be using for writing.