I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! I am already in back to school mode, as we have only three weeks left of summer break. I will be out of town for four days, so it’s time to get back into the swing of things!
Last year, I blogged about the importance of early observations for reading behaviors, and I shared a reading inventory to track my early observations. (You can read that post here.) These observations were so insightful that I decided to try the same assessment strategy to monitor my students’ behavior during writing workshop.
If you are unfamiliar with an engagement inventory, it is a system to monitor behaviors during workshop time. As I walk around the room, I mark the on/off task behaviors that I notice. This data was extremely useful last year as I planned for my first reading strategy groups and conferences. The inventory really helped me prioritize the early needs of my young readers. Later in the year, I used the inventory as an ongoing way to document my observations.
My inventory is adapted from the one I read about in Jennifer Serravallo’s awesome book, Literacy Teacher’s Playbook. (There is also a book available for intermediate grades.)
For writing, I wanted the observation form to reflect on/off task behaviors, utilizing resources, and well, writing. Here are the codes I decided to use.
I created the form using Google Slides so I am able to fill it out on my iPad as I walk around the room. Here is what the form looks like. (The codes are on the bottom. The font is tiny because I need the space for my 25 students.)
I plan on using this form about three times throughout the school year to monitor writing behaviors. (Possibly more or less often for some students) Each check point is about 5-10 minutes, depending on the time of year. That way, I can get a good feel for which students are able to maintain their stamina.
If you are interested, you can access this form here. Once you make a copy, you should be able to edit it any way you wish, including making the codes work for your classroom. You can print the form or use it digitally. Please let me know if you have any questions.
One of my big projects this summer has been to update, add to, and bundle my classroom decor. I now have six different color combinations bundled with five different decor items. Each set includes a student number pack, word wall letters & heading, editable pennants, editable binder covers & spines, and loads of editable label and sign templates. Items are also sold separately if you do not wish to purchase the entire bundle. In order to celebrate the completion of this project, I have all of my decor items (including the bundles) marked at 20% off through Thursday. To see the items, you can click here or on the image below.