Editor’s note: A version of this article originally appeared on The Character Tree’s blog.

When we were just a couple weeks into distance learning, I started to really miss writing workshop time. Over the years, I’ve come to cherish this part of the school day and I know my little writers feel it’s a special time too! I became determined to find a way to bring the feel of writing workshop into the homes of my kindergartners.

As a result, I have been creating and recording writing lesson videos for my students. I have been assigning 2-3 videos a week for my students and since I have been doing this, I’ve received such positive feedback from my students and families about writing time being their favorite part of the at-home school day!

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I share this not because I’m doing anything extraordinary with my writing videos, but rather because they’re quite ordinary. Ordinary in the fact that I’m continuing to teach writing very similarly to how I have for years, except instead of having my kids right in front of me, I imagine them on the other side of the camera lens. Is it perfect? No. Far from it. I’m not able to be as responsive in my teaching as I am in the classroom. I miss being able to share examples of my kids writing in the moment. And, I long for the day I’ll be able to pull up a chair right beside my little writers and confer with them. But, by following the same structure of a mini-lesson that I always do, I have been able to provide my students and myself with some semblance of writing workshop. It is my hope that by sharing my teaching and lessons, we can bring the writing workshop into the living rooms of many homes and ultimately cultivate a community of children who find joy in writing.

Here are the 10 writing lesson videos I created.

Lesson 1: Writers Set up Their At-Home Writing Spot: Have students find a good spot at home where they can focus without many distractions. Have them draw a picture of themselves in their writing spot and share it with their teacher. Watch my video lesson here.

About the Author:

Sara VanderWel teaches first grade in Washington State and portrays “Miss Sara” in The Character Tree’s character development video lessons for early elementary school students. She runs The Primary Pal blog and is a teacher-author on Teachers Pay Teachers.


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