Friday, March 23, 2012

Writing Worshop Paper and Spider Legs

I have created some new pages for our writing workshop books. I like to have books pre-made for kids.

Giving Your Book A Dedication

We have been reading Nancy Carlson books, and she does fantastic dedication in her books. Her dedications give you a hint to why she wrote that book. 

Learning from her dedications, we will be including dedication pages in our books and telling why. If you watch the video on her site, she mentions her dedication in the book Henry and the Bully.

I made these new templates for my writing workshop books. It's like a little checklist at the bottom of the page.  

I reread my work.
My sentences make sense.
I am using spaces.
I am spelling words from the word wall.

 Quick Thoughts About the Paper

I know it would have been better if I added a little picture but I was under a time crunch, so I didn't. 

The rule at writing time is that when you take out your work the very first thing, you are supposed to do, is reread your work.  

I am always emphasizing during conference time the importance of rereading your work. 

I still have a handful of kids who don't. Hopefully, this sheet will be a quick reminder. 

The first sheet is what I am using right now. 

I made some templates for my first-grade neighbor with different objectives. I have never used this kind of checklist on the paper, so I will tell you how it goes next week.
K sheet
Click Here for the Writing Paper and Dedication Pag
Spider Legs

I was conferencing with a child and suggested that he needed to add more information to his story and that I was going to teach him about Spider Legs. Of course, I told him that adding a Spider Legs is BIG stuff in kindergarten.  To think you have so much to say, and you ran out of room.  Of course, the girl at the table immediately ran out of room on her page, and she needed to add a Spider Leg too.  

By the next writing workshop, Spider Legs were popping up everywhere!  The little boy said to me I can't wait to go home and tell my mom that I am using Spider Legs at writing time. 

You can see below that they started adding two sometimes three to a story. I did have to hold a mini-lesson and explain when you need to use one and when you don't. 

I also touched on if you have too many Spider Legs you may need to add another page. 

It's the thrill of something new!!

What is a Spider Leg??

It is a strip of paper that the child can staple to the side of their story to add more information. You fold the Spider Leg in when you turn the paper.

There is no erasing at writing.
Crossing off shows your thinking. 
She had happy but crossed off to put joyful. 

I just cut strips from stories or have the kids cut a strip from a plain piece of paper. You need to show kids how to use the staple remover and when you staple the leg on be careful not to staple all your pages.

I  had not even talked to this child about how to add a Spider Leg,  but she figured it out and had three. 

This is what I love about kindergarten!


  1. Thanks for sharing more about WW! We also do spider legs and the kiddos feel so special when they can add one, for sure! I love the dedication idea and the check list! You make my life easier. :)


  2. We use spider legs, but I've never called them that. Very clever!


  3. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I love to use spider legs and so do my students. It really makes revising fun!

    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  4. Erica, I am glad your can use the papers! Melissa

  5. Love the idea of calling it spider legs when adding on to the story! Cute!
    Conversations in Literacy

  6. Melissa, I just found your blog from the K-2 Linky Party, and I especially like your poems "Open A Book" and "A Little Yellow Cup". If you have time, stop by my blog. I have lots of ideas and freebies to offer.

    Sharon Dudley, NBCT


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