One of the key components of any writing mini-lesson is modelling what we expect of our students.  Often this takes the form of “guided” writing.  However, over the years I have found that this wasn’t always as effective as it could be because there was no shared understanding of what we were really writing about.

Enter the magic of a shared writing experience! Like many bright ideas, I think this one was also conjured up by my co-teacher @YYteach.  Or maybe we borrowed it from somewhere else … either way I doubt it is my original thought.

In any case, what it entails is crafting a “small moment” experience right there in the classroom so that all can experience and relate to it.  For the past two years running our shared experience has been that just as morning meeting was about to start I tell my co-teacher that I need to go to the bathroom.  As I leave the classroom Ms. Yuka locks the classroom door and tells the students what a fun prank it could be.  Then I come back and try to get back in but, alas, the door is locked.  So I do all those things that we ask of our writers.  I have actions, I show feelings, I make some dialog … and inevitably someone always wants to come to the rescue.

Now because all the students have lived the experience it becomes so much easier to model, and for the students to relate to and add-on to our class story.  It works.  Give it a try!