How’s Writing Going?

I will have to say that writing is my absolute favorite time of the day!  The children spread out around the room – some are sitting at their tables (because they need to be *wink*), some are sitting at the kitchen table, some are in comfy chairs with clipboards, and most are spread out, laying on their tummies on the floor.  I turn the lights off, turn on some quiet music and we get to work!

Before we start writing, I always do a quick mini-lesson.  This is usually based on what I see children doing (or not doing) the day before.  I always write in front of the children.  I model the brainstorming process, drawing a quick sketch, and getting started on my story. 

Then we get to work…


This little guy was writing about his sister getting hot lava poured on her. “Hssss…..No Chloe! Said Braydon.”  He always writes very creative stories!


motor cycle track
After he wrote this we talked about illustrations.  He tended to draw scribbles and make up a story to go with it.  (Yes, that has it’s place, but this little guy was beyond that, and I  knew he could do more – I had seen him do more, and he was just starting to get complacent with his writing).  Since our conference, he has been drawing more detailed pictures!


The turkeys ran away.  (This was after we read The Great Turkey Escape)


I like to go to the park with Hailee.
She always draws such detailed, amazing pictures, and often didn’t get to the writing.  She had many pages of great pictures, but not a lot of writing.  At her conference, we talked about making sure that there are some words to go along with her gorgeous pictures.  She knows she’s a great illustrator, but she also wants to be a great writer.  So, we agreed that she has to practice both equally!


I was dancing with my brother.

This writing I did during a conference with this little girl.  She needs some support to get started and connect the letters to their sounds.  Once we talk it through a couple of times she is good to go!


Shoot.  I can’t remember what she was writing! 


I am having a tea party at my house.


I am shooting a missle.

I am so proud of my kiddos work during writing. We are writing independently now for 20, maybe 30 minutes depending on the day.  After writing,  they find a partner and share their writing with them.  We don’t share every day as a whole group, but I TRY to partner share.

Katie Wood Ray and Matt Glover are two of my favorite author’s for teaching writing to young children.


If you’re in need of some writing paper for your journals, you can pick mine up here:

writing preview


  1. These are great! I think the one that you can't remember says "I was listening to a story" :)

    1. Yes! You are right! Now I remember!! That's me holding the book! :) Ha!!

  2. That's exactly what I was going to guess.

  3. I absolutely LOVE the writing pages you put together! I bought this at the beginning of the school year and have seen so much growth in writing for my little students! I would definitely recommend this the journal to other kindergarten teachers! Thank you for all of your hard work! :-)

  4. We use your journals and love them.
    Thank you!

  5. Kathleen, I am wondering if your students keep their work in writing folders, and are able to revisit their pieces. The reason I ask is because of the student who does the great illustrations, is she able to finish up these pieces with the writing piece the next day? My K4 kiddos use writing folders with a red and green dot on the pockets so that they can put finished stories in one place and works in progress on the green side. At our young age most of my little authors write one page stories, but in late spring many will try their hand at writing longer stories. Most of our year we just focus on small moment stories - personal narratives and because of our short half day schedule we only have writer's workshop 3 days a week. Thanks for sharing those examples, always neat to see what kids are writing on their own.

    1. They don't keep their work in folders, but they are in books. (I've tried it and all of the loose pages drove me bonkers!) There are about 25 pages double stapled on the side with a cardstock front and back. One of our routines when we start each day is to re-read what we have previously written - some will decide to finish something that they had started others will move on. That's okay with me (most of the time) because authors do do that as well. At this time of year, I try to make sure that they have at least attempted some writing. WE do a quick sketch, and then try to write. Most are trying to stretch out words and write words they know!

    2. I get what you are saying about the lose paper, it is a little crazy at times. I send home their writing monthly with a note for the parents explaining the mini lessons we worked on that month. I keep a sample of one piece they have done each month. Many of my kids are still at the labeling their picture stage, and are just beginning to move to writing a sentence below their pictures.

  6. I agree with the first comment. Matches the picture too! :)

    1. Yes! You're right! I looked and looked at the picture, and all I could think of was something about a boat, and I knew that wasn't it! I remember the conference exactly now - I took these photos about a month ago ;)

  7. Thank you for sharing these! Some of my kinders are struggling with their writing at this point in the year. It was nice to see the work samples and know that my expectations are NOT to high for my babies!
    Kimberly :)

  8. Thank you for sharing the writing. I think they are doing great! It was great timing for me to find this. I teach Kindergarten and have been getting frustrated. I was recently told that I need to turn my Kindergartners loose from sentence frames and guided writing. The expectation is that my kiddos need to be writing freely from a graphic organizer by now. I just want to celebrate that they can form words within a sentence properly! :)

  9. Kathleen,

    I LOVE the books you mentioned and I love seeing how writer's workshop plays out in your classroom! I am needing some more guidance as to mini-lessons, setting out the year, you know- a more detailed plan to help me out next year! I loved Already Ready, but I wondered if Engaging Young Writers provided more of a detailed framework for writer's workshop in preschool? Thanks!

    Fun in PreK-1

  10. Kathleen,

    I love how your kids are writing!! I am amazed! This is my first year teaching Kindergarten (change from third grade) and I have to be honest, I'm having trouble figuring out how to teach writing, since it's starting at the beginning! In terms of a "guide" to figure out what to teach, where to begin, etc., did you use the books you recommended? How did you figure out how to organize your mini-lessons?? I am a "workshop" approach teacher, so I get the whole minilesson thing. I guess the trouble comes applying it to K! What do you think?