Monday, September 03, 2012

Memoirs- Let the Journey Begin...

Greetings Friends-

Today, even though it was a holiday, I opted to work in my classroom for a while. I set a time limit (I have to do this because I could really spend forever in my classroom and NEVER get anything I "need" to do accomplished) and got to work.

One thing that WAS accomplished today- thanks to my amazing wife- is my new and improved bulletin board. I am using the book The Write Genre by Lori Rog as a guide for my writing this year. It is a wonderful book and I am excited to teach a new genre each month. As you can see below, September is going to be focused on Memoirs. 

I had my wife make all the board headers in chalk on sheets of black paper so I can easily change out the headers each month. The yellow is my What Do Writer's Write? pencil poster that my wife also made last week. 

Here is a view of the entire board.

I love how this turned out. I had my wife write a purpose header and then what the purpose of a Memoir is.

I had this great idea to actually display the mentor texts in an interactive way. By using the binder clips to hold the books, the students can take them down and refer to them as they begin writing their own memoirs. I have several more mentor texts that I may, or may not, add to the board. I also added below "Mentor Texts" what a mentor text is. Since this is the first board for this year (and ever for me) that is in this format, I wanted to define what each part is used for.

I had two poster chart notebooks in my drawer (which you can almost see part of in the pictures below) and I am going to use those as my anchor charts. I discovered that if I start on the last page and work forward in the notebook, the current poster will always be on top, but the other posters will still be accessible to the students. So I was excited to have that moment of brilliance. I will post a few updates throughout the month so you can see the anchor charts that my three classes come up with. Because I do teach multiple classes, I take notes on the SMART Board of what should be on them, and then I condense those ideas down into a single chart that includes ideas from all three classes. It works well for how I choose to teach (especially with limited wall space).

That concludes my tour of this awesome bulletin board. I am stoked to get to school tomorrow and start the writing process, using memoirs as the vehicle, with my three writing classes.

Thanks for taking the time to stop, visit, and read. I hope you feel inspired to try something new as well.

What do YOU use to teach writing genres?



  1. I know exactly how you feel! I used to have to put a timer on so I didn't spend all day in my classroom on the weekend! Now, my school won't let you go in out of school hours so alas, I stay later than I'd like or don't get as organized as I should!

    I LOVE your anchor chart bulletin board!

    Good luck for the start of the school year!


  2. That board looks amazing. I use some mentor texts with genre writing and my curriculum had student samples. Those help. By seventh grade they pretty much have the genre thing down so it's pretty easy to activate their prior knowledge.

  3. Greetings Alison! Thanks for the kind words. I am glad to hear that I am not the only person who can get "lost" at school. :) I hope you have a fantastic school year as well!

    Joan- I appreciate hearing how your program works. I don't have a writing "program" that I can follow. I am trying to make this all work this year. I hope it goes over okay. I agree, mentor writing from peers is one of the most powerful mentor texts that students can read! Hope you are doing well. Thanks for stopping by! :)


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