Using the 2-in-1 Devices to Launch Writer's Workshop

Class Agenda: Three Day Agenda

Narrative Writing in Grades Three Through Six

By Erin Marone & Jean Zambelli, Eastport-South Manor, Spring 2015


Throughout this course, teachers will learn how to successfully launch Writer’s Workshop focusing on narrative writing for third through sixth grade students utilizing the 2-in-1 devices. The devices will be used in each step of process writing (immersion; generating ideas; selecting an idea; collecting; drawing; editing; revision and publishing). Along with more traditional teaching models, teachers will foster digital initiatives to transform learning through changes in pedagogical shifts. By using the devices to launch Writer’s Workshop, teachers will also meet the needs of all learners to champion digital creativity. During the various stages of the writing process, the devices may be embedded within teacher instruction and used whole class or used with a small group of students at centers around the classroom.

Location: Dayton Avenue's Library Media Center/ Orchestra Room

Time: 8:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.

Dates: 7/22, 7/23 & 7/24

Rationale: This one credit, 15 hour inservice class was developed by Jean Zambelli, Literacy Coach/Reading Teacher, and Erin Marone, Library Media Specialist/Lead Technology Teacher, for third through sixth grade teachers and support staff to learn more about process writing to coincide with our writing curriculum goals as well as educational consultant, Sarah Cordova's staff development. Teachers will learn how they can use the 2-in-1 devices to launch writer's workshop as each classroom teacher has access to five devices on a daily basis for instruction.

Integrating appropriate technology will make instruction/learning goals more effective for all students to be successful.

Day One: Introduction to
the Writing Process,
Immersion & Generating


8:00 A.M.-1:00 P.M.

Orchestra Room

Introduction: Ice-breaker activity from "Teach Like A Pirate." Teachers will create an object that represents them or that is significant to them out of Play-Doh to share with the class. (This can also be used as a writing prompt activity for students.)

Reflection Quote: "Anything worth doing is worth doing badly," said writer, Brian Heinz on learning by making mistakes. "We are here to make mistakes, fix them and make them better."

Day One's Resources:

Begin with the End in Mind: What do you want to accomplish or learn by the end of this eight session class? Visualize where you are and where you want to be to accomplish your goal. Remember just as a building follows a blueprint, your goal will follow your vision.


Immersion is the heart of writing as Ralph Fletcher says that a student's writing is only as good as the literature being read or shown as an example.

What to include for immersion: author's inspiration (special thanks, dedication, author's notes); audience; author's process; and author's purpose.

Immersion Definition

Prekindergarten Immersion Idea to Model

Teaching Books

Prezi for Education: Click "Get Started," then "Educational Plans" then select the free plan (far left) and click "Choose Plan." Enter your email address and then log into your email to wait for the activation code. Once received click it to begin making a Prezi!

Prezi Instructions


Our Immersion Topics: Authors (Sample Topics/Prezi's from Spring Semester)


The time to “brainstorm” lots of possible ideas for topics. Various strategies are used to gather entries, which might have the potential to turn into a published piece. (Minilessons: About 2 - 4 days)

Emotion PowerPoint (Generating)

Emotion SB File (Generating)

Day One Generating Topics:

  • Something Found (Every Living Thing by Cynthia Rylant)
  • Story of a Name (The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros or Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes)
  • Emotions on a Hand (SB File or In My Heart by Jo Wite)

Day Two: Continuation of Generating & Selecting


8:00 A.M.-1:00 P.M.

Library Media Center

Day Two Generating Topics:

  • A Special Object (The Memory String by Eve Bunting: drawing a special object)
  • Buried Treasure (Tree Named Steve, My Map Book, Night Tree)
  • A Strong Emotion (Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel)
  • Candy (A moment or memory attached to the taste, sight or smell of the candy)
  • First and Last (Google Drawing T-Chart)
  • Best and Worst (Google Drawing T-Chart)
  • A Special Object (Wilfred Gordon by Mem Fox)
  • A Special Time with Someone (Every Friday by Dan Yaccarino)  
Read a book such as "A Tree Named Steve" or "Crab Moon" with strong emotions to generate emotions for the hand chart.
Mentor Texts for Generating Ideas!

Day Two's Resources:

Day Three: Collecting, Drafting, Revising/Editing & Publishing


8:00 A.M.-1:00 P.M.

Library Media Center


Ray, Katie Wood. 1999. Wondrous Words: Writers and Writing in the Elementary Classroom. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

  • Students investigate picture books in order to analyze how published authors use sensory language to help their readers create personal sensory images as they read.
  • By using existing texts as models for their own writing, students learn to read like writers. Students can then begin to consciously use text models as they face the revision process.

Day Three's Resources:

Use this picture book for dialogue instead of just using said. Type up and highlight the speaker tags to show the language the author uses.

Revising is making it better while editing is making it correct.