Help me with... Common Core WRITING!!

Ok... Eeek!!! We reported back today at school for a grades/teacher work day, and let's just say - knowing that I only have 5 more months to get my little ones where they need to be for 2nd grade kinda hit me H.A.R.D.!!

I was looking through my lack of plans for next week then the babies return, and realized... my writing time just isn't cutting it. No sirree. The writing basics taught in our basal series just aren't keeping up with the CCSS, so when we do our end of quarter writing pieces for their portfolios, I can totally see that these kids are lacking a lot of the skills they need to know!! :(

So, here's where your help will come in and be INVALUABLE :-)

The wonderful Deedee Wills and Deanna Jump have created some really great units (Writing Through the Year) for their lucky dog kinders. These units lay out daily lesson plans for writer's workshop, offer anchor charts, brainstorming pages... everything to make my lesson planning a cinch! Buuuut. They're really geared for kindergarten. Have any of you first grade teachers used these packs in your own classroom? Do they get "beefy" enough for our kids to be ready for 2nd grade writing?


Is there some genius first grade teacher/team that's put together something like these for us?!?! I have never taught writer's workshop before (I know, I know...), but seeing the success of D5, math workshop, intervention groups, etc, I think that's the direction I need to head for this semester with my class.

I'll gladly make my own plans and come up with something sort-of-fabulous for my kids. But, if it's already been done, I'd rather use a tried and true unit!! :-)

Leave me links to TpT/TN products that have been wonderful for your kids. Connect me with blog posts about how you run your writing time and give me some great pointers. I owe you. BIG TIME.

{Oh... and all of you still on Break... I'm.So.Jealous.}



  1. Here are REALLY good ones I have bought, and used .....




    Hope these help :)

    1. Thank you!! I will be checking these out tonight ;-)

  2. I want to start WW in my classroom this semester too..I'm browsing through TpT soon..I'll definitely let you know if I come across something that's geared for 1st grade. :)

    1. Thanks, friend!! :) I'm ready to show these kids what they really can accomplish!

  3. Not sure if this would help...but it is what I use in first grade to cover opinion writing! http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Common-Core-Opinion-Writing-for-the-Whole-Year
    First Grade Blue SKies

    1. I agree!! I love this for teaching about opinion writing!!


    2. Thank you! I'm heading to check it out!

  4. Do you have these resources?

    Lucy Calkins - Launching a Primary Writing Workshop

    (This one rocked my world at first, but then I fell in love. It covers most of what you need. You can use the resource below to supplement other areas and will have to find resources for opinion writing.)

    Mastering the Mechanics

    For opinion writing, I taught my students five steps and make an outline sheet to help them organize their information.
    1) introduce your topic 2) State your opinion 3 & 4) reason 1 & 2
    5) Wrap up your story (usually with a question)

    If you use planbook.com, I can share some of my writing lessons with you very easily by giving you my code.

    Hope this helps.
    My Heart Belongs in First

    1. Oh my! These look good! I've heard of the first book before... I may have to get my hands on it very soon. Thank you so much for your help! I don't use planbook.com... yet! Another thing I've heard about but have yet to check out... Sigh! ;)

  5. Mastering the Mechanics is a great book. Highly recommend.

  6. I have been using this and my kids are making great progress. There is a quarter 1 and 2 so far.


  7. WriteSteps is a research-based, award-winning, 100% K-5 Common Core writing and grammar program that is the recipient of the 2013 Learning Magazine Teachers' Choice Award. It is definitely worth checking out! It is teacher-owned and operated and has everything you need to teach your students to become successful and confident student writers. It is modeled after writer's workshop and six traits. You can sign up for a free trial by visiting their site a http://WriteStepsWriting.com. They also have a great newsletter that provides writing tips and tricks for teachers.

  8. I've been teaching writer's workshop for 8 years now. I have a website with a Writer's Workshop link (on left hand side of my site). I don't have any resources listed, but I have my writer's workshop format spelled out if you want to take a peek!

    my website address is:

  9. Great blog! We are your newest follower. We second grade and are also from Kansas! Stop by our blog if you get a chance :)
    -Katie and Lisen

  10. I know this post an older post, but in case anyone else comes across this page wondering about Deanna Jump's Writing Across the Year.. I looked in the Question section on Teacher Pay Teachers, and Deanna Jump has used it for 1st grade and it worked well. She said she started with Unit 1 if the kids hadn't done Writer's Workshop before.

  11. Does this dovetail with Lucy calkins?

  12. Hi ,

    I happened to chance upon your blog and found it very interesting!

    We have recently launched a science app that uses augmented reality to enhance classroom teaching. The app has 3D models for kindergarten to grade 12. I thought you might want to check it out and may be review it on your blog, if possible.

    It is a paid app(with a few models free) but in case you are interested in trying it out I will be happy to provide you with a free copy.

    The link to the app is: 



    You can also search for the app on the app store as 'Augmenter'.

    Do let me know if you would be interested. I am really Looking forward to your response.

    happy teaching!



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