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How many kindergarten teachers use writing prompts? Meee!!! I love them. But the reason I use and love them may not be why you think, so hear me out.

I am ALL KINDS OF ABOUT some writing workshop — let me preface this post by saying that. Writer’s Workshop gives students the freedom to write about whatever they want. And research suggests that by allowing students to choose their writing topic, they are more receptive to the idea of writing. I love letting my students write about whatever they want. I also love letting students go. Just WRITE! Don’t get caught up on the this-period-goes-here and the you-spelled-that-wrong and the that-letter-isn’t-capitalized. Just let them write. Model, model, model, but then leeettttt ittt goooooo!!

So, where is there room for teaching sentence structure? Mechanics? Basic grammar? Bueller? Well, if you’re doing it right, you are modeling these important components of writing in the mini lessons of your Writer’s Workshop. {And if you’re not, it’s OK! I didn’t know a mini lesson from my elbow when I started. True story.} I model these things CONSTANTLY, but when I have my writing conferences {as well as the MAIN focus of my mini lessons} during Writer’s Workshop, I want to focus more on the content of the writing. The ideas. The feelings. The characters. The plot! I don’t want to harp on my kids about their punctuation or their spelling or any of that. {It’s nice to point it out, but I don’t want my Writer’s Workshop time to turn in to Full Panic Mode {FPM} time because my kids are nervous about the mechanics aspects of their writing. Does that make sense???}

The whole point of this post is right here: I want my kids to have specific time to focus on the mechanics of writing and by giving students a quick, scripted writing prompt, I can do that. I can provide a prompt that requires very little thinking {a little thinking, but not so much that it will take away from the practice of these tasks}, and give students a quick, reinforced lesson on whatever writing mechanics topic that I want to; letter formation, spaces in between words, punctuation, capital letters, labeling, nouns, verbs, the list goes on!

I do that with these writing prompts. My Back to School Writing Prompts {which are FREEEEE, by the way} includes 15 writing prompts. I have included a Smart Board version for just displaying on the Smart Board and having students write in their own journals. There is also a printable journal included, in case you wanted to go that route. I like the idea of starting the year with the printed journal {in August} and then graduating in September to the Smart Board prompts. The Smart Board prompts also allow for shared writing, as I have written the prompt down low on the page, so it’s easy for my little sweeties to reach. In the blank space towards the top, I usually model a picture of some sort– especially if I am focusing on labels or anything like that.

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From my September writing prompts {SmartBoard version}
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I really just love the idea of using the Smart Board prompts, too, because it saves SO much paper. And I don’t know about you, but I definitely do not need anything else to print. Sheesh!

At the beginning of these products, I have included a descriptions of very, very, very basic teaching points {they’re so basic that I definitely wouldn’t even call them a mini lesson}. It should take less that 1 minute to go over these. But think about it….doing these daily will create such autonomy with these key concepts of writing structure!  As the weeks progress, I have included a progressive checklist for students to be cognizant of during their writing. I start with a basic checklist of making sure periods are at the ends of their sentences and throughout the school year {and through my writing prompts}, I add different things to the checklist — capital letters at beginnings of sentences, names, etc.; spaces in between words, using mostly lowercase letters, etc…..

How do I incorporate these into such an already-busy and cram-packed day? Morning work. Transitions. Centers. After Morning Meeting. Any time is a good time for these! They’re so quick — especially once your students get used to them. It should only take about 10 minutes of your day, if that.

Try out my Back to School Writing Prompts for free!! If you love the structure, add to your collection by clicking here. I will also have these bundled once I have all 9 months completed. I expect to have these done before the big sitewide TpT sale in August. Fingers crossed.

What do you think about writing prompts?

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