Kids love working with a partner. It adds the social interaction they crave. But then you find they enjoy it a little too much, and students are playing instead of working. Truth be told, they might not know how to work in partnerships. What they might need is writing workshop mini lessons for writing buddies. Cue the confetti.
After recess, buddy writing become your students’ favorite time of day. To get you started, here are some ideas for writers workshop to implement writing buddies in your classroom.
What are Writing Buddies?
Writing partners, writing buddies, writing partnerships. . . it’s all the same, but buddy writing is the act of students working on writing with a partner.
How Do I Pair Students?
Good question! You can pair your students in several different ways. These are ideas to get you started.
- Pair students by level
- Partner up students with different strengths
- Pair students that work well together
Writing Goals: An Easy to Follow Step-by-Step Guide shows you how to find students’ strengths and how to find their needs.
Mini Lessons for Buddy Writing
If you pair students up with out any directions, there’s bound to be chaos. That was a little dramatic. . . but kids probably won’t know what to do other than talk or sit silently with their writing buddy. Mini lessons for writing workshop guide your young writers to successful buddy writing.
It’s important to teach students how to work with a partner and what to do in their partnerships.
Writing Partners Work Well Together
Explicitly teach students how to choose a quiet spot.
Teach them how to find a spot that works best for them.
Demonstrate for students how to find a spot that gives other partners space. Students tend to have trouble with personal space so show them what to do if another pair sits too close that doesn’t involve tattling.
Writing Buddies Share with Each Other
Building a community of writers includes students knowing and caring about their partner’s writing. It also requires students to share with a partner. This is why it’s important to choose partnerships carefully.
Writing can be quite personal and you’ll want to pair student that you know will work well together.
Writing Partners Learn Together
As you add words to your word wall, students need to be held accountable for those words. Writing partners should give reminders to each other and that includes reminders to use the word wall.
Another way to get your students working with their writing partners is to have them look at books for ideas. Talking and pointing out writing craft that other authors use, inspires students to try new things.
11 Easy to Use Writing Resources for Primary Students provides ideas of other resources students can use as their writing.
Writing Buddies Give Feedback
It’s in everyone’s best interest to learn how to give positive feedback to others. Teach several positive comments your students can use to get started. For example, I really like your illustrations because they’re so colorful.
Once they get the hang of it, they’ll begin saying things like, I love your book! I would buy it at the store. True story.
Writing Buddies Listen and Ask Questions
Asking questions to others requires us to listen, which is probably why kids love being asked questions.
Demonstrate for students how you can ask questions about students’ writing. Make a chart full of questions and let kids practice.
When students ask questions, they continue to build that writing community in your classroom.
Building a Community of Eager and Excited Young Writers sets you up with mini lessons for getting started with writing workshop.
And there you have it. Mini lesson ideas for writing buddies to work together with a purpose. Kids can learn a ton from each other, but it takes some guidance and practice. Looking for there posters? Find them here!