Encouraging Independence and a Writing Checklist Freebie!

Hi everyone!  Popping in to round up the week and my thoughts!

I'm so aware that a big part of my job is to encourage independence in my students and I try to find ways to help them help themselves.

The little ones, especially at this time of year are still so very needy and I often wish I could change my name, I get so sick of hearing it - hehe!  Everyone needs help at the same time!  This can be a problem during guided reading as this is not scheduled in our day and happens when the teacher has a free minute - not ideal!  Our day is just too short to allow an allocated time.  I've been training students to realise that I am not always available to help.  When I am finished with a guided reading group, they can have all of my attention and they are beginning to realise this.  I bought this little light to help. 
When it is lit, students must try other avenues first before they come to me - very cute!  We do have a 'must-do may-do' board, but more of that in a later post.

My two stars of the week are my 'experts'.  I had considered caps, but I had images of them turning into frisbees!!  However my 'stars' do wear little pins to single them out.

We are currently working on descriptive writing and stretching our sentences.  Notice just how short that sentence is - lol!

I love love love this anchor chart and made a very large one for our classroom.  I won't go into detail, but let's just say this was hard work, but we are getting there!

The students have word-lists, help mats etc, but they still need encouragement to use these and often need the reassurance of a voice or the comforting feeling of collaboration.
I decided they also needed a visual reminder of what they should be doing (without me constantly nagging!) and to that end I created a writing checklist. My hope is that using this checklist will be habit-forming!

Fold along the middle dotted line to form a tent shape. You may need to lightly score underneath with a blade (scissors etc) to allow for a decent fold.   The end result is a sturdy checklist for table/desk tops or writing areas.  I usually share one between 4 students, so all have easy sight access.  I find this such a useful reminder for them before work is handed in for grading!  Hope you find it useful too!


  1. I love your writing freebies!! I'm tearing my hair out trying to get my students to write great sentences & this will help! Thanks so much! :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  2. You're most welcome, Lisa! Thanks for stopping by!

    Wendy :)

  3. Your Stretch a Sentence Anchor Chart is awesome!

  4. I came over from TBTS on Facebook and I love the look of your blog. It is super cute! Congratulations on surpassing 100 followers. Can you believe you are almost at 150? Have a great day!
    Life with Mrs. L


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