Select Page
March Slice of Life No. 29.

In My PD Journals, Part 1, I share about the notebook I create when planning a workshop and another notebook I create during and after the workshop.  In the comments of that post, I was asked, “How do you use them once the workshops are over?”

1)  I use these journals when I plan workshops. Sometimes I copy pages from journals to put in a new journal. Sometimes I just glean ideas and restructure activities.
2)  Often I return to a school–sometimes several times a year over several years. In such cases, my journals are a valuable record of the work we’ve already done.
3)  Sometimes I am asked by a campus or district to repeat a workshop for another group of teachers. My journals make it easy for me to do that.
4)  I also use my journals to create teacher resources.


Pages from my Crafting Sentences PD Journal
(This is my planning journal, created prior to the workshop.)

This page (snapshot 6) has a snippet from a second grader’s draft writing. The writing trigger was “The party was…”  In my planning Journal, the yellow strips are cues that can be used to prompt thinking about “developing details.” I’ve also noted a “cut and paste” strategy to physically add the details. Using the “cut and paste” strategy honors the writing that the student has already done and makes space in appropriate places for developing details. It also reduces the dreaded recopying that stifles student writing.


This page (snapshot 5) contains a snippet of a second grader’s writing and notes of what craft move can be used to revise it. In this snippet, the student has three very short sentences about weather. The small craft move: combined into one sentence using the pitchfork strategy.


This page (snapshot 7) has copy of a second grader’s writing. I cut the writing apart, sentence by sentence, forming sentence strips. I made notes of small craft moves that can be used during revision. Separating sentences like this help students work on sequence in their writing. They also can more easily identify unnecessary repetition. And they can compare sentence beginnings and sentence lengths. They will more easily see if there are short sentences that can be combine to craft a longer single sentence. This student had used “am/is going to” three times. The student was able to notice this in the separated sentences and make a better word choice — swapped “will”  for  “am/is going to”  The student also reduced and combined sentences 3, 4, and 5.




Head over to
for more slice of life stories.