It was an exciting week for my classroom!  We are still working on our small moment pieces and the kids are really into the process.


We explored the idea of what good writers do.  Kids spoke up and said:

“read a lot”

“write a lot”


“never give up”

“find ways to improve their stories”

“share their stories”

“keep on writing, even if someone is telling you it’s not good”

“try your best”

My students are beginning to “get it!”  It puts a smile on my face to hear these thoughts spilling out of their mouths.  They are beginning to realize why we write and what makes writing so much fun.  At the beginning of the year they would have never felt this way.  I may have heard “when your hand begins to hurt because you have been writing for a long time” was their definition of a good writer! hahahaha!

We made an anchor chart to help us get through the writing process of becoming a better writer.  Our chart was about analyzing and revising.

“When You Analyze & Revise, Think ARMS”


A stands for add details and description

R stands for remove things you don’t like

M stands for move things around if they sound better in a different place

S stands for substitute boring words for alive words

This process really helped my students revise their small moment writing!  They were marking through, erasing, and looking up at the ceiling….yes, I said looking up at the ceiling!  Were they not working?  Who is to say they were not thinking of how they could change the word shine to sparkle or twinkle!  I walked around talking to students about how they were making their stories better.  We spent about 2 days on this activity.  Erasing, replacing, moving, conferring and just brainstorming.  Soon we will be publishing our pieces.

My students were able to move things around, change boring words into excited and vibrant words.  Of course, I had a few students that didn’t want to change anything and once I told them they were going to publish their stories, they were more interested in making them sound better.  Conferring with students was the biggest goal I set for myself.  I wanted to make sure that I visited at least half of my class on one day and the other half on the next.  I was able to reach this goal with a few exceptions of some students being absent.  I was able to talk with the students about words they may want to use or not use.  With some students, I even talked about putting periods where they belong.  Overall, it was a very successful strategy!

Stay tuned………

for the following week, right before publishing!  We are working on editing and looking at spelling, punctuation, & capital letters!  The kids are going to be so excited to hear  their stories being published.

We had a few students share ways they revised their pieces…I can’t wait to hear the final product!


2 thoughts on “Beginning Writers Becoming Authors

  1. I love the ARMS anchor chart. I would like to find or develop a good anchor chart for first graders to help them remember good editing strategies. I appreciate how you are asking the students what good writers do. We asked the first grade kids the same thing and it is interesting to see the similarities. The third graders did have a deeper understanding of what writers do and why they do it.


  2. I have also find that the ARMS strategy is VERY useful with third graders. Were you able to take photos of students initial drafts before beginning revision? If not, no worries! But this may be something to consider in the future. We want students to have visual record of their writing process so they’re able to see how engaging in the writing process–though hard work–leads to producing strong, more powerful writing. I can’t wait to see/hear children’s published pieces. What a sense of satisfaction you’ll have as a community of writers sharing final pieces together. 🙂

    It sounds like you tried a “process share” when you asked children to explain their revision strategies. Wonderful! We often think the only kind of share is a “content share,” but in doing this kind of share session, you’re helping children focus on the importance of the writing PROCESS.


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