Summer 2019 Flashback: Oh, the Places You’ll Go With Writers’ Workshop

Note from Karen Hartman: Melissa Tobin, a 3rd grade teacher at University Hill Elementary School in the Boulder Valley School District shared her Connections Project to the Boulder CWP at our celebration. We laughed until we cried!

Congratulations! Today is your day. 

You’re off to Great Places! 

You’re off and away!


You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes.

You can teach Writers’ Workshop

Any way that YOU choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the teacher who’ll decide where to go.


You’ll look up and down streets. Look ‘em over with care.

You’ll see boring prompts and say, “I choose not to go there.”

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,

You’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.


Your students have voice,

So give them a choice. 


Good things can happen

And frequently do 

With teachers as brainy

And caring as you.


And when good things start to happen,

Don’t stop, don’t say adieu,

Just go right along

And do your writing too.


You’ll be on your way!

Taking kids to great heights!

With their writers’ notebooks

They’ll record all the sights!


Students won’t lag behind, because they’ll have all the speed,

Writing by choice, they’ll soon take the lead.


Except when they don’t.

Because sometimes they won’t.


They’ll come to a slump

With an unpleasant bump.


And when students slump

You’re not in for much fun.

Unslumping your students

Is not easily done.


Because writing’s hard work 

And they must push themselves

So look to the mentor texts 

You have on your shelves.

Ask questions that will give them their who and their why

Support them as needed

But let them know they must try.


Everyone is just working

As they will soon see

To become the great writer 

They were destined to be.


Then they will publish 

Which will really be great 

‘Cus they’ll have an audience

And we’ll all celebrate.


Celebrating hard work

And all that growth, too

Struggling writers will gain 

A feeling that’s new.


Oh, the places you’ll go! There is work to be done!

There are lessons to be planned, It is going to be FUN!


Except when it’s not

When you struggle and flail

When your very worst fear

Tells you that you will fail.


And you’ll feel very lost

With the things that you try

Some of those things won’t work

And you may even cry.


But on you will go

And we’ll be right there with you

Remember your vision

And you’ll know what to do.


Craft moves you will show

Mini lessons you’ll teach 

Then students will write

What was once out of reach.


You’ll get mixed up, of course,

But remember to dare:

Focus lesson then writing,

Conferring, and share.


And will you succeed?

Yes! You will indeed!

(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)


So, be your name Kimberly, Daniel, or Karen

Holly or Lauren, Amanda or Erin,

You’re off to Great Places! 

Today is your day!

Writing workshop is waiting.

So… get on your way!

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