We've been reading all of Helen Lester's masterpieces this week and our favorite has been "Pookins Gets Her Way". After we read it, we made some connections in our reading journal. Pookins is a little girl who always gets her way and when she doesn't bad things happen: fits, throwing apples, making mean faces. She finally meets a magic gnome and makes a wish that she later regrets.
After we read, I wrote a story reflecting on a wish I could make that sounded good, but probably wouldn't be good if it actually came true.
James then did the same thing in his reading journal. I've set the reading journal up a lot like our draftbook except we don't plan and publish. This did count as his writing for the day though.
I only have him write for 15 minutes or so so this is what he wrote the first day, "I will wish for desserts for the rest of my life."
Then the next day he came back and finished his reflection, "They would be tasty, but I would die and meet God."
Bahaha! What I love about reading journal (and draftbook) is all the conversing about writing that happens while the actual story is being written. I was able to model good writing habits to him before he began writing and then during his writing we talked about stretching out sounds of words to help our spelling, thinking about how words look in books, and lots of grammar discussion and punctuation. I adore sitting right next to him while he writes. This is by far the most meaningful learning we do all day. I've seen more growth during draftbook, for both boys, than any where else.
Let me know if you need help starting draftbook at your house/classroom. You won't regret the effort.