My New Favorite Pencil

At my current school we use 'Write Reflections' which is a week by week guide of lessons we teach that includes prompts my students write about. We follow the process of
  • Brain Storm
  • Make a Map
  • Rough Draft
  • Final Draft
  • Draw a Picture
It isn't necessary what I would choose to do on my own but it is what I'm required to teach. In order to help my firsties figure out what to do next in the writing process I decided to follow in another teacher's footsteps and make this neat little pencil:

Towards the beginning of the year I introduced the writing process and modeled it continuously to my kiddos. We then began doing each step together and now they have been set FREEEEE! As in no more holding their hand each step of the way.

They each get the same prompt each week and I continue to do mini lessons daily however they always go at different paces. Also sometimes they forget where they left off so now they can find their clothes pin and it serves as a easy reminder.

Some of my students also have a difficult time remembering what to do next. I put visuals on the pencil so if they can look and quickly remember what they should be working on. Most of my students don't need the visuals anymore but when they first began doing the writing process independently it was quite helpful. It saved me from answering many questions since I would direct them to the pencil.

First they get their prompt and underline the first sentence in red. Then they brainstorm 5 ideas they could write about.

Next they make a map that is color coded. It goes by the color of the rainbow; first up is red the main idea and first sentence of their writing. Then is their first topic in orange followed by a detail (or two) that is in yellow and super hard to see on the pencil. The next topic is next in green followed by it's detail (or two) in blue. When they get to second grade they continue this writing process and add purple at the end as the conclusion. 

Student's use their maps to write their rough draft. They have follow the color order (red, orange, yellow, green, then blue) and take their topics which might be "Apples" and turn it into a sentence.

Then they aren't allowed to move to final draft until I check their rough draft. They have a very difficult time remembering that their final draft should be the exact same as their rough draft but with all corrections made. Do your students decide to write an entire different paper? At times mine do and then add all kinds of things! 

Last they get to draw a picture to go with their final draft.

They LOVE moving up their clothes pins so even though the writing process is getting a little boring to them the fact that they want to move their clip up is a great little boost of motivation.

And how do you make your own? It is REALLY easy! You just need to get 4 pieces of yellow paper, black paper, pink paper, and I used tan graphing paper (the one with big coordinates on one side and is super thin). Cut out the correct shapes and tape it all together on the back. You really can't mess it up I promise! Then you write each of your steps and add any graphics to help the kids. Then put it through the laminator and you are done! Let me know if you need any extra help or pictures and I'll give you a step by step. I took me about 15 minutes to put it together.

Just a reminder this is my school's adopted writing curriculum in which I'm expected to follow and teach; I have choose to use the pencil to help supplement it. Does your school have an adopted writing plans?
What tools do you use during writing? Do your firsties do the writing process as well? I love to hear how different schools work. 


  1. I actually subbed for a school where every teach had a pencil. This is a great management tool.

  2. Cute idea, I may try it.
    By the way, you need to re-read your own writing for type-os on the above!

    1. Just take the idea and don't be rude.

  3. A good education is very necessary for all of us to go ahead in the life and get success. It develops confidence and helps us for building personality. Our School education plays a great role in our life