The architecture of Writing Workshop includes a daily mini / anchor lesson followed by student writing time and sharing. Within my daily mini lesson I maintain the same thinking stems of "Yesterday we learned / discussed / worked on...," "Today I'm going to teach you / I want you to think about...," "Everyday as writers / in your writing..." This routine helps me focus my instruction, link new learning, maintain continuity within units of writing, and focuses my students' thinking.
Since our district's adoption of Lucy Calkins two years ago these thinking stems have become even more important in establishing the daily structure I need. During that time I've also begun recording my daily thinking stems in a composition notebook for easy reference for students (think of them as mini anchor charts that mirror the actual charts we create during workshop) as well as a record of my teaching to use later in reflection and future planning. I whipped this up as an alternative to a standard composition notebook to save myself the time of needing to create this format each day. Each time we begin a new unit of study I begin a new notebook! Think of it as an Interactive Notebook for teachers!
I make 4 of this each year since I teach 4 units of writing. Each is bound into a book with 40 copies of the daily thinking stems. The anchor chart I use each day during my mini-lesson is very similar. This tool could also be used as individual pages or kept in a binder to track your daily lessons by unit, month, etc. In addition, this cover coordinates with the cover of my Writing Data Notebooks!