Why I write:
To deepen my understanding
To check my understanding
To analyze my thinking
To share my learning
To be a model for teachers and students and
To experience the JOY of a community . . .
Those are some of the reasons I write.
(And as soon as I hit “publish” I will think of at least 10 other “better”reasons that I wish I had thought of during the three days that I worked on this draft!)
Do these steps look familiar?
But do they match your current reality in your writing?
Do they match your current reality in your writing instruction?
I’ve been spying on my writing for over a year . . . literally in search of patterns that I could identify in my own writing. Trying to decide on that next big goal for myself – ambitious or “doable”? . . . lofty or practical?
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as finding a pattern, setting up some demos and “off you go” because writing is complicated.
Steps are added or revised . . .
If I have to stop and research.
If I have to completely scrap my draft because it is really so pathetic.
If I have to continue my “search for a topic”.
If I have to . . .
So here are some resources,
Quite literally, some food for thought!
Because all of these relate to just one simple standard in writing and yet this standard (and its intent) are often overlooked in a search for a priority or a way to reduce/simplify the writing standards!
“CCR. W.5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.”
A previous blog post that connected to this standard is in the 2014 archives here!
Planning – Where does an idea come from? – my blog post
Celebrate Celebrating – a blog post from Julieanne Harmatz (grade 5)
Learn by Writing – Lynne Dorfman’s blog post
Helping Students Plan their Writing – a blog post by Melanie Meehan
Using Technology for a Kindergartner’s Writing Process – a blog post by Melanie Meehan
Introducing a Hierarchy of Writing Goals – a blog post by Jennifer Serravallo
Goal Setting – my blog post
Drafting: Beginnings (somewhere – trying more than just one beginning – trying a new approach
The Beginning – my blog post
Strong Leads – Jennifer Wagner (2nd grade)
Drafting – Endings
Behind the Books: The Perfect Ending – blog post by Melissa Stewart
The Ending – my blog post
Drafting – Telling a Story Bit by Bit
Celebrating Story – blog post by Julieanne Harmatz
Drafting – Organization, Elaboration, and Craft
Elaboration Strategies for Information Writing Dig- Two Writing Teachers
Text Structures – blog post by Melissa Stewart
Specific Examples of the Power of Three – Stacey Shubitz
First Graders Get Crafty – Dana Murphy
DigiLit Sunday: Craft – blog post by Margaret Simon
Revising as part of the Process – blog post by Melanie Meehan
No Monkeys, No Chocolate: 10 year Revision Timeline – blog post by Melissa Stewart
Editing as a part of publication
Editing Sticks – my blog post
Editing – my blog post
- Editing stations for upper grades – Shana Frazin informed
- Daily light editing – Shanna Schwartz informed
Revising or Editing? – my blog post
Fun tool – Eye Finger Puppets (Amazon or craft stores) – Make editing time special and reminds the reader and the writer to pay close attention to the work!
Reading Units of Study Mini-Lessons
MiniLessons are strong invitations to learning! (TCRWP_
Reading and Planning MiniLessons – Rachel Tassler
A Short and Sweet MiniLesson Format – Two Writing Teachers
How to Plan a MiniLesson from Scratch – Two Writing Teachers
There are More Ways than One to Plan a MiniLesson – Two Writing Teachers
How to Read a Unit of Study – Two Writing Teachers
Fundamentals of Writing Workshop – Two Writing Teachers Blog Series August 2017
Share Time in Writing Workshop – Lynne Dorfman’s blog
Choice in Writing Workshop – blog post by Tara Smith
(Almost) Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Partnerships I Learned in Kindergarten – blog post by Shana Frazin
Why I Write – Stenhouse Blog
Mentor Texts – Books that would be nice to have as Resources
Craft Moves: Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts – Stacey Shubitz (Stenhouse)
Writers are Readers: Flipping Reading Instruction into Writing Opportunities – Lester Laminack (Heinemann)
Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children’s Literature (2nd etition)- Dorfman & Cappelli (Stenhouse)
Learning from Classmates: Using Student Writing as Mentor Texts – Lisa Eicholdt (Heinemann)
What;s Your Plan?
What are you going to do NEXT?
Today’s best draft, (Kelly Gallager)
This post I wrote to organize!
Yes! You Can Teach Grammar In Workshop – Three Essential Methods to Tuck In Grammar Effectively
Session #3 = Mary Ehrenworth
Mary began this session, packed to the gills, with folks sitting on the floor EVERYWHERE, with the following two questions for participants to discuss:
- What do you think of when you think of grammar?
- What is the “it” – you are trying to fit in!
What exactly are we talking about?
- Spelling – when?
- Spelling – In writing?
- Spelling – Magically on students’ own time?
- Subject / verb agreement?
- Academic English?
- Editing – how do I help students “fix up” their writing?
Keep in mind, dear readers, that English has its own particular challenges. Our irregular verbs are harder than Spanish or Chinese. For those learning English, they will need a long period of approximation and growth. For some natives, they will also need a long period of approximation and growth.
What should we do in our schools?
Just know that random small groups will not do cure the issue with weak grammar. You will need a systemic approach. One isolated teacher in one year will not get growth. You need to become the “Grammar Ambassador” for your building. Pilot some methods. Encourage others to pilot some more methods. Ask questions. “What will we teach across each unit of study? Each year?”
The answer is not in teaching an isolated unit on “apostrophes” but instead in considering how punctuation changes the meaning in written work.
Check this out. What’s the difference between the first and second example?
Quality grammar instruction includes the “art” not just the “skill and drill methods”.
How do we teach the art?
- Demonstration regular lesson – art and craft
- Inquiry – punctuation or dialogue – What are the rules? Malcolm Gladwell researched the stickiness factor with Blues Clues and inquiry. We have to make sure students see different levels of dialogue so they experience a wide variety. This is not a task to be done in writing workshop. Instead, do a two day grammar study after the end of a unit that doesn’t fit into writing workshop. (Days before Thanksgiving!)
- Interludes and Extravaganzas – Not pretending it’s writing workshop!
Some thoughts about Decoding/Encoding –
- Natural spellers – brain has a graphic – you literally see the word
- You will use spell check.
- You will ask others to check your work.
- IF you are a teacher who is not a natural speller, you will be more sympathetic!
- 5th graders now write more than they have ever written in the past.
- But for our young writers using digital spelling, they won’t spell words accurately.
What are the Stages of Acquisition?
- Code Switching
Consider where you are on this list of stages? Where are your students? Are there a few students who are still stuck back in those earlier stages? How can you get them to move on to higher levels? The best answer would be MORE reading and MORE writing!
- Most kids learn 80% of words they will use from lap reading – the way they have been speaking and been read to!!!
- When you see students do something – run on sentences is not all bad. Some would consider those students “lucky” because they have a lot to write about. Then they need to work on writing long for internal punctuation. The more they read, the more control they will get over it.
- Mastery – ending punctuation 1st grade
- Ending punctuation is often still an issue – 8th grade teachers!
- Students drop control when get to something hard. Spend cognitive energy on completing task not spelling. Need more practice – more scrimmage time for students.
- Just know that as fast as we teach, students are still in slippage stage!
- Code Switching – switching from formal to digital – many students don’t notice when this happens
- Coping strategies – proof reading – Students need to know when this is necessary
- Intellectually and professionally difficult to proofread and edit own writing – don’t see the errors! How do you compensate for this?
Lynne Truss’s book, Eats Shoots & Leaves (Profile Books 2003), has a wonderful Dear Jack letter.
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy – will you let me be yours?
How could changing the punctuation change the meaning of this letter?
Without moving ANY words around!
You try it!
Here was Lynne Truss’s version with the exact same words but different punctuation.
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men I yearn! For you I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?
What if students created these?
What if students “played” with punctuation?
What if teachers REALLY quit correcting and fixing?
What if students were asked to think deeply about changing the meaning?
What are the components of quality grammar lessons?
Connection – Why?
Teaching Demo – How do we do this?
Active Engagement – We try it!
Link – When?
Would it maybe sound like . . . “Writers are considerate to their readers. When there is a new character, new setting, or a time change, a writer begins a new paragraph. The reader needs the white spaces. (Read aloud with demo.) Let’s go to the story I’m writing here. Where do I need a paragraph? Work with a partner and be prepared to explain both “where” a paragraph should begin and why. . . Now choose one page in your notebook and think about how paragraphs (white spaces) could help your reader.”
Would a lesson like this be more likely to transfer to student writing?
The old way of “doing grammar” has not succeeded in transferring to writing, so maybe this is worth a shot!
Conversation with a partner could possibly result in a more powerful lesson and return some power to the students! The teacher could share that England actually has a position known as the “Defender of the English Language”. Who (and not the teacher) could be that person in our classroom?
If you decide to use an inquiry method, here are a few tips!
- Have 1 question – not 10
- Plan strategically. The Inquiry activity should be no longer than 20 minutes.
- Then give students 10 minutes to figure out one or two things to try.
- The final 10 minutes of class provide time for the students to go try the skill in their own writing – ACTUALLY doing it!
- Immediate application makes the skill more likely to STICK!
What are qualities of mentor texts to use for grammar?
Engaging and does a few things really well!
What else could you use for grammar instruction?
We exited to the Schoolhouse Rock Video:Schoolhouse Rock Xavier Sarsaparilla. Hmm. . . multi-media to build up knowledge, power, and a bit of fun.
How do you think grammar fits into writing workshop?