Tag Archives: writing volume

#SOL19: Day 2 SOLSC


I took a leap of faith in December.  I planned to attend PD in Maine, a state I had never been to, in December.

Foolish?

Courageous?

Star- Struck? After all, it was a day spent with Penny Kittle and Linda Rief. A day with a title of Read, Write, Teach. Yah! (Link)

But one of the best parts of the trip was the time spent with Paula Bourque, sketchnoter extraordinaire, and our conversations about “Low Stakes Writing” to pump up writing volume.

Writing Volume: 

Is it ever possible to write enough? 

Is it possible to write too much?

And I was a bit of a skeptic.

NOPE!

 I was a HUGE skeptic!

I hate assigned topic writing!

“You want me to write what?”

I would be that student.

I would not cause a fuss.

But I would disappear into the restroom.

Check out the books for sale.

OR stick my nose in a book.

Quietly!

But after our conversations, I read the book.  I couldn’t wait to try out a couple of the QuickWrites because these are not “assign one every day” type prompts.

Screenshot 2019-03-01 at 8.53.45 PM

This post is based on Paula Bourque’s new book that you can preview with this link: Spark! Quick Writes to Kindle the Hearts and Minds in Elementary Classrooms and Paula’s Day 1 slice here.

“This quick write Spark! is a sentence stem from Chapter 8 Teacher Quick Writes (p.155) I sometimes share a Google doc with teachers with stems like this one for them to share their ideas. These collaborative quick writes are a fun way to build a writing community.”  (Paula Bourque, March 1 Slice of Life)

You know you are a nerdy teacher if

You talk literacy, reading and writing, at family events.

You share books and/or literacy materials as gifts.

Your calendar lists the publication date with titles of new books.

You calendar time to read or write.

You plan your use of “miles” or “points” for conferences.

You plan your vacations around literacy conferences.

You have a second job or two to fund your need to have books and writing tools.

You can name the opening lines of at least 10 books without a breath of air.

You recommend books, articles or “must read blogs” at least once a day.

You have semi-voiced conversations with authors as in “Really? That was the best you could do?”  or “Wait a second. When did you tie that in?”

You can break any box down to recyclable state in less than one minute.

You donate cardboard to Maker Space groups.

You know the names of more than one UPS driver due to book deliveries.

Process: This was a 10 minute timed write (Nerdy Teacher statements – not the intro to the post).  

What can you ‘Quick Write” in 10 minutes? 

When do YOU work on writing volume? 

(Psst:  Are you a Nerdy Teacher?)




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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#SOL18: March 11


Last week I introduced you to N on March 8 and March 9. We’re hyper focused on helping this 5th grader (recent move in) literally get moving in writing.  He wants to write. He listens. He participates. He talks. He uses all the language. His first on demand was rated at a kindergarten level in November and our goal is a third grade level by the end of May.  But he writes so little each day that it is hard to verify real writing growth.

Approximately 50 days to make that growth . . . we have ambitious goals!

How do you make decisions about changing instruction?  Or Practice?  Or Allocation of Time?

I like to think organically.  I use my friend Lynn’s quote often.

“I’m old.  I forget because my brain leaks.” (Lynn Selking, personal conversations)

So I like to start simply.  I’m not adding anything new until I know enough that I’m pretty sure my suggestion(s) will be productive.

So what does that really mean? 

First Step:  Current State of Instruction

I consider the balance of writing work in the classroom.  Is everything in sync? 

Mini lessons – 10 minutes or less?

Writing Time – at least 40 minutes during writing workshop?

Mid-Workshop Interruption – daily for 2-3 minutes?

Sharing – daily for 5-6 minutes?

Partnerships – daily talk and working together?

Small groups – planful and executed efficiently?

Conferences – Teach the writer and not the piece of writing?

Other writing opportunities across the day?

What is the role of TALK across the day?

What are students REALLY doing?

All of this is internal data.

No program.

No pinterest.

No TpT.

First round thinking as we consider current classroom work.

Everything is fairly solid.

Second Step: 

Name the current student behaviors with a focus on strengths.

Begin to brainstorm strategic actions to increase intensity of instruction.

With N, our draft looked like this:

Screenshot 2018-03-10 at 7.37.56 PM.png

Questions: 

  • What has a history of working?
  • What will maximize N’s writing time?
  • What is feasible?
  • What is efficient?
  • Are there charts/tools that we could pull from previous grades?

At this time, we know that lack of writing instruction in these grades (K, 1, 2, 3, 4, part of 5) may be part of the problem.  How can we compress time and increase productivity?

Process:

Dependent on what actually works, we have time for three or four focused two-three week cycles of instruction.  Beginning with our end goal, we are planning backwards.  Planning for lean instruction, lean conferencing, lean teacher work and ways to increase N’s independence in writing.  Is it confidence-building that he needs?  How can we  recircuit his thinking so N has a growth mindset?

What process do you use for problem solving? 

How do you use the resources that you have BEFORE looking for outside solutions? 

What would you add to this list?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

#SOL18: March 9


Day 1 

N wrote 2 paragraphs. (Approximately 11 lines)

I was there.

Day 2

N wrote 6 paragraphs. (Included dialogue and was 15 lines)

I was there.

Day 3

N wrote 4 paragraphs. (Approximately 10 lines)

I was not there but had left a video and a page of my writing.

So what’s my plan?

I’m a goal setter and a “UbD’er” (Understanding by Design – backwards planning).

Here’s my goal for next week. Use this paper and see if N can write at least one complete story of 3-4 pages with some conferencing each day.

Thank you, Melanie Meehan, for sharing your opinion and information scaffolded paper. The items in the box are from the third grade checklist.  (link)

 

 

If he writes approximately 50 lines, that will be 333% increase over previous writing.

Success Goal: 

Two of these stories in a week.  Then remove the checklists from the paper and see if the writing volume remains high and constant.(Previously his writing work ranged from 2-4 lines in a day.)

To recap our work (or you can read here)

Week 1

Conference

Shared Writing

Shared Writing

Pseudo-Shared Writing via video

???  Student Choice

Week 2

Scaffolded Checklist Paper – Narrative Story Writing  – Repeat 5 days

Week 3

Write Using “Regular” Writing Paper

What would you add to this plan? 

What would your measure of success be?

How have you increased volume of writing for students?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

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