The components of a balanced writing curriculum
Click and type in a question or comment
In what "open-to-the-public" venues will you be presenting during the next few months (February-August, 2013)? Also, could you recommend a book for grade 3-5 teachers that is comparable to your Reading/Writing Connections in the K-2 Classroom? We are looking for a presenter to address both K-2 and 3-5 groups who are new to the reading/writing workshop model and we would like to provide an appropriate text for all participants. --Debbie, ELA Consultant
oops - I should proofread - that's "idea" without the 4!
I love the id4ea of "life topic!" My challenge is a beginning language learner (fourth grade) who only writes about "world wrestling smackdown" - whatever that is. Maybe I'll let him play with that a little instead of always urging him to write about something else and maybe I'll learn a little about wrestling as well. Lucky me!
Susan, ESL Teacher
Writing partnerships are a structure that many people have as a part of their Writing Workshop. In a nutshell it's a way for students to meet with someone (either before they write or after they write) and have conversations. The conversations might be ways for them to give feedback to one another. Some times students practice orally with a partner what they are planning on writing next. I hope this is helpful!
Hi, i must have missed this point during the workshops. What are Writing Partnerships?
Hi Laura, It looks as though there may be a Burlington Writing Workshop Institute the week of August 10th. If you want more information you should contact Darlene Worth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Laura, As far as I know I'm not presenting in Vermont this summer but you might want to contact BOCES in Burlington to see what their final plans are for that. I will be doing a 3 day introduction to Writing Workshop in Albany, New York August 4th, 5th and 6th. You can check out the information at http://www.bocesinstructionalresources.org/PDFs/Insitute%20brochure.pdf Go down to the bottom of the page and you'll see the Writing Institute and how to sign up. I hope that's helpful. Leah
Hi Leah- I apologize, I tried to email you but it wouldn't go through so I am trying this! I am a kindergarten teacher in Williston, VT and I was really hoping to take your K-2 Writer's Workshop this summer in the Burlington area. Am I correct that you will not be coming here? Also wondering if you will be teaching elsewhere as I may be willing to travel!! Thanks- Laura
Hi Christy, I am presenting there again this summer. This summer however I am working with the folks who are brand new to writing workshop. I am not sure what their plans are for returning folks, but I'm sure it's good. You might want to check with the Boces in that area as they are in charge and will know more about the other presenters. I hope to see you! Leah
Hi Leah, i attended a workshop that you presented last year at guilderland high school. i was wondering if you plan on presenting again this summer and if so what the topic would be? thanks, Christy (kindergarten teacher- Schenectady City School Districts)
Hi Judy, It's great to hear from you. Different teachers handle 'sending home work' differently. I think I would have students once a month bring at least one piece to publication. After they finished that piece I would celebrate in some way in the classroom and then have students bring the writing home. In terms of classrooms in NYC I think the best bet is to contact The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. They work in many New York City schools and could help you locate a school to visit. Leah
Hi Leah, I am a kindergarten teacher in East Longmeadow, Mass. This year I am piloting the Units of Study for Primary Writing. Thank you for creating such a informative teacher friendly program. I feel that I have learned so much about teaching writing and have changed my approach to teaching writing completely. The children love writers work shop and look forward to writing. I have two questions for you: When do you send home their finished writing? I am interested in doing a classroom observation in a school that has been trained in your program. Can you recommend a school in New York City? I look forward to hearing from you. Respectfully, Judy D. Bates
Hi Kelly, Thanks for sharing! It's always great to hear stories of students and the ways in which their writng has improved. Have a great start to the year and keep me updated on your write alouds. All my best, Leah
Leah, I just wanted to give you some feedback. I just completed teachig a three week, half day, summer enrichment program. During the program my instruction centered completed around writer's workshop. I had 17 first grade students, all but two are considered at risk or are already classified. I am soooooo happy to tell you that the write alouds were amazingly beneficial. We did some immersion with non-fiction text and the chidren were able to identify many elements of the craft involved in writing non-fiction. They picked up on so much more than I ever would have expected. The noticed print variations, and the students were actually requesting to "try it" ....they transferred several elements of craft into their own pieces! I was really overwhelmed. Now something funy...remember the Mrs. K Spilled the Juice story??? Well during our circle time about five days in, one of the students wanted to share something they had noticed about the non-fiction book they had.....it was about spiders. Well...then another student came flying out of the bathroom because there were two real spiders in there...the security officer had to come in and get rid of the spiders (because I don't like to kill anything). After all of that excitment...another student said that he had some plastic spiders to show us...then, almost on cue, a student said, "Let's make a book together and call it "The Very Spidery Day".... We did just that, and the students incorporated much of what they had learned. During this time one of the kindergarten teachers came into the room and just observed. She told me that she could not believe her eyes. Four of her former kindergartners who struggled to orally construct a cohesive sentence, were participating. I now have my own juice story (which, by the way, I cherish). I just can't believe the write aloud. It went so well, and happened so authentically. The students wrote their own books called, "A Day in the Life". They ranged from 6 pages to one page in length, and several used the format of our class book. The write aloud was such a huge tool for the students, and the class book provided guided, risk-free pratice as well as a format for reluctant writers. I had several students go for it and just write their own story. The were proud to share, and enjoyed the celebration....I video taped them (ADORABLE). I also video taped them reading there own writing from another classbook we did for the new teachers being hired in our district....They called it, "Good Teachers". Students began with, A good teacher......... and finshed with a thought and picture. A few really touched me....like, A good teacher is someone who plays with you when the othr teachers just watch. Genuis!!!! Another student said, A good teacher is someone you miss when you are at home. I think that children are some of the most insightful people on the planet. Warm regards. Kelly
No I think that they can be upper grade structures as well. Once the year begins I'm sure teachers are going to start writing about their experiences with this work in their classrooms. You might want to check in and read what they write. I'm sure you'll be able to make many connections on how to make this work in your upper grade classroom.
Interesting - Do you see these as more primary structures or could you employ these in the upper grades? Ryan
Hi Ryan, I'm actually not talking about different types of units although that is an interesting conversation as well. Rather I am talking about the components both inside and outside of a writing workshop that support skillful and independent writers. Specifically I'm speaking about Write Aloud, Shared/Interactive Writing and Guided Writing. Leah
What are the components of a balanced writing curriculum? Are you leading toward a discussion on incorporating a blend of process, craft and genre units into the curriculum calendar? I find striking the balance to be a challenge at times . . . Ryan, Springs School
I had the pleasure of working with an amazing group of teachers, studying the components of a balanced writing curriculum. I would love to use this page as a way for us to continue that conversation. I would love to hear what works and doesn't work in your classroom!