Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Fifth Grade Poetry UOS materials list March 28, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,units of study,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:25 pm
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  • Materials
  • Student copies of two poems, such as “Packing,” page 43, and “The Photo-graph,” page 19, in My Name Is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River by Jane Medina or other poems of your choice
  • Large variety of poetry books at different reading levels
  • Overhead and student copies of teacher-selected poem with strong concrete imagery, such as “Weeding With Dad,” page 52, in Baseball, Snakes, and Summer Squash by Donald Graves or “The Photograph,” page 19, in My Name Is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River by Jane Medina
  • Overhead and student copies of “Crafting Images” graphic organizer
  • Overhead and student copies of “October Saturday” from Lesson 12
  • More poems reflecting strong emotional element, such as “The Accident,” page 66, and “Giggling in Church,” page 70, in Baseball, Snakes, and Summer Squash: Poems About Growing Up by Donald Graves, “Rags” p. 13
  • Student copies of “Poetry Reflection” worksheet from The No-Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing, pages 227-228, by Judy Davis and Sharon Hill, or your own reflection form (see end of this lesson)
  • pp. 159-160 The No-Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing
  • Lesson D-8, “Using White Space in a Poem” from Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi
  • Overhead and student copies of notebook entries from Lesson D-8, “Using White Space in a Poem,” Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi
  • Lesson I-2, “Create a Poem from a Story,” from Teaching the Qualities of Writing by JoAnn Portalupi and Ralph Fletcher
  • I-3, L-6 from Teaching the Qualities of Writing by JoAnn Portalupi and Ralph Fletcher
  • Lesson D-14, “Use a Double Focus in a Poem,” from Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi
  • Student copies of “Grandpa’s Shoes,” from Lesson D-14, “Use a Double Focus in a Poem,” Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi
  • Lesson P–17, “Use Fragments When You Write a Poem,” from Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi
  • Student copies of “Hockey Practice at 5 a.m.” from Lesson P–17, “Use Fragments When You Write a Poem,” Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi
  • Chart paper for shared writing poem
  • Source lesson: “Six-Room-Poem” from Awakening the Heart by Georgia Heard
  • Resource: Regie Routman’s Kids Poems
  • Mentor poems about personal experiences or mentor poets who have written about personal experiences or important things in their lives, such as “Autumn Thoughts” or “Aunt Sue’s Stories” in The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes; or “Weeding With Dad,” page 52, or “Faking It,” page 75, in Baseball, Snakes, and Summer Squash: Poems About Growing Up by Donald Graves
  • Overhead of teacher-created poem about interesting or important topic
  • Chart paper to create “Where Poets Get Their Ideas” chart
 

Poetry Unit of Study grade five

Filed under: Calkins,Poetry,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:47 pm
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I raved about this unit last spring and have finally gotten around to putting it on a flash drive so I can bring it home from work to post on my blog.

Here is Reading Lesson 1 and Writing Lesson 1 from the fifth grade unit. Denver Public Schools curriculum uses Units of Study and have great resources.

Reading Lesson 1: Immersing Ourselves in Poetry

Materials

  • Student copies of two poems, such as “Packing,” page 43, and “The Photo-graph,” page 19, in My Name Is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River by Jane Medina or other poems of your choice
  • Large variety of poetry books at different reading levels

Intended Learning

• Students are immersed in the language and visual design of poetry to deepen their understanding of the genre’s elements.

Big Ideas

• Understand poetry elements, including word choice, rhythm, rhyme, imagery, metaphor, and visual design.

• Create mental images to understand literary language and deepen comprehension.

Mini-Lesson

In Guiding Readers and Writers, Fountas and state, “When you immerse your students in rich, lively poetry, you introduce them to intense, concise, skillfully crafted language.” In this unit, you need large collections of poetry at a variety of reading levels that fit this description.

The intention of the first two lessons in this unit is to let students experience poetry before they begin to think about what makes poetry.

Connection

Begin by sharing with students that “In a way, everything they need to know about reading and writing is in a poem” (Fountas and Pinnell, Guiding Readers and Writers). Explain that for the next few weeks, we immerse ourselves in this genre and discover just what they mean. Similar to the way we began our study of nonfiction and fiction literature, today we explore what we notice about poetry through a “Poetry Pass.”

Teaching

Arrange students so they can easily pass poetry to each other, as well as write notes on their “Poetry Pass” graphic organizers (see template at the end of this lesson).

Ideally, in a “Poetry Pass,” each student should access one poem or poetry anthology. The purpose of this exercise is to allow students to conduct what is similar to a conventional interview, with a poem.

Distribute copies of the “Poetry Pass” graphic organizer and examples of two poems. Place the graphic organizer on the overhead and do a think-aloud to model what information goes in each column, using a copied poem as an example.

Explain a scan is a brief look at a piece of literature without actually reading all the way through it, and a snippet is a piece or sample. Therefore, the “Scan, Snippet” column is a place for writing poem-specific noticings, such as titles catching your attention, line lengths, poem shape, or interesting words. Write an appropriate snippet example in the column, based on the poem you chose for an example (see the chart at the end of this lesson for an example using “Packing” by Jane Medina).

The “Comments” column can include things, such as how the poem makes you think or feel, if you are interested in spending more time with the poem or book, or poems you did not like.

Active Engagement

Using the second poem, allow students to do try-its with partners. Invite students to “Turn and Talk” about the second poem and fill in their “Poetry Pass” graphic organizers. Invite a pair of students to share how they filled out their organizers.

Link

Tell students during their independent time today, they choose poems or poetry books to use to fill out their “Poetry Pass” graphic organizers. When they hear the bell ring (or another signal of your choice), they will hand their poems or poetry books to the next person. They have three minutes between each pass to record information on their organizers. Allow about 25-30 minutes for this exercise.

Independent and Small Group Time

• Students read independently from poetry books and/or teacher-selected poems.

• Confer with individual students and/or provide small group instruction.

Sharing/Closure

• Give partners two to three minutes to “Turn and Talk” about information they recorded on their “Poetry Pass” graphic organizers.

• Invite one person from each group to briefly share some information recorded specifically in the “Scan and Snippet” category.

• Explain how their noticings in this column will help them in future lessons as they build on what they know about poetry.

Poetry Pass

Author Title Scan, Snippet Comment
Jane “Packing” Random indentations The title makes me wonder where they are going
 

Welcome Spring March 20, 2010

For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, you know I’ve been silent for a while. Thanks to those who didn’t give up, but kept coming back to see if I was talking yet.

I moved in mid-January (which has been wonderful), had four ‘extra’ snow days to unpack, but the rest has been hard.It’s not even been “my” hardness that has been hard, but our small town has been suffering through immense sadness.

I’ve spent many days plotting a trip to TCRWP for their March Reunion weekend. I figured if a shot of Jerry Spinelli, Lucy Calkins, Katherine Bomer, Alfred Tatum, and Jim Trelease mixed with the TC energy couldn’t fix my funk, I might need to seek professional help! Unfortunately (or fortunately from my husband’s point of view), I could not find anyone who thought NYC was ‘just a road trip’ from Columbus.

If I was there I’d be getting ready to walk into Riverside Church to hear Jerry Spinelli’s ‘Failure, Fried Chicken, Fiction’ keynote. I would then be trying to decide if I was going to hear Mary Enrenworth’s talk on “Reading Historical Fiction: The Project’s Latest Thinking on the Intersection Between Deep Comprehension, Interpretation, and Book Clubs” or Jen Serravallo’s “Reading Conferring and Small Group Work in a Classroom of Accountability”. I would then skip off to see Jerry Maraia, who was my TC staff developer last summer, talk, “My Students Just Retell! Getting Readers to Think Deeply About Their Books by Supporting Inference and Synthesis”. After lunch I would have been hard pressed to pick between Tiffany Nealy’s “Unit of Study on Mystery Book Clubs”, “The Intersection of RtI and Reading Workshop” (not because it makes my heart go pitty-pat, but because I have to think, talk, and advocate about the topic endlessly, or “Grammar Instruction on the Go! Creating Demonstrations Sketchbooks to Support Small Group Instruction in Writing”. (I will admit that I just flipped over to Expedia to see if a magical plane ticket for cheap had just appeared. I know I am nutty, but I’m a good nut). I will now make myself stop looking at the Workshop Schedule.

I haven’t been able to make myself read and finish a book. I’ve started several, but after a chapter I’ve put them down. Today, I vow that I will pick one up and finish it. It’s not good for me not to read.

Here’s the positive I’m going to focus on-

  • It’s the first day of Spring!
  • My kids and hubby are healthy and happy!
  • Not only am I going to attend a week of the July Summer Reading Institute, but I will have a teacher from the elementary school there as well! The August Reading Institute has another elementary teacher and two intermediate teachers! We have two on wait list for July! This is huge for us!
  • I have a huge TBR pile!
  • Four days until spring break!
  • I love walking two blocks to get a coffee, an ice cream cone, or a drink!
 

I love kid writing November 13, 2009

Filed under: writing — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:20 am
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I am in love with student writing. I never cease to be amazed at what kids can do with a little bit of instruction and a little bit of time.

My son is a classic hard case second grade boy. He never has anything to write about; it’s like pulling teeth for his poor teacher. She’s generated lists with him. She’s had us work on an expert list at home. Every generating trick known to teacher-kind, she’s tried it.

It seems that we  have turned the corner.

This past week while we were in his parent teacher conference, he sat and wrote a “book”. It’s “4 chapters”.

Of course before he could write, he had to construct a fort in the corner of my office made of a pad of chart paper and a computer printer box roof. He then found “special” paper to be his writer’s notebook.

He said he wanted to write a fiction book. I, of course being me, suggested he take a real-life problem and turn it into a story (classic UOS Calkins’ generating technique). Take for instance, his desire to have a lizard. I suggested he write a story about a boy who wants a lizard and the things he does to get his parents to get him a lizard.

“Mom, that can’t be a fiction story because that’s really going to happen. I’m going to get a lizard.” (Poor delusional boy-No truly means no).

Instead he decides to write about “his” lizard. He calls the “paragraphs” chapters and makes a cover page, staples it together, and is ready to read it to all who will listen. My favorite part is the about the author at the end.

“Simon wishes to be a cartoonist. He has a lot of hopes and dreams.” Squiggly lines to represent more writing

Right before we had left for parent-teacher conferences, I’d been reading parts of the NCTE annual convention program aloud and exclaiming in excitement for different parts of it. At the end there are Both kids had been peering over my shoulder to see what authors were going to be there and if they recognized any of the book titles. Jeff Kinney of Wimpy Kid fame will be there and his “About the Author” was the inspiration for my son’s about the author.

Mentor texts in a whole new light! I had not thought to have kids use the “About the Author” for inspiration for writing theirs. We’ll have to give it a try!

 

School Visit–Reading & Writing Workshop November 6, 2009

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Unit of Study Fiction Writing Grades 3-5 October 27, 2009

Here are my notes from my first session at TCRWP Reunion Weekend. The presenter was a dynamo!

Writing- Short Fiction

Quick Look at Writing Process:

  • Generating (3-4 days)
  • Choosing (1 day)
  • Developing (5-6 days)
  • Drafting (1-2 days)
  • Revising (3 days)
  • Editing (2 days)
  • Publishing (1 day)

 

Generating (3 days; 4 if not enough blurbs to choose from Writing Story Blurbs-what the story could be about (do for 3-4 days)

  • Chart: Writers Generate Ideas By:
    • Paying attention to the issues (problems) in their lives –don’t let them pick too big of an idea
    • Imaging stories we wish existed in the world
    • Rereading their narrative entries in their writers notebooks and asking themselves, “How could I turn this into a different story?”
      • be very focused-specific-don’t pick whole story (example-playground)
        • 3rd grade-friendship-what happens at recess, can relate to through many times
        • Stories should match their age!!

3-4 days of Story Blurb Writing-We are filling up our notebooks!

Don’t worry about spelling and grammar at this point

Immediately draw a line and have 10-12 pieces (story blurbs) to choose from

  • Story Blurb examples:
  • Maybe I could write about these two girls competing…
  • Maybe I could write about a boy who goes to summer camp…
  • I wish I could read a story about a boy named Josh…

Writers, you are always saying there are no good stories to read in the library and…

  • Somebody…Wanted…But…So

          Pushes them to develop problem

Somebody Wanted (Feared, cared) Because But/so
Jade Cared about her dog Scruffy Because Scruffy was very special to her Her dog ran away and didn’t come back
Bill Wanted to find out why his mom was going out at night Because his mom had just gotten divorced He followed her and found out she was dating

Pick one from chart and stretch out into a story blurb

Mentor Text-Those Shoes

          Not “perfect” ending

          Not she wanted a dog so her mom bought her a dog

  • Choosing (1 day to select)
  • Developing/Nurturing/Rehearsal-need to spend more time on this so 1 day on story mountains or timelines 
  • Drafting
  • Revising
    • Dictionary definition-
      • to prepare a newly edited version (of a text)
      • to reconsider and change or modify-put on a different set of lenses
      • Editing
      • Publishing (1 day)
Possible Teaching Points for Generating with some Predictable problems and strategies

  • Trouble Coming Up with a Story Idea
  • Story Doesn’t Match the Genre
  • Students writing stories about themselves
  • Students Do Not Understand the Problem Arc

 

  • Trouble Coming Up with a Story Idea

                    Bring in mentor texts—that you could take and change-example Those Shoes

                   If you were reading this book what would you say about it? Is it interesting. Would you tell me what isn’t interesting. Let’s make something happen! Make idea stronger and working with it.

  • Story Doesn’t Match the Genre (flying, ghosts-we will do fantasy later in the year)
    • Ask Yourself, “Can it happen to you?” no superhero magic endings
  • Students writing stories about themselves

          How Can we tweak this?
                   Maybe different problem

                   Never say, “bad idea”-say “great idea-Let’s try tweaking it.”

  • Students Do Not Understand the problem arc-they solve the story immediately
Possible Teaching Points for Developing with some Predictable problems and strategies

  • Choosing a story they think is strong enough, one they want to work on and one they think they can write well
    • Which one do you want to work on and which one do you think they can write really well.
    • Writers can develop their internal and external traits and not holding on to the problem in the story—

 

  • Choosing a story they think is strong enough, one they want to work on and one they think they can write well
    • Which one do you want to work on and which one do you think they can write really well.
    • Writers can develop their internal and external traits and not holding on to the problem in the story—
Struggle Problem Internal (limit the #) External
He wants to be popular so he lies and says he cheated when he didn’t Bob has let his friend cheat from his test. He gets caught because teacher thinks
  • Usually honest
  • Good student
  • Smart
  • lonely
medium heightbrown hair

only child

freckles

  • Think about problem first
  • Shy girl problem-wouldn’t be super friendly and loud
  • 3rd Grade-booklets
    • Storytelling using story booklets-touch page and say aloud-do at least twice each
  • 4th/5th Grade
    • Creating story mountains with small actions
    • Breaking down their story mountains into smaller scenes by thinking about:
      •  change of setting
      • change of time
      • when new characters enter or leave the scene

Sketching our scene

  • Use a sentence strip
    • Rules: have to show time of day by including a clock or night/day
  • Bigger scenes-more happens
  • Smaller scenes-make boxes reflect that
  • Notebooks away-no looking during sketching the story
           
1 2 3 4 5 6

Story Mountain example- Illustrate how to put—Boxes around scene

On Choosing Day:

  • have them bring notebook and put a little star next to which one they think is strong enough
  • thumbs-up when you have your idea
  • give post-it note to thumbs-up and quickly see/assess ideas
  • 10-20 minutes on rug to choose
  • Let strugglers take notebook home the night before to pre-pick
Predictable Problems During Choosing/Developing

  • 1 dimensional characters
  • Story doesn’t have a clear plot
  • Struggling with creating a scene
  • The solution is without struggle
  • There is no tension building up

 

  • 1 dimensional characters
    • Really evil or really nice
  • Story doesn’t have a clear plot (story doesn’t make sense)
    • Bring them back to Somebody, wanted, but, so
  • Struggling with creating a scene (what could happen before she got what she wanted)
  • The solution is without struggle
  • There is no tension building up
    • Teach how to slow scene down
      • Add: show don’t tell
        • Show internal thinking
        • Add action or dialogue

ALL BEFORE DRAFTING!!!

What does drafting look like:

          Big scene-full sheet of paper

          Small scene-half sheet of paper

 

I find a school visit to be one of the most powerful professional development tool October 17, 2009

We are taking the following books to Public School 41 when we go for our school visit next Friday. A small thank you token to the teachers, administrators, and staff…We are going to take 6 copies of each so teachers whose classrooms we visit feel appreciated.

Jackie robinsonTesting the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson & Kadir Nelson

Old Bear by Kevin Henkes only in dreams

Only in Dreams: A Bedtime Story by Paul Frank

old bear

We are also taking along copies of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Interesting Items About their school:

  • There is a School District Parent Coordinator whose job is to facilitate communication at the front-line between parents, teachers, and staff
  • There is an Extended Day option for students who need extra instructional support in a small group setting that can be mandated or voluntary from 8:00-8:50 Monday-Thursday
  • Reading Recovery is a reading intervention program used with First Graders
  • 2 times a month there are Family Mornings-families are then invited to stay after drop-off to observe literacy and math
  • Cluster classes are part of regular classroom instruction throughout the school year and include: Science, Physical Education, Art, Music, Computer, Theater and Movement.
  • Choice is an additional double period cluster class chosen by the students in 4th & 5th Grade. Past offerings have included Expression Art, Computer, Violin, Physical Education, Chess, Art, Science, Math Enrichment, Music and Chorus.
  • There are two part-time literacy staff developers  and one full-time math staff developer assigned to the building. In addition they have a TCRWP Staff Developer who comes in and leads classroom lab sites in reading and writing as well as study groups
  • Collaborative Team Teaching Class (CTT) -Their CTT class is a model for the entire New York City school system. At PS41 each grade has one CTT class, which has one full time general education teacher and one full time special education teacher.
    • In the CTT classes, the ratio is approximately 60% general education students and 40% special education students. Our inclusion classes provide the same curriculum as our other classes, with the added benefit of a higher staffing ratio and a great deal of support.
    • The Committee for Special Education (CSE) places the children who are on the special education side of the CTT class. The school administration places the children on the general education side of the CTT class. Children on the general education side are “model” students — they must model excellent behavioral and learning habits — and cannot be receiving any special services themselves to be in a CTT class.
 

It’s Hard Keeping Up… September 24, 2009

I don’t know why I am finding it more difficult to keep up with my blog lately. I guess it’s that school is at a full, rolling boil! I haven’t had much time to read either. I actually think it might be related to the ages (and phases) my children are currently.

Even though I haven’t been blogging about it, lots of good things continue to happen. The good news is:

I have gotten to experience and fall in love with so many different groups of students this fall as they get started with writing workshop.

I had a great PD day with a grade level that I didn’t have much of an opportunity to work with last year. The dedication to kids and learning in my colleagues is always so inspiring.

I was able to talk a small group of teachers into spending their own money to travel to the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Fall Reunion . You can’t beat Katherine Patterson and Lucy Calkins in one venue! Legal teacher crack!

 

Make My Day September 13, 2009

Sometimes I worry about Facebook.

Is it mentally healthy to be able to stay connected to your childhood friends especially when you live in your childhood town?

Do I really want everyone who is my Facebook friend to be able to read my blog when that is not the audience I intend it for?

All kinds of other silly worries… I know I shouldn’t worry, but…I am me.

But on the other hand I recently received a message from a friend that I haven’t seen nearly enough in the past year (names changed for privacy). That is a positive of Facebook!

Subject: good feedback…

“I’ve been wanting to share with you…  last week I was asking the girls what their favorite part of the first week of school was.  Sally said that your writing time was her favorite, as she proceeded to tell me all about three stories that she started writing (along with a story that you had shared with them).  I didn’t even have to coax her beyond recess!  Thanks for your dedication to all of our kids and their education!  We are so fortunate to have educators and friends like you!”

How much do I LOVE that!

Not that I was her favorite part of her first week of school, but that WRITING was her favorite part! Presentation and storytelling is so important in inspiring young writers! Getting to kick off writing workshop in multiple classroom over multiple weeks has been a blast! It doesn’t matter what the age, their stories are so great, and the ability for kids to learn quickly how to shape words to pull their reader in is darn amazing. I’ve gotten to hear/read during writing conferences with students about how the wind blows your hair back from your face as you go up the incline of a roller coaster and how to feels to pull back the string (so not the actual word) on the bow of your first deer hunt while your dad whispers in your ear and lets you take the first shot (I hate hunting but was able to marvel at his words.).

Pretty amazing. I love my job and I love that most every work day includes a happy, waist-high hug, and enthusiastic silent waves from students on their way from one part of the building to the next.

 

Launching Writing Workshop in Third Grade again, and again, and again… August 29, 2009

I haven’t been in an elementary school for the first week of school in eight years; I had forgotten what a magical time of year it is to be there! My first week of school for the past eight years has been in an intermediate school-grades four through six. I, of course, love the first week of school no matter where I am located, but there is just something indescribable about the aura younger children walk into to school with. Wide-eyed, ready to love anyone who is kind to them, elementary students radiate what schools should try to be all about-excitement over whatever lies just up ahead….

I advised a friend recently, when she worried about sending her youngest off to school next year-how hard that first day alone would be for her, to ask the principal to be a greeter at the school her oldest attend. Standing in a school hallway that first day (not having to worry about your first lesson or the growing pile of paperwork demanding attention on your desk), directing students the right way to a classroom, assisting a new student nervously trying to negotiate the building, is guaranteed to snap anyone (maybe not the Grinch, pre-Cindy Loo Who) into a happy place. Even if no student needs help, I know that just greeting familiar student faces after a summer away, is a happy thing.

We are trying to continue to grow our writing instruction and ourselves as teachers of writers. I know from personal experience, how nerve-wracking it can be for a teacher to jump with both feet into something new. While I think Lucy Calkins is absolutely brilliant, I believe the Units of Study for Teaching Writing books are a little hard to read and then process what they would look in your classroom. I still use them, recommend them, buy them, but I want to share a couple things I have learned about “using” them over the past years.

Let me tell you how it went for me the first time I tried one of the lessons from Units of Study for Teaching Writing, grades 3-6.

I read the lesson, and re-read the lesson and decided a little note card would help me remember all the key points I wanted to make sure I hit. After all, the first lesson in the book does span more than ten pages.

I did the connection. I told them what I was going to teach them. I demonstrated using my writing on chart paper what I wanted them to do.

I kept demonstrating.

My mini-lesson stretched out to 25 minutes. Realizing that I was out of time, I skipped the active engagement section, and sent them off to write.

For about six minutes.

I congratulated myself mentally on getting through the mini-lesson during those six minutes and got myself ready for the share portion of the lesson. I skipped the conferring part of the lesson.

I called them back to the gathering area and congratulated them on the work they had done as writers. Then I proceed to do a share-

letting every child share one thing (the only way I knew how to do a share) while watching the clock tick by for my read-aloud time.

Next day-

Had reviewed the lesson and my “cheat sheet” notecard. Realized that I hadn’t done the part of the lesson where I showed the students how an author had done what I was teaching them. Read the picture book aloud to them-highlighting the parts that illustrated my point. Realized that once again, the time was almost gone, sent them back to try it in their writing,

For about six minutes.

I think it took me three days to get through all the parts mentioned in the first lesson. Needless to say, my first unit of study lasted ten weeks instead of the suggested month.

You get the idea.

I didn’t realize that of all the things I was trying to do, the independent writing time and the conferring (that I usually skipped) was the most important part of all those lessons. I could see my students growing as writers in front of my eyes, but didn’t realize how much more they could have done if I had just stopped talking sooner and provided them with more time to work independently while I met with individuals and small groups to teach the writer, just what they needed. You don’t get much more differentiation than that!

I had known for years the power of individual reading conferences to help students grow as readers-I hadn’t realized that the same thing held true for helping students grow as writers.

So, if you are new to Calkins’ Units of Study, learn from my mistakes. No matter how long you think it will take to get through one lesson, discipline yourself to give the students writing time that grows in length as they grow in stamina that first week. Get through the first four mini-lessons in four days (or five if you really can’t bear it) and move on.

You’ll be glad you did…

 

 
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