Best Book I Have Not Read

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

Second Grade Writers, Lucy Calkins and Professional Development August 5, 2009

Filed under: Calkins,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 4:52 pm
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This week I’ve been teaching a workshop for first through sixth grade teachers this week on Writing Workshop with a focus on conferring. We’ve been looking at the Primary and Intermediate Units of Study by Lucy Calkins and Carl Anderson’s Strategic Writing Conferences: Smart Conversations That Move Young Writers Forward Grades 3-6, Reading and Writing Projects’s Workshop Help Desk-A Quick Guide to Teaching Second-Grade Writers with Units of Study by Lucy Calkins and Workshop Help Desk-Making Your Teaching Stick by Shanna Schwartz.

Second Grade Curricular Calendar from the Quick Guide (see earlier post)

September Narrative Writing-Revising and Re-energizing Small Moments
October Raising the Level of Narrative Writing with Authors as Mentors
November Writing and Revising Realistic Fiction
December The World of Wonder: Fairy Tale Adaptations and Original Fantasy Stories
January Writing to Grow Ideas (Inculding Ideas About Books)
February Expert Projects: Writing to Learn and to Teach About a Topic of Personal Expertise
March Persuasive Writing: Persuasive Letters and Reviews
April Poetry
May Expert Projects in a Content Area: Writing to Learn and to Teach About Science
June Revision and Assessment

Carl Anderson’s newest book set is a gem! It is targeted at grades 3-6 teachers, but the first and second grade teachers are finding it just as valuable. At $82.00 it’s not cheap, but it does include 3 books and 2 DVDs with a Teachers Guide. It’s just what you need to prepare for your best writing conferences with students as you head into the new school year.

Making Your Teaching Stick is another $8 gem from the Workshop Help Desk.

After teaching the workshop this week it’s back to New York City for the 16th Annual August Writing Institute at Teachers College to help grow my understanding of the teaching of writing even more. I am definitely more prepared for the week in terms of how to get around, shoes to wear, lunches to pack, and clothes that sweat well in (if that is possible).


Teaching Second-Grade Writers by Lucy Calkins April 8, 2009


The entire title of this little gem is Reading Writing Project Workshop Help Desk: A Quick Guide to Teaching Second-Grade Writers with Units of Study by Lucy Calkins and is available from Heinemann. I picked it up when I was at TC in March and I can’t find it on the website yet, but if you are a second grade teacher, literacy coach, staff developer, or curriculum director I highly recommend picking it up as soon as you can. This 76 page pocket-sized professional development resource ($8.00) would be great to add to your Primary Units of Study set. Even if you aren’t using UOS, I still think this would be a valuable resource.  Something I love in the first chapter is the proposed overview of the year (also known as a shared curricular calendar). Each chapter then goes on to explore each month’s unit of study more closely. It has some great recommendations for modifying the UOS if your first grade and kindergarten teachers are also using UOS.

The second grade study group of writing workshop is going to start reading this as soon as we can get additional copies. All are game for trying their proposed calendar. With the research and thinking that is behind all TC Reading and Writing Project work, I don’t know how their calendar can do anything but help us work together to get even better.

I think it’s an exciting time to be a teacher of writing and reading. What a gift this little book is!