Best Book I Have Not Read

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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).


Assessing Young Writers by Carl Anderson February 5, 2009

51mc6ahuwkl_bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa240_sh20_ou01_I just finished reading this 2005 book by Carl Anderson and it is great! I wish that I had read it the year it came out at the same time as I was first reading Units of Study by Lucy Calkins. It would have been so helpful to me as a classroom teacher and really has helped gel my thinking about writing workshop. 
I highly recommend you add this book to your professional reading list! 


This review at Amazon sums it up very well:

I wouldn’t be as good a teacher of writing without this book. No kidding. It provides the daily nitty-gritty practical solutions to common writing workshop problems, and has great ideas for conferring, unit planning, troubleshooting, and more. This is for the every day teacher and college folk alike. 

Some of the blacklines from this book are ESSENTIAL to my organization of workshop. I can’t imagine trying to do it without his advice and guidance. His book was the “Miracle Grow” to my Calkins kit experience. The piece I needed to REALLY pull it off and feel good about it. Heworked in the project with Ms. Calkins, so his ideas line right up with the ideas I already have in motion. I don’t work for anybody, but I heartfully encourage you to help yourself by getting this one (and I love his How’s It Going? too…)