Thanks to Melissa from Dilly Dabbles for hosting this chapter!
The one thing that I am really enjoying about this book is Lisa's way of describing teaching the literacy block that makes me feel as though what I am already doing is is good and with just a little tweaking it can be even better.
It's very validating.
This chapter is dedicated to writing lessons, and specifically whole-class writing lessons and ideas.
I really liked that Lisa addressed the importance that "teachers need to model thinking and composing strategies when teaching writing" (pg 73). I have seen first-hand how much my students grow as writers when they are able to see modelled writing and composing on a consistent basis. Further down the page Lisa states that students need to have the "opportunity to witness the down-and-dirty craft of creating pieces of writing" (pg 73).
I love this!!
As I read through this chapter I found myself nodding, highlighting and makes notes around the following key ideas that I would like to think more about in order to improve my overall teaching of writing.
The importance of setting success criteria with my students.
I started doing this my students in the last few years and have really enjoyed it. Not only am I able to observe my student's knowledge of the text forms we may be studying but they have an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas about a variety of text forms with their classmates.
Lisa discusses using mentor texts to teach writing to students in this chapter. This is something that I don't do enough of and would really like to try more in the upcoming school year. On page 76 Lisa provides a list of questions that teachers can pose to their students in order to focus the instruction using mentor texts and I think I will be turning these into task cards in the future.
(Keep your eye out for a freebie in the future!)
Grade 3 in Ontario is a testing year...which sucks, but at the same time there are a TONNE of student exemplars available to us in both reading and writing. As Lisa states in Chapter 5 using student exemplars is a great way to help students "understand the difference between high and low levels of work" (pg 77).
Lastly, Lisa discusses teacher modelling as a way to help "students develop an understanding of not only the elements of writing, but also the craft of writing" (pg 78).
Now I know this is going to sound weird coming from someone who writes a blog but I am not all that comfortable writing in front of people. Obviously this is something I am going to have to get comfortable with so that my students can benefit from the experience.
Goals for the upcoming school year:
- create a list of mentor texts that I can use when teaching writing
- develop a stronger comfort level with modelling writing in front of my students
- read through some of Lucy Calkins' work in order to gain some new insights into teaching writing
What about you?
What are your thoughts about this chapter and teaching writing?
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Be sure to visit Erin from A Piece of the Apple on June 13th for Chapter 6- Exploring Different Purposes and Audiences