Sunday, April 19, 2015

Guest Speaker

I was invited to speak with several student teachers at California State Dominguez Hills this past week.  They were an amazing and engaging group. I spoke about beginning of the year writing strategies, modeling, storytelling, offering feedback, academic vocabulary, rubrics, sharing student work, show me writing, conferencing, revising and editing.   In addition, we discussed instructional implications for lessons.

For many of the strategies, I asked the group to wear two hats in the form of teacher and/or student. I wanted the group to get an authentic feel for real classroom life. They were eager and willing participants, especially when it came to writing on their own and sharing out.  It's not always easy reading your own writing sample to a group of forty, but many were up for the challenge.  As much as I hope they leaned from me...I certainly learned from them!  They Rocked!

These are some of the resources I shared last week:

Click here to download the topic chart.

Click here to download the show me writing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Young Writers

I am piloting a writing club at my school for third grade students.  This is a creative writing group that will meet once a week for the rest of the school year.  We will write narratives, short stories and learn about other writing genres. 

We had our inaugural meeting a few weeks ago and it couldn't have gone any better!  The students were really excited for the group to begin. We went over introductions, expectations and questions. Composition books, folders, pens and pencils were handed out and the smiles continued to grow.

The students did a quick write on all things writing.  Next, we went over the aspects of Show Me Writing.  I used some student work examples as references for the Show Me and the Young Writers grasped the concept immediately. Also, we talked about figurative language and its importance in writing.  Finally, I fielded a few more questions and then the bell sounded.

I'm looking forward to our next workshop!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Editing and Revising

How do you teach your class about editing and revision?  I like to give my class options throughout the school year with editing and revising.  I teach them how to self-regulate by editing/revising on the fly.  Instead of waiting until the final copy is due, students make corrections, deletions, edits and revisions along the way.  The students are making adjustments as the write.  For example, if a student started a narrative, he/she might go back and check for a an eye catching hook, or, a student might monitor sentence variation.  Another student might check for figurative language or adding detail. Somebody else might check for the overall flow of their writing piece. The student decides what needs to be changed but you can always offer assistance and guidance.

Another editing and revising option for the class is to edit/revise when the rough draft is completed. I use ROLES (read out loud, edit and then switch their work with a partner) during this process.  As a class, we look for capitals, organizing, punctuation, flow and spelling in a writing sample. Then, the class practices this strategy with a partner.   Sure, they will miss some errors, but as the year progresses, they will make fewer mistakes.

Using ROLES, in conjunction with editing on the fly, leads to polished pieces that makes students proud.

ROLES Poster Freebie