I’ve found that my demonstrations run a little long if I’m not adequately prepared. When I say “not adequately prepared,” I mean that if I don’t have recent writing to support my minilesson in my current writer’s notebook, I feel unprepared since the stuff I’m sharing with my kids feels old and often distant from me. So, even though today will be the fifth year that I’ve taught today’s lesson, I’ve prepared by creating fresh lists in my writer’s notebook to support my teaching:
After I show my students my bulleted lists (This structure also previews the way they’re going to think during the next, personal essay, unit of study.), I can go right into my demonstration which will show them how to take an item from a list and write about it. This will make my demonstration shorter, which is what I aim to do so that the kids have the maximum amount of time writing independently.
A quick reminder:
It’s October, which means a lot of folks are teaching a unit of study on personal narrative writing. Remember that we have resources for teaching personal narrative over at the Two Writing Teachers Website. Click here to view them.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).