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Writing Behaviors & the Process

With the action research project I’m about to embark on, I’m trying to get a better hold on the writing behaviors my students, who do not write regularly, possess. I reached for M. Colleen Cruz’s New Book from the Workshop Help Desk Series entitled A Quick Guide to Reaching Struggling Writers. This book is chock-full of suggestions to treat and diagnose nearly every reluctant writer I know! That being said, in an effort to figure out what makes some of the writers in my classroom tick, I’m going to interview the focal students I selected prior to Winter Recess. I looked over the questions Cruz poses on pgs. 6, 19-20, 44 – 47 and 71 to help me formulate my own interview questions, some of which closely parallel hers. I’m hoping these interviews will give me a better sense of my focal children’s writing behaviors and processes. These are the questions I’m planning to ask each child:

  • Why do you write?
  • What feels easy about writing?
  • What feels challenging about writing?
  • What’s your favorite piece of writing you’ve done so far this year?
    • Why?
  • Where are you most productive as a writer? (Home or school? Desk or furniture?)
  • What time of day do you write?
  • How do you come up with an idea to write about?
  • What do you do when you get stuck as a writer?
  • What do you write about most often?
    • Why?
  • How do you feel when you get to the end of a block of writing time?
  • Do you bring your notebook anywhere other than home at night and back to school on weekdays?
  • Where do you think other writers come up with ideas for their own writing?
  • How do you know what to put in your plan box at the end of a minilesson?
  • Do you usually complete everything in your plan box by the end of an independent writing session?
    • If not, when do you complete the rest of your plan?
  • How do you know when a piece of writing is finished and ready to be published?

Stacey Shubitz View All

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).

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