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Dunk ‘Em!

DUNK 'em! The note reads: Miss C.'s Class -- From now on, when you see Oreos, I hope you think of writing. May you be the kind of writers who DUNK themselves in the kind of writing they want to make. Love, Mrs. Ayres

When I first began coaching, Barb Bean and I worked together. Throughout the year, we were intentional about immersing students in the kind of writing they were making. Often this meant genre, but sometimes it was a particular author or craft move. During her poetry unit, Barb brought in a pack of Oreos and some milk. In her minilesson, she taught that writers DUNK themselves in what they are planning to make.  For work time, they dunked themselves in poetry (and dunked their Oreos in milk), gaining a sense of the genre.

When Dina Coverstone sent me an email last week, saying her class has been immersed in poetry, simply reading and exploring the genre, I remembered the Oreos. Yesterday, I grabbed a pack of Oreos, slapped a note on it, and left it on Dina’s desk. I could hear Dina’s smile in the email she sent me later, planning to use the Oreos in today’s writing workshop.

Now if you’ve been a long time reader, you know I’m not big on fancy lessons. However, from time to time they really make a punch. In fact, as an adult, Barb’s lesson years ago still sticks with me as a reminder to always dunk myself in what I’m going to write. What I’m realizing, is as a coach, I have the ability to support teachers in their minilessons by leaving a note + goodies (or supplies) when I’m aware of the needs of their students.

How have you approached immersing your students in the kind of writing they are making?


Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

2 thoughts on “Dunk ‘Em! Leave a comment

  1. When I ask my students what they remember from the year, it’s the object lessons and the shared experiences. They don’t remember all of the facts they learned or all of the lessons that were taught. But I know they carry them within them.

    I am trying currently to have my reading and writing workshops match. We are studying informational text features in RW and how to write informational text in WW. We will also begin finding the main idea and I hope they will then be able to write main ideas for their books. Excited to watch them connect their learning!!!

    I am hoping to match my workshops together even better for next year.


  2. Ruth, I love this idea. I bet that teacher loved your little gift as well. I think one of the ways I immerse students in what they are writing is by flooding the room with text. I set up a special rack in the class library, use that genre for reading strategy lessons, weave it into the little moments of the day.


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