minilesson · writing workshop

Writing A Teaching Point

A fifth grade teacher found me in the copy room and asked with a smile, “Was that you, Dana?”

I knew immediately what she was talking about. That afternoon I had hung posters with some conferring tips on the back of all the staff bathroom doors. I like to call this ‘PD for the Potty.’ I figured the bathrooms are the one place practically every staff member visits throughout the day. Why not learn a little something while they are sitting there?

As a school, we recently shifted our focus to writing clear teaching points for our reading and writing minilessons. We are trying to make sure our teaching points name a skill, a strategy, and a purpose. So without further adieu, I bring to you the latest installment of PD for the Potty:

This poster will hang on the staff bathroom doors
This poster will hang on the staff bathroom doors. Click to enlarge.

In writing, teaching points might sound like this:

  • Writers may begin a narrative (skill) by using dialogue (strategy) so that the reader immediately feels part of the story (purpose).
  • Writers add details (skill) by zooming in a moment and describing all the sensory details (strategy) so that the writing creates a vivid picture in a reader’s mind (purpose).
  • Writers draw pictures (skill) by visualizing in their minds first (strategy) so that the pictures look as life-like as possible (purpose).

I use Canva to create my 8 x 11 posters. You can access the Clear Teaching Point poster here.

(For more information on writing teaching points, see Stacey’s post from our archives.)

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