graphic organizer · informational writing · modeling · nonfiction · plan · primary grades

How Do First Graders Choose Narrow Topics?

We will be starting a unit on informational writing to wrap up the school year. I wanted to demonstrate a different way of finding a topic, a narrow topic. I find that young writers can often think big, making it hard to get to specific details. As I was thinking about this idea, of narrowing… Continue reading How Do First Graders Choose Narrow Topics?

graphic organizer · writing workshop

Concrete Tools – Pilates & Writing Series: Part 3 of 5

On pages 62 - 63 of Day by Day, I talked about the role of Pilates and its connection to writing workshop in a detailed discussion called "Concrete Images for Support."  Here I talked about one of many concrete tools, a ball, I used to help support my body as I did Pilates.  I want… Continue reading Concrete Tools – Pilates & Writing Series: Part 3 of 5

collecting · graphic organizer · plan · primary grades · process

Planning Idea

I'm super fortunate to be working with a couple of third grade teachers (Hi Sandy & Dan!) who are interested in helping their writers to naturally develop more sophisticated writing processes. Their students are coming off of heavy illustration study in their previous writing experience (in grades k-2), so we are trying to find a… Continue reading Planning Idea

expository · graphic organizer · literary essay · writing about reading

Reflections: Growth

Someone once told me that an experienced teacher asks, "How are the kids doing?" rather than asking "How am I doing?" I've found that to be more and more true of myself as each year passes. I'm not as worried about how I'm doing... I think I know what I'm doing. I'm more concerned about… Continue reading Reflections: Growth

expository · graphic organizer · literary essay · thesis statement

Thesis Statement Creation

Kate mentioned that some of our students might need assistance with developing their thesis statements. Therefore, I created a graphic organizer for students to use to help them develop a meaty thesis statement. Click on the link below if you'd like to take a look. Literary Essay Thesis Statement Starters

character development · fiction · graphic organizer · story mountain

Messy Mountain

I filled in the last three boxes of my story mountain during today's W.W. I just added my character's feelings/thinking in blue to the mountain when I got home. Then I started thinking that I shouldn't have done that since (pink), I now think I want to have my main character's, Ava, best friend, Nita,… Continue reading Messy Mountain

fiction · graphic organizer · story mountain · teaching tools · writing workshop

Working My Way Backwards

I started a story mountain for my W.W. minilesson demo today. I started with the climax of the story: Then, I started working my way backwards: I'm hoping this will illustrate for my students that you don't start at the beginning of and work your way forward. Sometimes, you have to go backwards and forwards… Continue reading Working My Way Backwards