Immersion is helpful for strong writers who need less explicit instruction in order to try out new writing concepts as well as for writers who strive to complete their written work. Sometimes seeing a completed piece is exactly what they need in order to kick their executive functioning into gear.
It’s hard to work with purpose and intention when you do not have a clear vision or context for what you are trying to create. Immersion is an easy - and JOYOUS - way to provide students with full-color clarity of the unit ahead.
The immersion phase of a unit allows us all to get to know our subject. For students, it might be ideas they have and for teachers, it is about getting to know their writers a bit better.
When we show students examples of what they should be creating before and during their writing, we are, in many ways, providing them a figurative ride up the chairlift with many good skiers in front of them. In two separate classrooms, I introduced an information writing unit with a classroom teacher with a pile of books and writing samples and the students sitting in a circle. "Your job," I said, "is to look at these books and pieces like writers. What did the author do? How did they do it?"
The time investment you will spend in immersion may seem like a lot – especially if you’re providing students with four days to understand a genre. However, students will gain a greater understanding of the kind of writing you are asking them to produce if they have a clear vision for what the end product should look like.
Janiel Wagstaff's books will help you teach primary writers about the four types of writing in an engaging way. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win her series of Stella books.
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… Continue reading Dunk ‘Em!
My students shared their findings about punctuation marks, from earlier in the week, with each other yesterday. The charts, below, were eye-opening for me since not all of the descriptions about why the authors used them made sense to me. Further, some of the examples didn't quite match-up. Nonetheless, these were from the first two… Continue reading Thinking About Punctuation in Texts
Week of December 1st, 2008 Originally uploaded by teachergal I just finished planning out the upcoming week and wow... there's a lot going on! However, when I realized my kids were publishing and starting a new unit of study this week, I realized I had to create some additional sheets to get them to reflect… Continue reading It’s going to be a busy week!
It's nearly November, which means it's time for me to start teaching my students how to craft personal essays. I use Calkins and Gilette's book for my teaching points, but deviate from their text when it comes to teaching the actual lessons since I've tweaked every lesson each year that I've taught it. I recall… Continue reading Launching Personal Essay
Today's Workshop, in my classroom, was spent immersing my students in the memoir genre (or is it genre of memoir... both sound funny to me!). The kids realized that most memoirs are a combination of exposition and narrative. (I compared memoir to a hybrid car. That definitely helped!) After my kids listened to four of… Continue reading In Their Words