Category Archive: minilesson

Today’s Teaching Points

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What were your teaching points in today’s minilessons? Here were mine: 4th grade feature article (informational writing) unit: Writers use specific words about the subject when writing informational texts. 4th grade fiction unit:… Continue reading

Plotting Short Fiction

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Last month at MRA, I listened to Jacqueline Woodson speak about her writing process. It wasn’t the first time I heard her speak and I hope it won’t be my last. She is… Continue reading

So What?!?

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I’ve noticed many of my conferences this week have centered around purpose. I’ve found myself asking again and again and agian, “So why are you writing this? Why is it important?” Nancie Atwell… Continue reading

Dunk ‘Em!

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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… Continue reading

Answers to a Variety of Workshop-Related Questions

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When Ruth and I present, we always leave time for teachers to turn and talk.  Our Monday morning session at KSRA was much smaller than our Sunday afternoon session, which meant we could… Continue reading

Showing a Story

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Recently, I taught a minilesson about showing a story. In typical intermediate grade fashion, students were writing stories filled with struggles, but slim on creating a picture in the reader’s mind. My minilesson… Continue reading

Show Don’t Tell

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In narrative writing, it is difficult to shift from telling the story to showing the story. I’ve helped launch a fiction study in a couple of fifth grade classrooms this week, and we’ve… Continue reading

Minilesson Part II

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The other day I posted about minilessons being one way to plant a seed of learning. I firmly believe this is a purpose of a minilesson and then through independent practice, conferring, and… Continue reading

Minilessons Plant a Seed

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One of the things I’m working on as a writing teacher is keeping minilessons, well, mini. As I’ve focused on this goal, I’ve realized sometimes lessons go long because I’m working toward perfection.… Continue reading

WIP?

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The past few months I’ve been reading several authors’ blogs and I keep coming across the abbreviation W.I.P. Finally I figured out it means Work In Progress. WIP is part of the language… Continue reading

Ruth’s SOLS: First Day Minilesson — What is Writing Workshop?

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Here’s a little Slice of Life from the first student day. As a coach, the first day is one of the days I miss the most about being a classroom teacher. Thankfully,  Christi… Continue reading

Ruth’s Slice(s) of Life: A New Minilesson Idea

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Slice 1: All morning I waited for Laurie Halse Anderson’s post about the writing challenge for today. Although a little apprehensive about whether this would be worthwhile, I found myself writing interview questions… Continue reading

Organzing Teaching Materials

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I recently received an e-mail asking me: How do you organize your material (mentor texts, charts, minilessons, etc.) for Writing Workshop?  I have just collected so much stuff this past year to do… Continue reading

Follow the Dialogue

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Tomorrow morning in Reading Workshop, I’ll be teaching a lesson with the following teaching point: Readers keep track of who is speaking in a text, regardless of whether or not there are dialogue… Continue reading

Verbs in Revision

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Georgia Heard’s Book The Revision Toolbox: Teaching Techniques That Work is one of the best books on the teaching of writing that I own.  If it’s not in your bookshelf, then click here… Continue reading

Back to Basics: Strategy Charts (Part of TWT’s Big Picture Series)

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Memoir: Early Strategy Chart Originally uploaded by teachergal I tend to have a lot of mini-charts for my students’ notebooks rather than hanging large ones around the room (these days). However, I thought… Continue reading

Back to Basics: Minilesson Parts (Part of TWT’s Big Picture Series)

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So what are the basic parts of a minilesson?  Here’s a short list according to the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project at Columbia University: Connection — The reason for teaching today’s lesson. … Continue reading

Getting Back to Basics: Structures & Routines (Part of TWT’s Big Pictures Series)

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Structures and routines need to be clear in your head so they can be implemented when you start Writing Workshop. You can shift to a new routine or modify one that’s not working… Continue reading

Purposes for Writing in a Notebook: Kids’ Responses

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My markers may have been drying up, but there was nothing that was going to stop me from recording my kids’ responses during the minilesson I gave today. Take a look at what… Continue reading

Launching Minilesson: Writer’s Notebook Unit of Study

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I head back to school tomorrow. I am starting a new unit of study in both Reading and Writing Workshop (nonfiction and notebook writing, respectively). Hence, I thought I’d share my first Writing… Continue reading