Category Archive: minilesson

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

Writing Lessons at ReadWriteThink.org

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After reading through “Using Web 2.0 in the Classroom” in the most recent issue of Reading Today, I went online to ReadWriteThink.org to read through a lesson entitled “Weekly Writer’s Blogs.” It was… Continue reading

Moving from Storyboards to Drafts.

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In Keith Bollman’s fifth grade class, students are beginning to consider moving into drafts.  They’ve envisioned their writing and are moving out of the rehearsal stage and into drafting.  Today I taught them how… Continue reading

Using Asterisks

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During the demonstration of today’s minilesson I added asterisks to my WN Entry to show a flashback in time. I said something like, “I’m going to put some stars here, called asterisks, to… Continue reading