Want to ensure students are engaged as you model a particular strategy, craft, or technique? These four steps can help you do just that!
The power of modeling—modeling the verb—is the opportunity to make not just the product visible—model, the noun—but the thinking of the writer visible as well. Without modeling the thinking, it is still a bit of a mystery how a writer gets from point A to point B—no matter how clear that point B might be.
Walking ourselves through and rehearsing what we will model for young writers so as to create the desired effect(s) can be extremely helpful. Whatever curriculum we are using, it's just so important to walk through the big steps of our teaching ahead of time so that we plan for maximum learning impact. But what type of "effects" might be desired?
Building a community of writers is likely a goal for all writing workshop teachers. But what are some ways to be intentional about bringing such a goal to fruition?
We've all likely taught 'show, don't tell' lessons in our narrative units. But showing not telling can have instructional meaning, as well...
Are you always telling your students to add detail? To write more? Here is a sample minilesson to show them how.
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?
We've all been there. You've gathered your students into the classroom meeting area, nice and cozy, with the intention of doing just a quick l'il minilesson. Just a quick tip about writing and off they go, right? Maybe just a quick little demonstration? With a tiny bit of practice? Oh, and a chart... you'll need… Continue reading Top Ten Ways to Keep Minilessons from Turning into Maxilessons
"Stepping into our authenticity is stepping into our real power."
Interactive Modeling: A Powerful Technique for Teaching Children teaches us how to use interactive modeling to teach a variety of classroom routines, behaviors, and skills in an engaging way that shows students what to do while providing them with a safe space to practice.
Last week I spent a day at Southbury Elementary School in Illinois. (Hello Southbury!) They had students for half a day and the afternoon was a time for us to come together for professional development. In the morning, though, with students, I modeled writing workshop in a fourth grade classroom and a second grade classroom.… Continue reading Modeling Writing Workshop
Yesterday Lori Hickman and I launched a poetry unit of study in her kindergarten classroom. Since we wanted to see what they already knew about writing poetry, we decided to have them write a poem. This made me a little nervous. What if they just stared at the paper or chaos ensued because they had… Continue reading First Attempt at Poetry