Drawing can slow you down in a way that is useful for generating ideas and thinking more deeply.
Many of today’s students crave choice, freedom, and the excitement of exploring something new. This year, as you prepare to roll out your writing units, you may also want to reconsider the level of constraints within each unit. How and when might you invite students to choose the product that best fits their personal preference and intended audience?
When we start the year off with publishing in mind, we think about the authors.
My litmus test for the work we do in the classroom pivots on an understanding that collecting one's own ideas and practicing ways to communicate them will serve students outside classroom walls. And it is with that framing in mind - with children reflecting on their journeys, in carefully selecting the language I use, and in sharing feedback on growth as opposed to the final alone- that I hope to continually communicate the importance of process over product.
In those quick moments between minilesson and work time, as writers are settling in (or not), I pay attention to what is—the current reality. I seek leverage points to both know writers better and to support writers in continuing to grow. Over time, I notice as more and more writers find the processes and strategies that work for them.
With a personal writing calendar, each kid can see what is going to happen in the unit of study, and has the power to adjust it.
Using student work as feedback for our teaching informs us. It empowers us. In a way, it allows young writers to become our teachers...
Teaching is an art, and sometimes tweaks don't work as we hope or envision. However, I hope that these three ideas do increase the clarity of instruction in ways that help all students learn to be independent confident writers.
Instead of a typical publishing party, fifth-grade teacher Christina Nosek and her students held a writing process celebration.
As much as I LOVE notebooks, even I have to admit there is a time in every writer's process when it is time to pop out of the notebook and onto a laptop or lined paper.
Writing flash fiction can be liberating, exhilarating, and great writing process practice.
When I visit a classroom, one of the first things I often say to kids is, "Today, please don't erase. I want to see ALL the great work you are doing as a writer. When you erase, your work disappears!" Often, this is what kids are accustomed to and they continue working away. But sometimes, kids stare at me as if I've got two heads.