Category Archive: units of study

Unit Planning: Writing Workshop Fundamentals

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Planning a unit of study is like planning for anything in life. You can’t predict exactly what will happen, but you can project what you think will mostly likely happen, based on what you know.

Write Your Own Teaching Points

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Need help writing strategies that are explicit and kid-friendly? Check out this excerpt from DIY Literacy.

A Virtual Publishing Celebration

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It’s hard to have a publishing celebration for people who live miles apart from you. Therefore, a virtual publishing party is the best I can do for Anna and Beth today. Please stop by to leave a congratulatory comment for them since their books have been published.

Third Grade Writing Units of Study – A First Look

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Our guest blogger takes a look at the 3rd grade Units Of Study

Give yourself a pat on the back!

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Take some time to celebrate what your students have accomplished, thanks to your teaching, in writing workshop. Name something — big or small — you’re proud of from this school year.

A Quick Guide Workshop Lingo, Part II

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Have you ever wondered what some of the writing workshop lingo means? Here’s another look at some commonly used workshop jargon.

Grammar Lessons: A Time and A Place

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Encouraging kids to make decisions about their writing, rather than blindly following grammar rules helps lifts the level of their thinking, and the level of their writing.

Throwback Week: How To Read A Unit of Study

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Learn some tricks for reading the Units of Study, whether you’re new to the units or have been using them for many years.

Work Smarter: Use checklists throughout a unit of study …and beyond

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I’ll begin by being honest – I don’t like checklists. It’s a personal thing.  Checklists make me anxious, they fill me with the fear of impending failure. As soon as I’ve taken the… Continue reading

Sharing the Work: Assigning Teacher Leaders for Unit Planning

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There is an adage: if the teacher is working too hard, the students aren’t working hard enough. There are many cases where this is true: in a writing conference when the teacher is… Continue reading

How To Read A Unit of Study

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As the school year comes to a close, many of the schools I work with are launching into a week or so of in-service, summer institutes, and other professional development. It’s “curriculum season”… Continue reading

Get Out Your Calendars! It’s June Planning Time!

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If we do nothing else, we do this one thing…Read this post to find out what it is!

Top Ten Ways to Keep Minilessons from Turning into Maxilessons

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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… Continue reading

E-mail: A Mini Unit of Study

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After reading “Technology and the College Generation,” I’ve come to believe teachers of writing need to craft mini units of study to help kids learn to use e-mail confidently.

Not Just Your Run-of-the-Mill Biography Unit Study

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4th Grade Teacher (& Slicer) Noor Shammas writes about her students’ Community Member Biography Project.

New Units of Study

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I purchased the original Units of Study for Teaching Writing, Grades 3 – 5 when they were published in 2006. In the early days, those books were like a Bible to me. I… Continue reading

Reading More, Understanding More

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Today a third grade teacher stopped me and said, “You should read some of the reviews my students wrote. They are awesome.” “Really?” I smiled. “Oh yeah. They were so much better than… Continue reading

Documenting Our Learning

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Sometimes I think about the amazing work happening in writing workshops, and then wonder if anyone else notices. Sometimes the things that are most amazing are small bits that pack big meaning. Sometimes… Continue reading

First Attempt at Poetry

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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… Continue reading

REVIEW Unit Launch

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This week I launched a REVIEW UNIT in several third grade classrooms. On the first day I asked, “Have you ever heard of a review?” Heads shook. “Okay, then, let me show you… Continue reading