Saturday, December 28, 2019

Helping Struggling Writers Plan Without a Graphic Organizer

One of the first tools teachers turn to when they need to help their students plan their writing is a graphic organizer. But sometimes they can be overwhelming for some of our kids! This post and video demonstrate a strategy that is easy to use to help your kids organize their plan for writing and start getting some ideas on paper. It only requires a pencil and sticky notes and your kids will have a plan for personal narrative writing so they can move on in the writing process!Tell me if you've seen this before:
 
You're working on personal narratives.
 
Your student has chosen an idea.
They can tell you all about it.
They give you some details - some relevant, some not.
 
Then you say, "Let's start planning our piece."
Maybe you give them a graphic organizer.
Maybe you don't.
 
Either way, nothing happens.
They just stare.
All those ideas they had? Gone, when they are faced by their nemesis: the blank page.

They're just stuck!
So how do you get them unstuck?
 
This easy, hands-on strategy is perfect for helping kids plan and get their ideas on paper, in a logical order.
 
All you need is a pencil and sticky notes! (You can try it, too - just follow along with the video and get planning!)

Check out the video below, and follow me on YouTube for more videos like this one! 
I promise it'll get your kids organized and ready to draft.


Ready for more?

One of the first tools teachers turn to when they need to help their students plan their writing is a graphic organizer. But sometimes they can be overwhelming for some of our kids! This post and video demonstrate a strategy that is easy to use to help your kids organize their plan for writing and start getting some ideas on paper. It only requires a pencil and sticky notes and your kids will have a plan for personal narrative writing so they can move on in the writing process! #

Need some help to get started? Check out this free download for tools to help you teach writing in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade!
  • The Framework of Writer's Workshop
  • Components of Writer's Workshop
  • Minilesson Planner
  • Steps in the Writing Process
  • Guide: Guiding Students Through the Writing Process
  • Think Aloud Sentence Starters
  • Writing Process Folders: directions & printables
  • Conference Log 
  • Personal Editing Checklist
  • Revision Strategy Card: Find a Place
 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

A Prewriting Strategy That Works for Upper Elementary

This is even better than an anchor chart. Help your kids brainstorm ideas during prewriting with this easy to use (and fun) activity! It's a strategy that works every time for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, and it will help your kids generate ideas for their personal narratives so they can move forward in the writing process! Get kids unstuck with this strategy! A how-to video helps get you started! Picture this: You're in your classroom, teaching your students how to brainstorm ideas for a personal
narrative.

You've made the heart map to help them with prewriting, you've got a list of ideas in their notebooks, and you've modeled how to choose one.

You think they're ready to go, so you set them loose.

And then you hear the grumbling.
 
"I don't know what to write about."
"I don't have any ideas."
"I never do anything."

How often do you hear those comments from your students? Probably, like, at least once a week, and possibly once a day.
 
Why is this so hard for kids? They have a LIST for goodness' sake! We made a heart map! But hold on! Here's the problem: that list - that map - has topics on it, right? Topics like, "birthdays" or "pets".
 
So let's try it. If I'm going to write about "pets", here's what it sounds like:
 "People have different kinds of pets. I have a pet, too. My pet is named Lucy. She is a black dog. She's funny and nice. She likes to eat dog treats and take walks. She's my best friend."

Aw. That's nice. It's a list of details about Lucy. But is it a personal narrative? Oh, no, it is not.

This is even better than an anchor chart. Help your kids brainstorm ideas during prewriting with this easy to use (and fun) activity! It's a strategy that works every time for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, and it will help your kids generate ideas for their personal narratives so they can move forward in the writing process! Get kids unstuck with this strategy! A how-to video helps get you started! When kids only have topics to choose from, they have trouble thinking of specific memories or times something happened to write about. And that's exactly what a personal narrative is: a memory.

So how do we get kids to generate ideas for writing personal narratives without the complaints?

Here's how.

In this video, I teach a really simple strategy to use with students that helps them think of ideas for writing, every single time.

Don't believe me? Try it along with me in the video! All you'll need is a piece of paper, a pencil, and your brain!
 
It's called "Mapping a Special Place," and it's such a fun and easy strategy to use to teach kids how to prewrite by digging into their memories in a simple way that anybody can participate in. Watch this short video and let me know what you think!

This strategy is Writing Intervention Strategy Lesson #4 from my Narrative Writing Intervention Toolkit! Check it out on TpT and make planning for writing a snap!



Ready for more?

This is even better than an anchor chart. Help your kids brainstorm ideas during prewriting with this easy to use (and fun) activity! It's a strategy that works every time for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, and it will help your kids generate ideas for their personal narratives so they can move forward in the writing process! Get kids unstuck with this strategy! A how-to video helps get you started!

Need some help to get started? Check out this free download for tools to help you teach writing in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade!
  • The Framework of Writer's Workshop
  • Components of Writer's Workshop
  • Minilesson Planner
  • Steps in the Writing Process
  • Guide: Guiding Students Through the Writing Process
  • Think Aloud Sentence Starters
  • Writing Process Folders: directions & printables
  • Conference Log 
  • Personal Editing Checklist
  • Revision Strategy Card: Find a Place
  •  

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Five Tips for Helping Your Students Grow as Writers

Teaching writing in upper elementary can feel like you're running on a treadmill. Instead of tearing your hair out, try these five things to get your kids writing fluently with purpose! This post explains how to model, get kids to reread their wriitng with an anchor chart, and it's got a free download with prompts for think alouds during writing! All of these tips work with the Writer's Workshop model!I love teaching writing.

Is that weird? Did I just make it weird?

But it's is true! I do love teaching writing. But here's another truth: before I loved teaching writing, I didn't. I didn't love it because it seemed like, no matter what I did, my kids weren't becoming better writers.

Some of them were writing more, sure, but it wasn't actually an improvement over what they were writing before. And some of them were hardly writing at all.

So I know what it's like to look at your class and feel like you're not sure what to do next.

Over many years as a classroom teacher, and more as an instructional coach, I put together my own version of Writer's Workshop that worked for me and my kids.

This post explains the five things I did to maximize my writing time, help my students grow as writers (all day, not just for forty-five minutes), and build a community of students who actually loved to write.

At the bottom of the post is a free download to get you started. Check it out - I'm here to help!

Teaching writing in upper elementary can feel like you're running on a treadmill. Instead of tearing your hair out, try these five things to get your kids writing fluently with purpose! This post explains how to model, get kids to reread their wriitng with an anchor chart, and it's got a free download with prompts for think alouds during writing! All of these tips work with the Writer's Workshop model!
Especially once students are in upper elementary, they've often had the experience that they only have to write during “writing time”. This is a problem. In the real world, we write for many purposes and for many audiences. We don’t just write to write (although we can). We write in all different content areas and for many different reasons.

When we provide this experience to students; the experience of writing all day for different purposes, we give them a different outlook on writing. They understand that writing has purpose and meaning, and that we don’t write because it’s “writing time”. We write because we have ideas or information to share with a reader, or to record for ourselves.
!" border="0" data-original-height="200" data-original-width="600" height="212" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PTQTB3zHn4I/XcwzPJ8FRdI/AAAAAAACdkU/TojJo351NQoJP-_2svVJ5fRhUIxJ-TsIACEwYBhgL/s640/5%2Bwriting%2Btips%2Bpost.002.jpeg" title="Teaching writing in upper elementary can feel like you're running on a treadmill. Instead of tearing your hair out, try these five things to get your kids writing fluently with purpose! This post explains how to model, get kids to reread their wriitng with an anchor chart, and it's got a free download with prompts for think alouds during writing! All of these tips work with the Writer's Workshop model!" width="640" />
Teaching writing in upper elementary can feel like you're running on a treadmill. Instead of tearing your hair out, try these five things to get your kids writing fluently with purpose! This post explains how to model, get kids to reread their wriitng with an anchor chart, and it's got a free download with prompts for think alouds during writing! All of these tips work with the Writer's Workshop model!Whether students are writing in math, reading, social studies, science, or during writer’s workshop, their writing needs to make sense. Build the habit of rereading your writing, right from day one.

As you model writing, stop and reread to “make sure it makes sense.” If you think your reader will be confused, model adding something in, changing something, or taking something out. This is important no matter how long or short your writing.

A great way to model this is to write a response in reading or write to explain a concept in math. Stop and reread it, explaining that “Good writing makes sense, so I want to make sure this makes sense.” Make any changes (revisions OR edits) you need to. Ask students to reread their response and do the same.

You can build this chart with students to help them think about rereading their writing, no matter what their purpose for writing is. Model doing this, and have students apply it to their writing immediately. Refer back to it every time you write something to model that good writers reread because good writing makes sense. 
 
Teaching writing in upper elementary can feel like you're running on a treadmill. Instead of tearing your hair out, try these five things to get your kids writing fluently with purpose! This post explains how to model, get kids to reread their wriitng with an anchor chart, and it's got a free download with prompts for think alouds during writing! All of these tips work with the Writer's Workshop model!




Teaching writing in upper elementary can feel like you're running on a treadmill. Instead of tearing your hair out, try these five things to get your kids writing fluently with purpose! This post explains how to model, get kids to reread their wriitng with an anchor chart, and it's got a free download with prompts for think alouds during writing! All of these tips work with the Writer's Workshop model!Mentor texts are books or other pieces of writing that show us how great writers craft their writing. Using a mentor text as a jumping-off point to show students how it’s done is a good way to engage your writers in thinking about the decisions writers make and why and how writers do what they do.

Help students start understanding the difference between reading like a reader and reading like a writer.
When we read like writers, we think about why and how the author did what they did. How did they introduce a new idea? Why did they choose to describe the character at the beginning of the piece? What kind of language did they use to show how the character felt? Why did they decide to show the character’s thoughts instead of using dialogue? Get to know the mentor authors like you know your friends.
Want to learn more about teaching writing with mentor texts? Check out this post with a free download: mentor texts for reading and writing!
Teaching writing in upper elementary can feel like you're running on a treadmill. Instead of tearing your hair out, try these five things to get your kids writing fluently with purpose! This post explains how to model, get kids to reread their wriitng with an anchor chart, and it's got a free download with prompts for think alouds during writing! All of these tips work with the Writer's Workshop model!

  
Teaching writing in upper elementary can feel like you're running on a treadmill. Instead of tearing your hair out, try these five things to get your kids writing fluently with purpose! This post explains how to model, get kids to reread their wriitng with an anchor chart, and it's got a free download with prompts for think alouds during writing! All of these tips work with the Writer's Workshop model!

This could be tip # 1 - 100. I can’t say this enough. You have to write in front of your students. You have to do it live. You can not bring in a finished piece of writing and say, “Look what I wrote.” You HAVE TO put a piece of blank paper or chart paper in front of you and show students what it’s like to write: it’s hard, it takes multiple attempts, you have to make a lot of decisions, you don’t always land on the idea or sentence or word that you want, revision matters, etc. 
Teaching writing in upper elementary can feel like you're running on a treadmill. Instead of tearing your hair out, try these five things to get your kids writing fluently with purpose! This post explains how to model, get kids to reread their wriitng with an anchor chart, and it's got a free download with prompts for think alouds during writing! All of these tips work with the Writer's Workshop model!

If your students do not see you write, they have no idea what a writer does, and therefore they have no idea what to do as writers. Their writing abilities will be limited to the scope of their imagination. Instead, show them what a writer does to give them a frame of reference.

Here’s why:

Picture this: You’re learning to swim. You sit on the edge of the pool while your instructor jumps in. They swim across the pool gracefully. They swim back. Then they say, “Now you do it.”

You’d drown. Why? Because that’s not how the human brain learns.

If you want students to become good at writing, you have to approach it like we approach any other thing. You’d never show students a completed math problem and say, “Go do some more like this.” You show them how you solve the problem, a step at a time. That’s what it takes to teach writing, too.

Show students what it looks like when a writer writes. Think aloud. Slow it down. Make decisions. Make mistakes. Make revisions. Change things. Have dialogue with yourself. Think about your message. Think about whether you’re expressing your message well. Think about how your reader will receive it.

Write in front of your students. It will change everything.
 
Teaching writing in upper elementary can feel like you're running on a treadmill. Instead of tearing your hair out, try these five things to get your kids writing fluently with purpose! This post explains how to model, get kids to reread their wriitng with an anchor chart, and it's got a free download with prompts for think alouds during writing! All of these tips work with the Writer's Workshop model!

I just mentioned this, but I think it’s important enough to give it its own section! Thinking aloud while you read a read aloud as a writer, model writing, or evaluate a piece of writing is so important. Here are some speaking stems you can use to show students what it’s like to write:
  • Where should I start? I can always skip the beginning and start with my main event. I think I’ll do that and come back to the beginning later.
  • Let me check my prewriting to see if I’m sticking to my narrative plan.
  • I’m stuck. Let me think about what I can do to help myself.
  • I don’t think I’ve added enough development here. What other details should I add to help the reader understand what this felt like?
  • I think I should add in a thought/description/feeling here to help my reader visualize this moment.
  • Hmmm. What word could I use that would express my idea clearly?
  • If I say, “___” will the reader understand my message?
  • Have I painted a picture in my reader’s mind? I may need to add more development to do that.
  • How can I move from this idea to the next idea? Can I think of a transition that would help?
  • How can I close this piece to help the reader understand the message and why it’s important?
  • Is there a tool or chart that can help me? Let me check.
  • I’m going to reread to get a running start and see if I can figure out what I should write next.
  • Does that make sense? I’m not sure. I’m going to reread.
  • I think I’ve found a good place to close my writing because my reader will have a really strong feeling in this moment.
  • I don’t like this word/sentence/idea, but I can’t think of any other way to say it. I’m going to write it down anyway because I can always revise it later when I think of a better way.
  • I think I want to try out that craft/strategy we noticed our mentor author so-and-so using the other day. Remember that? In the book __, so-and-so did ___. I think that, if I try that, my reader will really get the feeling I want them to have.
Get all of these starters in the free download at the bottom of this post!
Note: when you are thinking aloud, that is not the time for students to “help you”. Do not allow them to shout out ideas or interject during this time. It’s not a collaborative writing piece. It’s an opportunity for you to show students how a writer thinks and what to do to help yourself. Students shouting out ideas will not give you this opportunity, and it will only confuse the kids in your class who need the modeling the most.

How do you do this without being “mean”? At the beginning of your modeling session, you say, “I am going to show you what it looks like when I write, right in front of you! While I’m writing, I really need to think about what I’m doing. I know you might have some ideas about how to help me, but it wouldn’t be good teaching for me to take everybody’s ideas during this time, because I’m showing you how I figure things out when I’m stuck. Instead, just watch and think about what I’m doing to help myself. That way, you can learn some ways to help yourself, too!”

Students learn quickly what is expected during this time, but if they continue to interrupt you, just hold up your hand and say, “I’m thinking aloud right now. I’m sure you have lots of good ideas, but I need to figure out how to help myself first.”

You can invite student ideas when you choose to, but use it sparingly to engage students. You can also have students turn and talk about how you can help yourself if you're stuck. Then you can ask for suggestions.

If you implement these five tips consistently, you will see a difference, not only in your students' writing ability, but in your own confidence in teaching writing.
 
Need some help to get started? Check out this free download for tools to help you teach writing in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade!
  • The Framework of Writer's Workshop
  • Components of Writer's Workshop
  • Minilesson Planner
  • Steps in the Writing Process
  • Guide: Guiding Students Through the Writing Process
  • Think Aloud Sentence Starters
  • Writing Process Folders: directions & printables
  • Conference Log 
  • Personal Editing Checklist
  • Revision Strategy Card: Find a Place
 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Intervention-Toolkit-72-small-group-lessons-4620730?aref=qw1fw9zp

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Ten Books for Launching Writer's Workshop *Free mentor text download

Need ideas for launching writer's workshop in upper elementary? These ten mentor text suggestions are perfect for getting kids excited about writing! Each book includes the reason to read it: to help kids brainstorm ideas, to introduce the wriitng process, to get tips for narrative writing and more! Grade level suggestions help you choose the perfect book for your students! If you're just starting out with Writer's Workshop and you're trying to figure out how to launch it in your classroom and introduce it to your kids, this post is for you!

Students who are new to Writer's Workshop, or just those who are starting out a new school year,  need to build the following habits that writers have...
  • Writers write every day.
  • Writers get ideas from different places.
  • Writers keep a collection of ideas.
  • Writing takes time and it's ok if it's hard sometimes.
  • The writing process helps us create writing we want to share.
  • Writers collaborate and talk about their writing.
 
To help your kids build these understandings, and to start Writer's Workshop off in the best way, which is, of course, BOOKS, I've put together a list of my top ten books for launching Writer's Workshop!

Which one is your favorite?

Need ideas for launching writer's workshop in elementary school? These ten mentor text suggestions are perfect for getting kids excited about writing! Each book includes the reason to read it: to help kids brainstorm ideas, to introduce the wriitng process, to get tips for narrative writing and more! Grade level suggestions help you choose the perfect book for your students!


A Squiggly Story:
Perfect for K-2 writers who don't feel like they can "write" because they don't have conventional writing skills yet!

Need ideas for launching writer's workshop in elementary school? These ten mentor text suggestions are perfect for getting kids excited about writing! Each book includes the reason to read it: to help kids brainstorm ideas, to introduce the wriitng process, to get tips for narrative writing and more! Grade level suggestions help you choose the perfect book for your students!
The Idea Jar
The lesson of this book is that there's no bad idea for writing! Writers collect all ideas.

Need ideas for launching writer's workshop in elementary school? These ten mentor text suggestions are perfect for getting kids excited about writing! Each book includes the reason to read it: to help kids brainstorm ideas, to introduce the wriitng process, to get tips for narrative writing and more! Grade level suggestions help you choose the perfect book for your students!

The Memory String
Writing ideas can come from a lot of different places, including the treasures we save to help us remember.

Need ideas for launching writer's workshop in elementary school? These ten mentor text suggestions are perfect for getting kids excited about writing! Each book includes the reason to read it: to help kids brainstorm ideas, to introduce the wriitng process, to get tips for narrative writing and more! Grade level suggestions help you choose the perfect book for your students!

Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street
Lots of writing advice is given to the young writer in this book. It's fun to make a chart of all of the writing tips!

Need ideas for launching writer's workshop in elementary school? These ten mentor text suggestions are perfect for getting kids excited about writing! Each book includes the reason to read it: to help kids brainstorm ideas, to introduce the wriitng process, to get tips for narrative writing and more! Grade level suggestions help you choose the perfect book for your students!
 
The Best Story
Sometimes we try too hard to write the best story. Instead, why don't we write about what we know?

Need ideas for launching writer's workshop in elementary school? These ten mentor text suggestions are perfect for getting kids excited about writing! Each book includes the reason to read it: to help kids brainstorm ideas, to introduce the wriitng process, to get tips for narrative writing and more! Grade level suggestions help you choose the perfect book for your students!

Rocket Writes a Story
Rocket follows a writing process to write his story! This makes a great anchor chart lesson, too! You can build your chart of Rocket's writing process, one step at a time.

Need ideas for launching writer's workshop in elementary school? These ten mentor text suggestions are perfect for getting kids excited about writing! Each book includes the reason to read it: to help kids brainstorm ideas, to introduce the wriitng process, to get tips for narrative writing and more! Grade level suggestions help you choose the perfect book for your students!


Need ideas for launching writer's workshop in elementary school? These ten mentor text suggestions are perfect for getting kids excited about writing! Each book includes the reason to read it: to help kids brainstorm ideas, to introduce the wriitng process, to get tips for narrative writing and more! Grade level suggestions help you choose the perfect book for your students!

How This Book Was Made
Published authors have followed a writing process that includes a lot of revisions and edits!

Need ideas for launching writer's workshop in elementary school? These ten mentor text suggestions are perfect for getting kids excited about writing! Each book includes the reason to read it: to help kids brainstorm ideas, to introduce the wriitng process, to get tips for narrative writing and more! Grade level suggestions help you choose the perfect book for your students!
 
The Plot Chickens
A step-by-step guide to writing an imaginative narrative gets your kids thinking about the creative things that they can do in their own writing!

Need ideas for launching writer's workshop in elementary school? These ten mentor text suggestions are perfect for getting kids excited about writing! Each book includes the reason to read it: to help kids brainstorm ideas, to introduce the wriitng process, to get tips for narrative writing and more! Grade level suggestions help you choose the perfect book for your students!


 
A Moment in Time
Zooming in on an ordinary moment can make your story special.

Need ideas for launching writer's workshop in elementary school? These ten mentor text suggestions are perfect for getting kids excited about writing! Each book includes the reason to read it: to help kids brainstorm ideas, to introduce the wriitng process, to get tips for narrative writing and more! Grade level suggestions help you choose the perfect book for your students!

Little Red Writing
This book is a fun approach to writing a narrative. It gives so many ideas about word choice to help you revise!

These books make a fun launch to writer's workshop and will get your kids thinking about writing ideas and the writing process. You can use them to make anchor charts and more to help your kids remember what's important about writing!
*Affiliate links included.


or get the free download here!


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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Writer's Workshop: Components and Structures to Help You Get Started

What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!If you haven't been trained in writer's workshop, but you've been asked to do it, you're probably super stressing out.
  
It's a big shift from whole-class, teacher-led instruction, but I believe, with the right structure and support, you can do it!
  
This introduction will give you the language you need and some ideas on structuring your writer's workshop in third, fourth, and fifth grade, so that you can get started without pulling your hair out.

The Structure of Writer's Workshop
The basic workshop works in a one-hour model. That doesn't mean you can't use this approach if you have less or more time. It just means you have to make some adjustments!

The main components of the workshop framework are...

The minilesson
Independent writing time
Closing share
What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!
Here's what each one looks like:

The Minilesson: 15 minutes
During the minilesson, the teacher is providing instruction and modeling in one of the following areas:
Rituals and routines 
  • How to set up a writer's notebook
  • Where to get materials
  • How to come to the carpet for a lesson
  • How to talk to a partner about writing
  • What to do when you're ready to move on
The writing process (more on this in the next post!)
  • Prewriting: gathering ideas, planning writing
  • Drafting: organizing and developing ideas into a piece of writing
  • Revising: making changes to the writing with the message and reader in mind
  • Editing: making corrections to writing in spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization
  • Publishing: putting the writing into its final form so that it can be shared
 Craft (for more ideas on books to use for this, check out my mentor text post for a free download!)
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Sensory-Language-Narrative-Writing-Mini-lessons-Unit-4130579?aref=6ctmalhx
 
Conventions
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Capitalization
  • Punctuation
  • Paragraphing
What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!
Get more ideas for minilessons and the tools you need to deliver them in this Writer's Workshop Resource

Independent Writing Time 30 - 40 minutes
Students work independently on following the writing process to create a piece of writing. Students may be at different places in the writing process. Expectations for independence need to be taught and reviewed frequently. 
The teacher should perform a "status of the class" at the end of the minilesson or the beginning of this block of time to see where students are in their writing work. A clip chart is one way to do this, but a clipboard with a checklist works well, too.

During this time, the teacher can work with small groups of students for intervention, or individual students for writing conferences. More on that below!
 
What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!
Closing Share: 3-5 minutes
  • Author's chair: one student shares their writing with the class (the student is chosen by the teacher to feature something they did well)
  • Everybody shares: each student reads something they worked on to another student
  • Favorite line: Each student underlines their favorite line that they worked on that day. They take turns sharing their lines in a group.
Other important components of Writer's Workshop
Those three components make up the main structure. However, these components are so important!

What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!Conventions: even though many people weave the conventions instruction into the minilesson, I personally think it's important to have direct and purposeful conventions instruction every single day.

Daily Oral Language, or Morning Message, where students correct errors every day isn't research based, and studies show it is not effective in the long run and doesn't change students' actual writing conventions when they create a piece of writing.

Instead, mentor sentences are an authentic, purposeful way to get more mileage out of your conventions instruction.




Writing Response Groups or Buddies: Students share their writing with a teacher-assigned partner or group to get feedback. Structures for writing response need to be explicitly modeled for and taught to students in order for them to be effective.

What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!
Get these Writing Response Group tools and more in my Writer's Workshop Resource on TpT!

What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!Intervention Group: A small group of students meets with the teacher to work on a specific skill or strategy.

It's basically a minilesson that targets what the students need and is done with lots of support and application.

Guided Writing: In a small group, the teacher walks the students through a part of the writing process a step at a time.

Writing Conference: An individual student meets with the teacher to discuss their writing, what they're doing well, and what they can do next to grow.

It helps to keep a record of conferences so you know who you've conferred with and what they're working on.

 
Need more tools for implementing Writer's Workshop in your classroom? Get the entire Writer's Workshop Toolkit with everything you need to organize your workshop, evaluate student writing,  plan and deliver minilessons, and confer with your writers!
What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!

 Need some help to get started? Check out this free download for tools to help you teach writing in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade!
  • The Framework of Writer's Workshop
  • Components of Writer's Workshop
  • Minilesson Planner
  • Steps in the Writing Process
  • Guide: Guiding Students Through the Writing Process
  • Think Aloud Sentence Starters
  • Writing Process Folders: directions & printables
  • Conference Log 
  • Personal Editing Checklist
  • Revision Strategy Card: Find a Place
 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Intervention-Toolkit-72-small-group-lessons-4620730?aref=qw1fw9zp

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Using Mentor Texts in Reading and Writing *Free download

This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list! If you've been following for any length of time, you know that I love a good mentor text.

They're engaging and a great way to get students thinking and talking.

But how do you use mentor texts effectively in reading and writing?

In this post, I break down the steps for using a mentor text.

Hang with me until the end - there's a free download in it for you, too!

What is a mentor text?
A mentor text is a book (often a picture book, but not necessarily) that can be used to give students an opportunity to notice, practice, or apply a certain skill or strategy.

How do I use a mentor text?

1. Read the book as a read aloud, for enjoyment. The first time you read isn't about analyzing the text; it's about situating yourself in the text and thinking about what's happening to ensure students have comprehension and a connection with the text.

2. Choose a piece of the text that highlights the skill or strategy you want to practice. Re-read that piece during a minilesson. Always encourage students to think about what reading like a writer looks like by helping them think about the text from the writer's perspective. This chart helps kids think about the writing decisions authors make!

3. Model applying the strategy in that piece of text. Think aloud.

4. Have students apply the strategy in partners or groups, verbally.

5. Connect to group and then independent practice, usually in a different text.

Teaching kids to think differently when "reading like a reader" and "reading like a writer" really helps!


What does that look like in reading?
For example, in reading,  the book In November by Cynthia Rylant is excellent for helping students visualize. Rylant includes so many sensory details that it can help students make a movie in their minds.

First, we read the book aloud and just appreciated Rylant's beautiful words. Then, at a later time, we re-read it and I modeled using the details from the text to make pictures in my mind, which improved my comprehension.

Students practiced this in partners, describing their mental images to each other.

Then, I had students each take a chunk of text and create a picture representation of their mental image, explaining where the details came from by using the text to support their picture.

This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list!

This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list!

Here's another great way to help kids use sensory details to visualize: students record sensory details on sticky notes. Then they combine them to create a mental image that represents the text. They sketch this visualization, too. This activity (plus so many others for visualizing) is available in my Visualizing Sensory Details MiniPack on TpT!

This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list!

But it doesn't stop there. This book can be used as a mentor text for writing, too

What does it look like in writing?
1. Read the book for enjoyment.
2. Revisit a piece of the book to use as a model. Read it aloud or project it so all students can see it.
3. Think aloud about the strategy or skill the writer used in that piece of text. For example, in In November, I pointed out the sensory language that Rylant uses to describe trees, the animals, food, and so much more. As we read parts of the book aloud, we added the language to our anchor chart.

This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list!
 
4. Then we brainstormed language we could use in our own writing to describe a season. In groups, students created charts for winter, spring, summer, and fall. You can get this complete activity on TpT!

This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list!

5. I modeled using some of the language to write a piece of writing.
6. Students tried it themselves. They used the charts to write their own piece of writing describing a season of their choice.
This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list!

Which books can I use as mentor texts?
You are seriously in luck. I have put together a free download that includes some of the mentor text lists from my Reader's Workshop Resource, Writer's Workshop Resource, Narrative Writing Minilesson Bundle, and Expository Introductions resources, and it's free!

This free download includes a recording sheet for you to start building your mentor text collection, and mentor text lists for Reader's Workshop, Writer's Workshop, reading skills and strategies in fiction and nonfiction, and writing mentor texts in narrative and expository!


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