Write routinely over extended time frames time for research, reflection, and revision and shorter time frames a single sitting or a day or two for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences. Silent Reading 20 minutes Students independently read their overcoming obstacle novel from the list distributed at the start of the unit.
First Efforts at Written Conversations Strategies: Through his presentation as well as our hands-on exercises based on his new book, The Best-Kept Teaching Secret: How Written Conversations Engage Kids, Activate Learning, and Grow Fluent Writers Kwe came away energized with concrete and meaningful strategies we felt we could apply right away in a variety of ways with teachers and students across multiple subject areas.
Students read for an entire period every Wednesday and have free choice over their self-selected texts.
Thanks to a grant we received from the Norcross High Foundation for Excellencewe were able to purchase multiple texts by YA Author Paul Volponi for student formed literature circles as part of a culminating virtual author visit with Volponi whom we highly recommend! Although the class we chose for our first efforts had experienced some difficulty in small group work in the past, we all felt optimistic in trying these strategies with the students.
Write-Around Text on Text: Essentially, you take a copy of a piece of text, affix it to a large piece of butcher paper or sticky note poster, and provide different colored markers or Sharpies for students.
We did this so that we would have time to copy the page for each student selected passage, mark it, and then affix it to the butcher paper for the write-around activity.
If students selected only a sentence, I went ahead and marked off the paragraph around it to help students see more context. I then trimmed them with our paper cutter and organized piles of texts by group.
Next, I took large sheets of butcher paper feet and laid each one on a table in our rotunda area. I then taped each passage onto the butcher paper, usually working a triangular pattern so that students would have room to write around each piece of text on the butcher paper.
The other prep work involved writing up simple and direct instructions for students to frontload the activity. We knew they would need start-up instructions and wanted to include visuals with concise steps to try and mitigate confusion.
Since the students had little prior experience with text annotation, we also printed copies of possible conversation prompts in case students experienced any difficulty thinking of how to engage in the written dialogue once they were at the tables with their groups.
Finally, we included rosters of each group so that it would be easy to quickly get groups to their writing tables. I incorporated all of these elements into a PowerPoint that I showed at the beginning of our session in the library; I also used the slides to print out the group nametags and copies of the writing prompts.
Our First Efforts Students Writing Around Text on Text It took about minutes to review the introductory directions and to show students examples of how they might annotate their text. Once students got to their tables and selected a pen, we told them we would take about 10 minutes to write as quietly as we could; I used my iPhone as my stopwatch.
At first, they looked a little hesitant, much like a wobbly newborn deer standing on its legs for the first time. Darrell, Jen, and I walked around listening and observing.The activity that I would like to introduce here is called: Pass-it-around Writing Before the activity, students have to be divided in heterogeneous groups of three or four.
Each group member receives a sheet of lined paper and a colored pen. These examples are: the Write-Around, the Prompted Quick-Writes, Picture This, and the Self-Portrait. Finally, the chapter ends with a 3 step process to “set up” the writing center so it is geared towards ESL students.
Encouraging kids to write around the room focuses their attention to environmental print in their very own home, and it is a great way to get kids writing, looking closely at letters, and learning some new words. All you need to write around the room is a notebook or clipboard, a pen/pencil/marker, and a room in which to write!
Children love Write the Room games because they love to wander around the room, move, and get active. Here are three Write the Room activities that Pre-K children can do.
Rainbow Write the Room From the second the kids began this activity, excitement filled the air! Rainbow Write the Room was a huge hit.
Kids who never attempted to write or even draw, were suddenly excited about it! The activity that I would like to introduce here is called: Pass-it-around Writing Before the activity, students have to be divided in heterogeneous groups of three or four. Each group member receives a sheet of lined paper and a colored pen.
Write Around Sample, Super fun writing activity. Students write one part of a story and then pass the paper to the next person.
The group then works together to revise and each person edits for a final piece of writing.