Video 1: Building a Community of Writers
Watch the 30-minute video "Building a Community of Writers." If you prefer to watch the video in segments, you can stop at the times suggested below or use the Video Guide (PDF) a detailed outline of the video to help you determine places to stop for discussion.
Answer the questions that follow each segment, jotting down your answers in your notebook or using them as discussion starters.
Providing Opportunities for Conversation
In the first segment, fifth-grade teacher Nicole Outsen and third-grade teachers Latosha Rowley and Jeanne Boiarsky recognize the importance of classroom environments where students feel comfortable talking about themselves and their work.
- What community-building strategies and practices do you observe during Nicole's and Latosha's morning meetings? How do these strategies and practices help the students grow as writers?
- Think about the two conferences from Jeanne's classroom. What evidence do you see that she has created an atmosphere of safety and respect?
- How do you encourage your less talkative students to participate in classroom conversations?
Providing Time and Structure for Writing
In this segment, several classroom examples illustrate how effective writing instruction requires a carefully orchestrated structure of rituals and routines as well as time to explore possibilities, reflect on lessons learned, and share and celebrate writing.
- During the class reflection time, what do Lindsay Dibert's questions, responses, and body language convey to her students?
- Mark Hansen says that students often are working out writing dilemmas even when they appear off-task. What teaching strategies or structures would help you balance freedom and control in your writing classroom?
- Share some ways in which you and your students celebrate and honor writing and writers.