Video 4: Fostering Choice and Independence
Watch the 30-minute video "Fostering Choice and Independence." Apply what you have learned in "Reasons for Writing" as you watch the extended video of classroom examples.
Answer the questions that follow each segment, jotting down your answers in your notebook or using them as discussion starters.
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Mark Hardy's Class
On these first two days of school, Mark Hardy introduces his third-graders to two important components of the writing workshop: writing for a real audience and writing about what they know and love best.
- How does Mark support his students in their selection of writing topics and forms?
- Based on what you remember from the sharing that takes place at the end of the writing workshop, make a list of writing forms the students chose.
- Some students started and finished their writing pieces in one day, while others took that long just to choose a topic. How does Mark address these differences? What strategies does he use to keep track of each student's work and progress?
Silvia Edgerton's Class
Silvia Edgerton begins each writing workshop with a "status of the class," in which she gathers her fifth-graders together to ask them what they plan to do that day.
- What strategies does Silvia use to elicit detailed information from her students?
- What does Silvia do to move students further along in the process?
- What evidence do you see of the students' independence during the "status of the class" discussion?
- In what ways are you able to see students taking responsibility for their work?