Key Practices To Observe
"Teaching the Writing Craft" and "Teaching a Specific Writing Strategy" explore the place whole-class lessons have in a writing workshop and the approach teachers take in planning them. They feature commentary from experts on teaching writing at the elementary level, as well as classroom illustrations highlighting the practices of several teachers. See Profiles
As you watch, look for the following key practices:
- Teachers use whole-class lessons to introduce ideas and strategies relevant to the entire writing community.
- Teachers use inquiry to help students identify elements and strategies in written texts that they can replicate in their own writing.
- Teachers use a variety of models to show the elements of good writing.
- Teachers' lessons are guided by the overall ideas and goals of the unit of study.
- Teachers give students opportunities to talk with one another during whole-class instruction.
- Teachers listen in on student conversations to monitor understanding.
- Teachers urge students to immediately try the strategy being taught.
- Teachers realize that student mastery of writing skills may take several attempts and "re-teachings."
- Teachers record the strategies they have taught on charts, and post the charts to remind students of important strategies to use in their writing.
- During whole-class instruction, teachers think out loud to model and teach writing strategies.