Teaching Reading: 3-5 Workshop
Writing Put It Into Practice | Writing
In this section, you will build on what you have learned, and develop strategies you can use in your own classroom. The following activities are designed to help you promote the writing development of all of your students. Choose one or both of the activities from the list below.
Activity 1 –Using Exemplary Writing
In this activity, you will learn how to identify and use examples of good writing to help students improve specific skills.
Activity 2 –Supporting Struggling Writers
In this activity, you will consider each stage of the writing process, the difficulties some of your students encounter, and specific teaching strategies you can use to help them improve.
Using Exemplary Writing
In order to learn how to write well, students need to be provided with a wide range of models for each of the writing skills that are taught. In this activity, you will begin to create a reference collection of children’s books to use as models for teaching writing. When you have finished, save your written work to submit as an assignment.
- Reread the article by McElveen and Dierking, focusing on the following ideas:
- writing skills
- books used as models
- the structure of a mini-lesson
- Choose three target writing skills that are important in your writing program, such as good leads, use of dialogue, and use of adjectives.
- Find three books (or portions of books) that present clear examples of each target skill.
- Complete the Using Exemplary Writing Chart (PDF)
- Develop a lesson with three parts:
- Model and Demonstration
- Guided Practice
- Independent Application
For example, if your target skill is creating an engaging lead, you could read the first page of several books and discuss how they hook the reader. For guided practice, put a piece of writing on an overhead and have the group rewrite several different opening sentences and discuss how they improve readers’ engagement. Finally, have students take a sample of their own writing and revise the lead.
Supporting Struggling Writers
During a writing workshop, students engage in various stages of the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, editing, and sharing/publishing. Students who struggle with writing often encounter difficulties in one or more of these stages. In this activity, you will consider each stage of the writing process, the difficulties some of your students encounter, and specific instructional supports you can provide. You may want to collaborate with a colleague in completing this activity. When you have finished, save your written work to submit as an assignment.
- First, review the article by Derek Furr, “Struggling Readers Get Hooked on Writing.”
- Next, think about two or three of your students who struggle to compose a written piece. What specific difficulties do they have in each stage of the writing process?
- Now, based on your readings and on the workshop video, what instructional strategies will assist your students during writing? Complete the Supporting Struggling Writers (PDF) chart to document your answers. Some examples are provided to assist you in your thinking.
Keep this list of instructional practices for planning writing activities in all subject areas. You may add to this list throughout the year.
4.2 Analyze the Video | Writing
Watch the video, "Writing," taking notes as you watch. After you watch, jot down your answers to the questions below. If you prefer to watch the video in segments, pause the video when you see the next chapter heading.
Workshop 1 Creating Contexts for Learning
This session examines how classroom organization, routines, and grouping practices can enhance literacy skills in the middle grades. Literacy expert Jeanne Paratore discusses teaching strategies that foster reading and writing skills. Classroom examples illustrate the research.
Workshop 2 Fluency and Word Study
This session focuses on how students in the middle grades develop vocabulary and reading fluency. Literacy expert Richard Allington discusses specific teaching strategies that help build fluency and vocabulary, illustrated by classroom examples.
Workshop 3 Building Comprehension
Comprehending text is one of the main goals of reading. In this session, literacy expert Nell Duke discusses what good readers do and strategies teachers can use to help students build comprehension skills. Classroom footage provides examples of comprehension strategies.
Workshop 4 Writing
This workshop examines the relationship between reading and writing in the middle grades. Literacy expert Nadeen Ruiz discusses the connections, conventions, and inventions that provide a framework for teaching writing, illustrated by classroom examples.
Workshop 5 New Literacies of the Internet
This workshop focuses on the evolving use of networked technology in education. Literacy expert Donald Leu discusses strategies that help students effectively read, write, and communicate on the Internet. Classroom examples illustrate strategies for using Internet resources in the classroom.
Workshop 6 Teaching English Language Learners
Changing classroom demographics call for a range or teaching strategies. In this session, literacy expert Robert Jim�nez discusses strategies teachers can use to create a successful learning environment for all students, while supporting English language learners. Classroom examples illustrate the research.
Workshop 7 Teaching Diverse Learners
In this session, literacy expert Dorothy Strickland discusses how teachers can meet the diverse needs of readers and writers in their classrooms. Classroom examples and teaching strategies address different aspects of diversity, including culture, language, background, ability, and learning approaches.
Workshop 8 Assessment and Accountability
This session explores assessment, standards, and outcomes. Literacy expert Kathy Au discusses the strategies teachers can use to assess students' understanding in reading and writing. Classroom examples illustrate how students can participate in their own assessment.
Supplementary Workshop 6 - Teaching English Language Learners
Professional Development Workshop Guide