Our next guest host is Gretchen Vogle. She is a second grade teacher at Lawnton Elementary in the Central Dauphin School District.
I was immediately intrigued by this chapter because student engagement can be difficult across the board, but I find it is especially difficult when teaching writing. I really like the idea of an engagement inventory. I have used this concept with reading; why not in writing? Has anyone implemented this in their classroom? How so? While I love the idea, I also wonder how to incorporate this and confer with students.
One strategy I thought would be easy to implement is 2.3 Listen. Praise. Instead of having students listen to edit, the students simply tell their classmates what they like. I sometimes struggle with how to have students work meaningfully together with writing. This is a nice simple way for students to share their writing and get feedback from their peers.
Another strategy that stood out to me was 2.6 Writers Are Problem Solvers. I currently have an anchor chart in my classroom for 'What to do if I don't know how to spell a word.' This chart is a nice way to expand upon that. While my students will refer to the spelling chart, they often come to me for the other situations, such as it being too loud or being stuck. Having an anchor chart like this in the classroom would help the students be more independent. I even thought of adding other situations, like 'My pencil broke.' or 'I don't know what else to write.' What are some ideas you would add?
These are just two of the strategies from this section that I can't wait to incorporate in my classroom. Which strategies stood out to you? Are there any other ways you foster engagement in your classroom?
This goal is important because it will help writers to visualize what they will write about and helps to build stamina as a writer. This "emerging" goal is certainly geared towards writers in the primary grades. However, it should be noted that having students write using pictures might look very similar to upper grades due to the structure being similar.
Obviously this goal would be good for writers that are pre-emergent or emergent readers. This would include students who may not have awareness of letters and sounds.
Jennifer makes it known that she struggled with separating the strategies in this book since strategies that are taught to students in upper grades could be used with students in primary grades. I believe this would also be the case for emerging strategies could be beneficial to students in upper grades.
This goal struck a cord with me as I often have children sketch or draw a picture before they start to write. Making a picture can help support students when it comes to writing since they can see the details they want to include in the writing. Some students prefer to write and then create a picture to go along with it.
Strategy 1.5 - Add Detail to Make Pictures Easier to Read
This goal is the stepping stone to when we ask writers to add details to their writing to make it more interesting to read. This goal is crucial to build that skill and increase writing stamina. This goal could be used across many grade levels and in different classes. Elaboration is the basis for this strategy.
Strategy 1.12 - Writing Across Pages
I find this strategy to very useful for writers to help plan out their writing, especially narrative writing. By starting with a picture, students are able to sequence before they begin drafting the story. Composing with pictures provides a road map for their writing. This strategy can be very easily used with informational writing as well.
What are your thoughts about this goal? Have you used any of these strategies with students that aren't emerging writers? Share your favorite strategy in this goal!
Welcome to our book study on Jennifer Serravallo's The Writing Strategies Book. Educators in the state of Pennsylvania can earn Act 48 hours (continuing education hours) for successful completion of the book study. Successful completion of the book study is defined as independent reading of the text and posting a least one comment to each blog post during the course of the study. If you are interested in signing up to receive emails when new blog posts are posted and/or wish to receive Act 48 hours for participation click here. We hope you will join us for this exciting way to interact about The Writing Strategies Book.
Our first host is Michael Williams, a second grade teacher from Harrisburg, PA. Michael writes:
The first section of the book, "Getting Started," is an introduction section of the book to read. Jennifer uses these first few pages to explain how she organized the book and the principles, research, and theory behind the strategies contained in each goal. She provides helpful hints on how to navigate through the book. When reading this very important section (don't skip it), I found myself stopping several times throughout to reread, reflect, reread, refine my thinking, and yes, reread again. Writing is such a complex process, unique to each individual, that I had to stop and think how this would apply to myself as a writer and how I would apply this in my classroom for my students.
One of the most thought provoking sections of this introduction was the "Setting Up the Classroom to Support Independence." Teachers, most of them, love anchor charts. However, the organization of these anchor charts can be overwhelming and time consuming. Jennifer suggests that during writing conferences, you can provide a writing goal sheet with the strategies that could help the writer. This goal sheet can be with the writer at all times and become a personal, go-to resource. How do you make goals and strategies visible to students during their writing time? How have your students become more independent during writing time?
The second section of the introduction that struck a cord with me was "How the Strategies in This Book Might Fit Into Your Classroom." Jennifer explains how you can use The Writing Strategies Book to plan a unit of study, manage conferring and small group instruction, and how to use the strategies within a variety of literacy programs. I felt empowered after reading this section as I felt that this resource alone could serve as the whole foundation of my lesson plans for all my units of writing. Jennifer mentions how you might use this book with certain programs or approaches to writing. How do you see yourself using this book within your current program or approach to writing in your classroom? What changes will you need to make to your writing instruction based on what you have read so far?