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?