Friday, April 14, 2017

Three Hundred Writing Strategies

I signed up to do this book study on Writing Strategies, by Jennifer Serravallo,  because I need to do a better job at teaching writing. 
The coolest part of this book study is that I am doing it with other teachers. Kelly Malloy, from An Apple for the Teacher is heading it up. 

I have jumped in and now I know a little about the book. I began with "Getting Started".

For once I am glad that I didn't just jump into chapter one like I was inclined to do. I actually read the introduction, and I found three main things. 

1. Navigating the Book

This first section explains how to navigate the book quickly and efficiently. It also gave a breif overview of the 10 goals, which Kelly Malloy goes into detail in her blog post. The 10 goals are:

I love that the goals are set up in picture form, because it makes it so much easier to understand. I also love that the first goal is Composing with Pictures. I can't wait to dig into the chapter.

2. Setting up the Classroom to Support Independence 

I thought I'd show you a glimpse of my note-taking so far: 

I am already getting some really good tips and I'm not even into the book yet. I need to do four things:

➧ Make Goals Visible: This doesn't mean you have to plaster your walls with goals. It would be as easy as having a special book mark that students add their goals to. (Cool and simple- that's what I like).

➧ Feedback:  
  • Point out the student's strengths
  • Provide next steps
  • Show example of authors' work
➧ Writing Centers: Students don't work at the writing center, this is where they go to get materials they may need. Here is one example:
If you already have a writing center you are way ahead of me. I just figured out what one is, and my brain is actively planning what will go in it and what it will look like. Since I am a beginner at this, I would love to hear about your writing centers.

Mentor Texts:  I am a beginner at this when it comes to writing. My school has just begun using Lucy Calkins' writing program so I have a few resources, but I need to beef this area up quite a bit. 

3. How the Strategies in this Book Might Fit Into Your Classroom

Jennifer Serraballo used my favorite word, "balance" when she stated that the strategies fit best in a balanced literacy framework. I think balance is key to running an effective educational program.

Jennifer also maps out how to plan a unit of study. She also jumps right into managing writing conferences and small group instruction. This is my real reason for jumping into this study. I want to learn how to effectively manage both individual writing conferences with students and small group instruction, while the other students are writing.
Here is one last diagram from the "getting started" section that I want to share. It is the writing process. I love how the prewriting from the old charts has been cut up into four parts. This makes so much more sense to me, because it take of lot of prewriting activities to get most kids really writing.  

If you would like to purchase The Writing Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo, you can get it on Amazon. It got mine in one day. I ordered it at 11:00 on Sunday and had it by 7:00 the same day. Remember, the book is an investment with 300 strategies. 

To get started on Goal 1: visit Kelly Malloy at An Apple for the Teacher.

Jen, from Teaching, Life, and Everything in Between, has posted her thoughts on Goal 2

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