Overview of Tatem’s New K-5 Writing Program and How You Can Support Your Child As A WriterPresented by Laurie Bushey, Joanne Letwinch, and Gino Priolo. J.F. Tatem’s PTA Presentation Series Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Philosophy of Writing • Children learn best in risk-free environments with high levels of challenge and support • Children need many opportunities to write about topics of their own choosing within a particular genre • Children learn best through social interactions with a more knowledgeable peer or adult
Philosophy of Writing, cont. • Children need frequent, ongoing opportunities to play with written language and investigate how written language works • Teachers need to provide frequent and varied demonstrations of writing in full-group situations in order to model the knowledge and thinking processes involved and to how that writing is an important and integral part of classroom culture
Philosophy of Writing, cont. • Teachers need to help children do their own phonics-based writing or kid writing. Teachers’ expectations of children’s writing send the empowering message, “You can do it!” Taking dictation send the self-limiting message, “You can’t, so I will do it for you.”
What is the Writer’s Workshop? • A block of school time devoted to the explicit teaching of writing • Students reflect on an ongoing basis • Teachers discuss where students have been as writers and where they are going • Students write with a purpose and not just a deadline • Teachers invite children to do all the things a writer really does: research, explore, reflect, conference, talk, read, share, take risks, prewrite, draft, revise, edit, publish, etc.
What is the format of the WW? • Mini-Lesson • First 5-10 minutes of the workshop • Students implement the mini lesson into their notebooks or current piece of writing • Status of the Class • Students briefly tell on what they will be working • Writing/Conferencing • 30-45 minutes • Share Reflect • 5 minutes
Student Choice • Teachers model how to select topics for writing • Students decide what they will write within particular units of study • Students use a writing notebook to write their thoughts and seed ideas, some of which become future writing pieces
The Writer’s Notebook • A place where students can write stories, memories, and ideas • Seed ideas become future writing pieces
Process Prewriting First Draft Sharing Revising Editing Publishing Workshop Students are nurtured in many ways other than just moving through the process Explicit teaching of the craft of writing Focus is on writers, rather than the process that leads to a finished piece Student live a “writerly life” Process vs. Workshop
The Writing Process • The focus of writing workshop should be on the writers, rather than on a process that leads to a finished piece. Students do not do the writing process; instead, they use the process to get other things done. The writing process is then a tool for learners. --Katie Wood Ray
Foundation for our Program • In grade K-5: Units of Study For Teaching Writing, by Lucy Calkins • (Columbia University Writing Project)
Sample Lesson Topics • Grade 5: Watermelon vs. See Idea • Grade 4: Story Leads
How to Encourage Your Child to Enjoy Writing • Exchange Post-it® notes with your children. Put the notes on pillowcases or mirrors, or in lunch boxes, books, or any surprise location. • Help children assemble photo albums of family events and write captions for the photos. • Ask children to put their wishes and wants into writing and to suggest how they may work toward or contribute to getting what they want. • Help children create a family newsletter or website to share with family members near and far.
How to Encourage Your Child to Enjoy Writing, cont. • Suggest that your children write postcards to themselves when they are away from home. When they receive their own postcards in the mail, they will have a souvenir of their trip. • Make writing practical and useful by having children write grocery and task lists, reminders and phone messages, instructions for caring for pets, or directions for getting to the park. • Ask children to find a "golden line" in their reading--a sentence that especially attracts them and makes them aware of what clever or colorful writing looks like
Other Web Resources • ¡Colorín Colorado!(http://www.colorincolorado.org/tips/step5.html) This website provides parents with information on how to help their children become more successful students. It includes tips on reading and writing, activities for children, and other resources. • Reading Is Fundamental(www.rif.org) The Reading Is Fundamental website offers educators and parents a variety of resources to promote literacy, including tips on motivating children to read. • Articles • "Tensing Up: Moving from Fluency to Flair,"The Quarterly of the National Writing Project, Volume 23, Number 3. • http://www.writingproject.org/pub/nwpr/quarterly/2001no3/linebarger.html • Ten Ideas that Get Kids Writing, National Writing Project, May 2003. • http://www.writingproject.org/pub/nwpr/nwp/ten-ideas.html