Section 4, Skill Practice and Instruction1 session Session 1, Planning Skills Instruction 45 minutes
Learning Goals • Reflect on the challenges of helping students use skills and conventions in their writing. • Understand how skills and conventions are taught and supported in the program.
Reflection • What do you notice about your students’ knowledge of skills and conventions? • What evidence of understanding have you seen in their writing?
Writing Skills and Conventions Review the “Skills and Conventions” chart and read the “Skills and Conventions” section in the Introduction of your Teacher’s Manual. Discuss with a partner: • What did you read that will be important to remember?
Writing Skills and Conventions (continued) Kindergarten teachers: Read the “Stages of Early Writing Development” chart in your Assessment Resource Book. Grades 1–6 teachers: In your Skill Practice Teaching Guide, read the Introduction on page vii and the “Language Skills Support in the Being a Writer Teacher’s Manual” section. Find and review the chart showing the skills correlation table for your grade. Discuss with a partner: • What did you read that will be important to remember?
Grades K–1: Skills and Conventions In early grades of the Being a Writer program: • Students are supported in learning the basic skills needed for writing, such as writing letters and words, using letter-sound relationships to spell words, using a word wall, and using standard sentence punctuation. • Writing skills and conventions are taught cumulatively and sequentially across the units in grades K–2 during the shared or modeled portions of the lessons.
Grades 2–6: Skills and Conventions In later grades of the Being a Writer program, writing skills and conventions: • Are taught after the students have had ample time to draft their ideas • Are discussed during the revision and proofreading phases of the writing process • Are taught when they naturally lend themselves to a particular genre • May be taught or reviewed as needed
Grades 1–6: Skills and Conventions The Skill Practice Teaching Guide mini-lessons: • Provide additional skills instruction and practice • Can be taught anytime during the year • Are brief 10–15 minute lessons • Can be taught to small groups or to the whole class • Include whiteboard activities to increase student engagement • Can be reinforced using the activities found in the Student Skill Practice Book
Grade K With your partner: • Identify the Unit Overviews in the manual and mark them with self-stick notes. • Revisit the “Skills and Conventions” chart in the Introduction of your Teacher’s Manual. • Using the Unit Overviews and the chart, determine when during the program you will be teaching the skills and conventions of writing.
Grades 1–6 With your partner: • Identify the Unit Overviews in the manual and mark them with self-stick notes. • Find the chart of skills for your grade level in the Skill Practice Teaching Guide to determine when skills are taught and when it might be appropriate to practice them using the mini-lessons provided. • Using the Unit Overviews and the chart, think about when (during which unit) you might teach each skill that is not taught in the day-to-day instruction, and where in the unit you would place that mini-lesson. You might also scan for Skill Practice Notes throughout each unit. • Mark the spots in your manual with self-stick notes.
What did you discover about the skills and conventions instruction in the program? • Based on what you have observed in your students’ writing, how will this component of the program be helpful? • What questions do you have?