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The writer’s notebook june13


Presentation given for The Writing Notebook class at the district summer institute

Presentation given for The Writing Notebook class at the district summer institute

Published in Education , News & Politics
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  • Set up 3 charts around the room: Do you consider yourself a writer? How much do you know about writers’ workshop? Do you currently have a time set aside in your class for daily writing? If yes – how much (). As people enter have them fill these out.Does everyone have a pen? Please open your notebooks and number (on the top right corner – each page – 1-10 starting at the beginning). Then go to page 1 and put today’s date, July 13, 2011 in the left hand column. Good, please also put a page number of 1 in the upper right hand corner (MODEL). Please write your first name on the top of the paper as a heading. (model) In your notebook, please take a few minutes to write about your name. The history of your name (where it came from), what you like about your name, what you dislike about it, any nicknames it may have, etc. You may begin. When finished – “Is there someone who would be willing to share with the group?” “Thank you – now everyone please look back at what you wrote and underline the most important/special/interesting/or meaningful line that you wrote. Please go around your table and introduce yourself, your school, grade you teach, and the line that you underlined in your notebook.Introduce ourselves and why we are teaching this class. Review the survey from when people walked in the door.
  • Post objectives and agenda somewhere in the room.
  • What’s the purpose of having a notebook – this was in the jigsaw article – 1st section.
  • You’ve all received a copy of Aimee Buckner’s book Notebook Know-How. Aimee Buckner a third/fourth grade teacher in Georgia. She has spent the past fourteen years teaching and learning alongside her students. She has written Notebook Know-How and a book on reader’s notebooks called Notebook Connections. Please feel free to write, highlight, etc. in these books. They are yours as long as you work in the district and they should be used. Today we will just scratch upon the strategies in this book but we hope that you’ll find it interesting and it will spark your interest to read the rest of the book and to try the strategies in the book as you read it and continue to build the writer’s notebook that you start today.Take a few moments to page through the book.You’ll notice at your tables that there is a table of contents that looks like this (hold it up), please at this time take 2 of those and tape or glue one to the front inside cover of your notebook and glue/tape one to the back inside cover of your notebook. (Model)In Notebook Know How – Aimee Buckner suggests that students have a choice in how they keep a table of contents. We have given you a structure for it today to try. You may modify it today or later if you wish. Buckner suggests that student writing occurs at the beginning of the notebook, and at the back of t he notebook notes are kept on strategies/grammar lessons, etc. At this time, please write the page number (1) in the table of contents at the front of the notebook next to History of a Name. Now please flip to the back of your notebook and from the back moving forward, please number your pages alphabetically A-J (model). Please note the table of contents has the page numbers where you will find these strategies in your Notebook Know-How book so you can find them later on at home.
  • You have just completed one of the first strategies from Aimee Buckner’s book Notebook Know-How (Have a Poster that says STRATEGIES and write History of a Name on it). Please write History of a Name on the top of page A. I’m going to give you some background on this strategy. Please take notes in your writer’s notebook and indicate in the table of contents that you took these notes on page A. If you want to take any other notes during the presentation – this might be a good place to take them. This is the structure of a mini-lesson. Today we won’t be doing modeling/active involvement etc. because we are adult learners but you can use these notes to help you teach lessons in the future.
  • Hand out the standards documents – two packets. MN recently adopted the Common Core standards. All but 8 states have adopted these standards and states will have the same standards (except they were able to add 15% of content – things like emphasis on Native Americans/creative text). The standards that mainly impact our teaching of writing are the writing and language standards (conventions). You have two sets of documents in front of you. The front page of each document is a grid created by Ann Evenson. The grid gives and overview of the K-6 continuum for the standards. The remaining pages of each document are a list of the specific standards for each grade level 3-6. Please take a few moments to review these standards. Be prepared to share out 2-3 items that you noticed as things that surprised you and that you may need to beef up in your own teaching next year. Give time to read – share with partner.Share the items on this slide as high level take a-ways for the standards in grades 3-6.
  • Share the items on this slide as high level take a-ways for the standards in grades 3-6.
  • There is increased emphasis on informational text and text complexity.
  • Jigsaw - Chapter 1 of Marvelous mini-lessons for Teaching Intermediate Writing: Grades 4-6 by Lori Jamison Rog, 2010Count off 1-4 with those around you. 1: page 1-2 (The Writing Workshop pages), 2: page 3-4 (mini-lesson, Gradual Release), 3: page 5-6 (Writing time, conference), 4: page 7-8 (Sharing, Getting Started). Job: Read your assigned section. Then, for each of the pages you read, complete 1 post it each. Put 3 words on the post it that summarize your section. Then meet as a group – share those words and justify your selection of them. If you finish early – please go ahead and read some of the other sections.
  • Jigsaw - Chapter 1 of Marvelous mini-lessons for Teaching Intermediate Writing: Grades 4-6 by Lori Jamison Rog, 2010Count off 1-4 with those around you. 1: page 1-2 (The Writing Workshop pages), 2: page 3-4 (mini-lesson, Gradual Release), 3: page 5-6 (Writing time, conference), 4: page 7-8 (Sharing, Getting Started). Job: Read your assigned section. Then, for each of the pages you read, complete 1 post it each. Put 3 words on the post it that summarize your section. Then meet as a group – share those words and justify your selection of them. If you finish early – please go ahead and read some of the other sections.
  • Another Strategy in Aimee Buckner’s book is similar to the History of a Name strategy. In this strategy, rather than writing about your name, you write about a word. Please turn to page two of your writing notebook, write “Writing Workshop” on the top. You will write about this word, whatever comes to mind. We’ll also use the Timed Writing Strategy. We’ll give you 4 minutes to write. You must keep your pencil moving the entire time, even if the only thing you can write is, I don’t know what to write. The Timed Writing Strategy is not in the Buckner book but is in many others. The ideas is that we often tell ourselves that we’re not writers and what we’re doing isn’t good enough. So sometimes we just have to write and our creative selves will come out. Please start writing now….Write this strategy on the STRATEGIES poster. Have participants write notes in the back of their notebook and complete the table of contents in both the front and back sections of their composition notebooks.
  • So why are we here today – to start with two of the key short term goals – to get ourselves writing and learn ways that we might get our students writing.
  • How you organize the notebook may or may not fit how we organize it today. What works for you and your students is the RIGHT way.
  • Take notes on the strategy in the back of your notebook.Tell participants that you have a print out of this poem, and another by the same author photocopied if they’d like to keep it.
  • Welcome back. Hope you enjoyed your break. We’ll be spending the remainder of the session practicing more strategies from Buckner’s book and then toward the end of class we’ll briefly discuss assessment. Are there any questions before we dive in?Buckner’s strategy lead you through this process: build fluency, brainstorming – building patterns, picking a topic and expanding on it, DRAFT, revising, learning about genre, editing. We are working on building fluency and brainstorming – building patterns at this point. Bring up quotationAnother strategy (ADD TO STRATEGIES POSTER) is Observation. Writers notice what regular people don’t. Writers use their five senses to truly observe what is going on around them. They try to paint images with words – not just any words, the right words . Being aware of our surroundings and being able to write about them takes a lot of practice. So we’re going to practice today. Please take a few moments to sketch and write (or just write) about an object around you or the entire room. You can write as a list, as complete sentences, as words ,whatever works for you as a writer. Think about what you see, hear, smell, and how you feel. Anyone want to share what they wrote? Or share with a partner…. (important to have an audience to our writing – gives it meaning). Or share your reflections on this strategy with a partner.
  • Read portions of the text above and prompt the students to make a list of their 10 Best and 10 Worst Life events. Star those they could write more about. Then have them create an entry on 1 of those items. (ADD STRATEGY TO STRATEGY POSTER). Remind students to think about if their goal right now is to create a mentor text for students or practice being a writer themselves. Based on their goal, the content they put in their notebook may vary. Make sure participants fill out their table of contents on both ends of the notebook (and take notes on the strategy).
  • Ask participants to reread through their notebooks. Tell them to highlight sentences or phrases that are different than everything else in their writing, things they could write more about, things that anger them, delight them, disturb them, keep tugging at them. Give students a few minutes to do this. Write REREADING/HIGHLIGHT on the strategy poster
  • (ADD STRATEGY TO STRATEGY POSTER). Make sure students fill out their table of contents on both ends of the notebook (and take notes on the strategy).Now… find 1 of the items that you highlighted and I want you to lift that line (to copy it from the original piece to the next clean section of your notebook and to start writing that piece using this sentence as a starting point).
  • (ADD STRATEGY TO STRATEGY POSTER). Make sure students fill out their table of contents on both ends of the notebook (and take notes on the strategy). (This strategy is not in the handout (no note taking sheet - they will have to take their own notes).
  • Give participants to reflect on the 7 strategies we’ve learned so far and to practice one of them. Skip the above if there isn’t time – and just mention it as a next step. Basically, teachers would teach the strategies in the Getting started and fluency section of Buckner’s books plus others they know for a few weeks and give students choice between ones that they pick. They could also have students do daily writing (when they enter the room for the day, etc).
  • (ADD STRATEGY TO STRATEGY POSTER). Dana model the next step from your own notebook of finding patterns. We haven’t done enough writing for you to probably have much for patterns (especially since I dictated the topics for some of what you wrote – like writing from a word). So for today, select a topic you could write more about and write that topic in your notebook as a header.. At this point – for a while- all of your entries in your notebook would be around the topic that you selected to write more about – and we would work on strategies to expand that topic, narrow it down, focus in on it – so you would be prepared to write a draft soon. If you need to teach students a specific genre that you’ll just need to ensure that you are guiding students toward topics that will be suitable for that genre (or angles on a topic that would be suitable for that genre). Refer to writing as a writing or a published piece – not a story since not all students write stories. Some students will not write narratives.
  • Add to Strategies PosterListing the Possibilities writing from a list but with a different purpose. Make a list focused on a topic = purpose is to help narrow down a larger topic or to think more deeply about a focused topic. For example if a student wanted to write about soccer – they could list all of their memories about soccer. Each list item might than be able to be a story of its own. Students can write about memories, events, equipment, places, etc. that relate to the topic. Works best with topics that are too big to write about in one story.
  • At your table you have notes for the strategies Writing from another’s point of view and 3 word phrases in 3 minutes. Select 1 and try the strategy with the topic that you selected to write more about. We’ll give you 2 minutes to read about the strategy and 5 minutes to write. When the 5 minutes are up, we’ll ask that you meet with 1-2 other people in the group to share your strategies.
  • Add to strategies poster
  • Add to Strategies Poster
  • Once students have drafted, you go back to the notebook and begin to practice revision strategies. Aimee b. groups her revision strategies into 2 categories 1. she calls Read to Write which is focused on word choice and 2. Understanding Genre (chapters 4 and 5 of the book). These strategies are practiced in the notebook and then those revisions that students wish to add to their draft are added to a draft copy that is written outside of the notebook.When teaching writing/and revision it is good to look at a lot of mentor texts. What picture books have you used with intermediate students that you think could be used during writers workshop?
  • One revision strategy is to use mentor text to help students think about effective story leads. There is a strategy called Grabber Leads in the book that you can reference. Basically you take a bunch of texts, look at leads, and discuss what about it made it a good lead. You have a handout with an example of what the anchor chart your class would make might look like. Due to time we’re not going to do that strategy but we’ll utilize the handout for our next strategy to practice writing effective leads.Use Grabber Leads handout for examples of leading lines.
  • Add to Strategies Poster“We have been studying how authors grab our attention with the first sentence. I want you to look at the draft you’re currently working on (you don’t have a draft – use a piece from today with a leading sentence) and read your lead sentence to your partner.” In your notebook, Write Try 10 at the top of the page. Number 1: write the existing lead for the writing piece. Then rewrite your lead 9 times – if you get stuck use the grabber leads sheet to help you come up with ideas.
  • After revising – making the content better, we shift to editing strategies. Editing includes checking capitalization, ending punctuation, use of commas, subject-verb agreement, paragraph structure, verb tense, editing passive voice, complete sentences (avoiding run-ons), etc. The editing strategies are tried in the writers notebook first before making changes to the draft (outside of the notebook). There are some great strategies in the Notebook Know how book in chapter 6 that we encourage you to try once you have drafted and revised a piece of your writing this summer. Remember – we need to have models to show our students. One very quick but effective strategy is to have students read their draft backwards. You could give students a passage with misspelled words to place in their notebooks to try this strategy together. By isolating each word and starting at the end and reading left to write, students may notice things that look wrong. If something looks wrong, they should circle it. Then they can go over the circled words in more detail. This strategy can also be used to locate specific homophones that you know students have difficulty with, etc.
  • In addition to grading fewer compositions, teachers can lessen time demands and increase effectiveness by adopting a few, fundamental rules. -Make assessments simple. Focus upon a few aspects of writing and set up the assessment accordingly. -Make a non-evaluative comment on the intended message. -Cite one area for improvement and one area where the student wrote well. Turn to page 113 of Buckner book to see example rubric. See page 120 for the student self assessment. Buckner has a rubric she uses to assess and grade the rubric each term. It is assessed on flexibility and fluency (completion of entries, variety of strategies and topics), thoughtfulness (reflective, revealing thinking, Practices good grammar, usage, mechanics, spelling), frequency (Write in class daily and 3x a week at home). Students also do a self assessment mid year. Students are asked to reflect upon how they use the notebook (frequency, thoughtfulness, to figure out the world around them)Select 2 entries that demonstrate they are original thinkers, copy them and attach to assessmentSelect two entries that show they understand qualities of good writing. Copy them and explain how they demonstrate good writing (write on back of copies)Reread the entries selected and what you wrote about yourself as a writer and then reflect on 1) what you learned about yourself as a writer 2) what topics you tend to write about 3) how you’ve changed as a writer 4) what you’d like to improve upon – set a goalStudents do another self assessment at the end of the year (p. 122-123) – select entries throughout the year and explain on them how their writing has changed throughout the year, what they’ve learned, how they’ve changed, what they are best at, what techniques work for them, etc.Fletcher does not recommend grading individual pieces but grading the student writing as a whole (so they are not discouraged as writers at this age). Use portfolio & assessment of it and self evaluations. If you must assess, he recommends assessing on 1. quality of composition, 2. correctness of conventions, 3. use of variety of composing and revising strategies, and 4. participation in the workshopOther things to consider:Conferring notesReview/reading of student notebooksClassroom observationLook at standards
  • Point teachers to the resources sheet of samples of student writing – bring them to the sites if there is time. If time, have participants share Read Aloud books that they’d recommend to each other.
  • Please turn to page 125 of your book and read the section titled, Final Thoughts.
  • Thank you for being here today. We hope that you’ve been inspired to read the book and begin your road to a writerly life.


  • 1. June 13, 2011
    12:45 – 4:00
    The Writer’s Notebook
    Stacy Grant & Dana Schreiner
    Today’s presentation will be online
    Thank you for being here!
    1. Pick up your copy of Notebook Know-How
    2. Pick up a composition notebook and handouts
    3. Complete the 3 surveys (charts)
  • 2. Why are we here?
    Understand and implement best practices in literacy instruction.
    • Learn writing strategies to launch the writer’s notebook
    • 3. Create writing entriesto use as models in your classroom.
  • Why are we here?
    • What are best practices in writing instruction?
    • 4. What are the state standards for writing?
    • 5. What is the Writers Workshop?
    • 6. What is the Writer’s Notebook?
    • 7. What are strategies I can use to launch the writers notebook?
    Break: 2:30 (15 minutes)
  • 8. Why The Writing Notebook?
    Q: If you had to choose one thing teachers should do when teaching writing, what would it be?
    Donald: Write yourself. Invite children to do something you're already doing…
    interview from:
    Interview with Donald Graves
  • 9. Resource For Today
  • 10. Launching Strategy
    Today we’re going to ______. We recently read ______ (Chrysanthemum, The Name Jar, My Name is Yoon, My name is Sangoel, Rene Has Two Last Names, House on Mango Street: My Name)
    Why do you think the author chose to write about a child’s name? (names are special…) Naming something or someone is significant for writers. Understanding the history of a name leads to deeper understanding of that topic/person/place.
    Model writing about your own name - show students how to setup their notebook.
    Think/Pair/Share: where does your name come from, special meaning your name might have, nickname, etc.
    Today in your notebook, I’d like you to try writing about your name. Maybe you can tell us where your name came from, about a nickname, how you feel about your name…..
    Confer with those having a hard time getting started. Once everyone is going – stop them and ask volunteers to share what they have started – helps clarify for those who are still confused and confirm for others.
    As you read aloud books, ponder the names of characters, places, things. Write about them in your writer’s notebook using this strategy.
  • 11. What is best practice in writing instruction?
    • Provide time for writing (for real audience/purpose)
    • 12. Provide models (examples / teacher’s writing)
    • 13. Student choice(topics/audiences)
    • 14. Instruction/support through all stages of writing
    • 15. Grade only a few student selected, polished pieces
    • 16. Teach conventions in contextof real writing/reading
    Minnesota Department of Education
  • 17. What are the state standards for writing?
  • 18. What are the state standards for writing?
    • Text types: Opinion pieces, Informational/explanatory,Narrative/creative
    • 19. Emphasis on organizational structure, using domain specific vocabulary, concrete details/examples
    • 20. Use of dialogue, character development, sensory details
    • 21. Writing Process: plan, draft, edit, revise
    • 22. Produce/Publish with peers using technology
    • 23. Conduct short research projects to answer questions (take notes, organize, paraphrase, cite)
  • Emphasis on Informational Text
    NAEP diagrams from MN State Standards document for Language Arts.
  • 24. What is writer’s workshop?
    What is the Writing Workshop?
  • 25. 3 words to summarize each page you read
    3 words to summarize each page you read
    Jigsaw Share
    Writing Workshop (p 1-2)
    Mini-lesson/Grad Release (p. 3-4)
    Writing Time/Conference (p. 5-6)
    Sharing/Getting Started (p.7-8)
    Share with group –
    justify your word selection
  • 26. What is a Writing Workshop?
    An organizational structure that consists of teaching time, writing time, and sharing time.
    (5-15 min)
    (20-45 min)
    (5-10 min)
  • 27. Fluency Strategy
    Today we’re going to learn a strategy that writers use when they are stuck. We’re going to write about one word. We’ve been studying ______. We’ll use this strategy to help our minds think more about ______.
    Sometime when writers are stuck, they need to push through. This is a strategy that can help us. It doesn’t matter if you get off topic. This is a stream of consciousness writing. The point is to keep your pencil moving the entire time. Model how to setup the notebook for the strategy. Have students write the noun on top and the date. Share a piece of your own writing using this strategy, if appropriate.
    Have a few students share out a fact about the topic you’ve asked them to write about (to give all students something to write about). Have students begin writing for a few minutes on this topic and then discuss/share and have them write for a few minutes more.
    Today in your notebook, I’d like you to try writing about ______(or give students a choice to select their own topic). Keep your pencil moving the entire time. Do not worry about crossing things out or editing.
    For those students who seem stuck – whose pencil isn’t moving – remind them to write whatever is in their head – it’s okay to be off topic. We’re building fluency.
    This strategy could be used to write about verbs, adverbs, adjectives, nouns, etc. Students could select the word that goes on the top of the page (the topic of what they are hoping to write more about). Could use this in content areas to write about a topic you’ve studied.
  • 28. 15
    Why The Writing Notebook?Short Term Goals
    • Fostering a Love for Writing Time
    Regular time
    Your genuine interest
    • Establishing a Safe Environment
    Give specific praise.
    Allow drawing for primary students.
    Read aloud “from-the-heart” pieces of writing.
    Use a writer’s notebook
    Write with your students
    • Creating Workable Classroom Management
    Finished Box
    Unfinished Writing Folder
    Finished Writing Folder
    How to use maters, space, what to do during a conference, voice level
    Chapter 3, Fletcher/Portalupi, Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide, 2001.
  • 29. What is the writer’s notebook?
    IS a place to…
    • write reactions –noticings
    • 30. live like a writer
    • 31. reread to generate more
    • 32. Record short ideas, words, sentences that help you remember (ideas – seeds – not all germinate)
    “A writer’s notebook gives you a place to live like a writer...”
    Ralph Fletcher
    IS NOT…
    • a diary (day to day mundane)
    • 33. a reading response journal
    • 34. whole stories
    From p. 2-3 A Writer’s Notebook
    by Ralph Fletcher
    “The purpose of a notebook is to provide a place for students to practice writing.
    It’s a place for them to generate text, find ideas, and practice what they know about spelling and grammar” (Buckner, p. 5)
  • 35. What’s In? What’s Out?Taken from Buckner, Notebook Know How, p.14
    In the Notebook vs. Out of the Notebook
    Daily Entries
    Strategies for launching the notebook.
    • Finding Patterns
    • 36. Rereading and marking patterns in writing.
    • 37. Collecting Around A Topic
    • 38. Strategies for thinking about a topic.
    • 39. Drafts
    • 40. The whole piece is written out on yellow legal-pad paper.
    • 41. Revision Strategies
    • 42. Trying different things for a draft.
    • 43. Revisions
    • 44. Revisions the author wants to use are added or deleted from the piece.
    • 45. Editing, Grammar Notes*
    • 46. Class notes on grammar and editing skills.
    • 47. Editing
    • 48. Editing the actual piece before writing the final copy is done right on the draft.
    • 49. Final Copy
    • 50. Final copies of writing pieces are done on white paper or in another published format.
  • Keeping a notebook isn’t something you “get”…
    It’s not a science, there is no right way.
    Keeping a notebook is a process.
    It’s something that “gets” you!
  • 51. Writing off Literature
    My Writer’s Notebook by Brod BagertIt’s a black and white composition notebook,A hundred pageswith blue linethat await my words:Diamond SearchMy life lies before meLike the bed of a shallow river.My fingers sift sand and gravelFor the rough diamonds that lie hidden.And as I find themI put them in this notebook.I write… I cut… I polish…And they shine.My words on an empty pageIn an ordinary notebook,The silver setting for the jewels of my life.
  • 52. Fluency Strategy
    Today we’re going to learn a strategy that writers use often – they read other writing and react to it. We’ve been learning to become fluent writers and this strategy will be another tool that we can use to become fluent.
    Good writing causes people to think, make connections, to dwell on a story. As writers, we must also be good readers, and allow ourselves to be affected by what we read. If we are going to write in ways that engage our readers, then we must also be learn to be engaged by other writers (and learn from them).
    We read a lot of stories and poems in school. Do you ever think that sometimes you might have a story to write, like the one you just heard? That happens to me sometimes. Today I’m going to read you _____. The first time I just want you to listen. Enjoy it as a reader.
    Now I’m going to read ____ again. I want you to listen, but if you have an idea, reaction, connection, something you want to write, then go ahead and do that. When I’m finished reading we’re not going to talk about it. We’re just going to write.
    Another option is to give students a printed poem – story and have them read it on their own or together and the second time, paste it in their notebook, and write.
    You could also use student writing (with permission) to do this same strategy. You could read a newspaper article and have students respond to it or something from social studies/science, etc. Eventually, you could move to having students reflect on how the author connected with the audience. If something you read leaves you in admiration, copy it – put it in your notebook, helps raise the quality of your writing. You can try imitating the style of a piece of writing you admire. Some example mentor texts: The Relatives Came by Rylant, Owl Moon by Yolen, The Borning Room by Fleishman, and Keepers by Alice Schertle (poetry).
  • 53.
  • 54. Welcome Back
    “Your writer’s notebook can work as an alarm clock to remind you to wake upand pay attention to the world”
    Ralph Fletcher
  • 55. Fluency Strategy
    Gather your students around you with previously read books like Twilight Comes Twice(Fletcher), The Great Frog Race (O’Connell George), and I’m In charge of Celebrations (Baylor).
    Ask students what kind of notebook entries might have led to these books. What do you think the seed idea for these books looked like in the author’s notebook? Do you think they stemmed from a question? A list? A memory? These books may have come from things the author saw. They help the reader observe the world in a way that they may not have thought of before.
    Writers pay attention to the world around them, they notice what regular people don’t. They use their five senses to truly observe what is going on around them. They try to paint images with words, not any words, the right words. That takes a lot of practice.
    Pause and observe the world around you – verbally share observations (or use a particular object/scene, etc.).Sketch what you see/hear/feel.
    In your notebook today, I want you to write about the world around you. It can be something in the room you are observing, something outside, etc.
    Children begin recording observations – at first they may be very bland and ordinary. Might start by kids making lists of things they observe or quick sketches with captions.
    During another mini-lesson, put emphasis on using sensory language, similes, and even metaphors. Observe something from science, something outside, etc. Make sketches. Write about a picture.
  • 56. Launching Strategy
    Today we’re going to try another strategy. It’s called writing from a list.
    Make a list with students (wishes they have for the year, favorites, etc.) Discuss how to make a list (bullets, numbers, short words/phrases, etc.)
    Please date your notebook and write ‘Best Life Events’ on the top. Now for this list I want you to try and jot down the ten best things that have ever happened to you. If nothing fabulous has happened, then choose ten really good things. Begin.
    Check in that students are writing/thinking. Stop after a couple of minute and ask for volunteers to share one thing from their list. Might help others make connections. Go back to writing. Have all students share something from their list. Look at your list, and put a star near each event that you think you could write more about. Then make another list: Seven Worse Events, using the same procedure.
    Look at the things you put a star next to. When you write from a list, it means to take an event or item from your list, write it on a new page, then write the story behind it. So for today, I want you to try this. Choose something from either list and write an entry about it. When you finish, you can repeat the strategy or write about something else that is on your mind. (The student writing may be shallow at first but will get better with time)
    It’s important that students try the strategy at least once so they have experience with it and a personal example to reference.
    Make lists on self selected topics, or to delve deeper into a specific topic that a student is writing about (facts, quotes, important words, etc. related to the topic). Write a list poem (Linda Hoyt).
  • 57. Rereading/Highlighting & Lifting a Line
    A writer’s notebook is just like an incubator: a protective place to keep our infant idea safe and warm, a place to grow while it is too young, too new to survive on its own. In time you may decide to go back to that idea, add to it, change it, or combine it with another idea. Don’t expect the seeds to sprout immediately. A writer needs patience. Fletcher
    “When I write an idea into the notebook I don’t know whether or not I’ll end up using it, …How can I tell which stuff I’ll throw away, and which stuff I’ll come back to? So I just write down everything and anything that grabs me….
    Remember: It takes forty gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. ..Maple sap is mostly water. To make syrup, you’ve got to boil off that water.
    Much of what you write in your writer’s notebook is like that watery sap. There’s no way around it: you have to boil off lots of water in order to make the syrup of your writing dark, thick, and sweet.”
    (Fletcher 119-120).
    “…don’t expect to find perfectly polished little gems
    all ready for publication because you probably won’t.
    That almost never happens to me.
    Instead, look for potential,
    places where you suspect you might have something good
    if you develop and polish your words.
    It might be as little as one sentence that you find. ……
    Reread. Look for seeds. Look for sparks”
    (Fletcher, p. 115)
  • 58. Fluency Strategy
    Today we’re going to try another strategy. We’re going to reread what we’ve written in our notebooks and find gems or seeds that we can grow into watermelons.
    Writers often reread their notebooks to find ideas to write about. When you write every day, you may put something in an entry that doesn’t seem significant but that later becomes something you want to dwell on a bit more.
    Demonstrate rereading and highlighting using your own writing notebook. Ask students what they noticed / understood as their job.
    I want you to reread your notebook today. Use your highlighter to mark any line you think is interesting or that you could write more from. If questions or other reflections pop into your head, write them in the margins of the entry with a pencil or pen.
    Prompts: What seems interesting/intriguing? What do you care deeply about? What ideas keep tugging at you? What places in the notebook seem new/not the same old thing (original/bold)? What angers, excites, disturbs you?
    This is a good strategy to use on drafts as well. It helps writers find parts of their work that need to be developed further or that be written from a different angle. Keeps writing fresh.
  • 59. Fluency Strategy
    Remember yesterday I asked you to reread and highlight lines from your writing? Today we’re going to find a line that we can write more about.
    Show an example of how you lifted a line in your writing notebook.
    Go ahead and find one line that you highlighted that you think you could write more about. Turn and share that line with your elbow buddy. Is anyone willing to share their line out to the group? (get a volunteer) ____, why did you select that line? ….(discuss) I’m going to show you how to lift that line. Here is what you’ll do. ____ is going to rewrite his/her line on top of a clean page in his notebook (demonstrate for group). Today, ______ is going to use this as his/her lead sentence for a new entry. He’ll start with ____________ (read the lifted line) and write from there.
    Writers use this strategy to give themselves a fresh starting place for an idea that may have been lost in another entry. It helps writers to develop their ideas while building fluency. Today, I want you to practice Lifting a Line. Take your highlighted line, write it on a clean page, and begin writing a new entry from there..
    Students need to understand that the point of the exercise is to allow themselves to go in new directions – they should not feel they have to stick to topic/line fully – they should let their writing lead them.
    Students could find sentences they wish they had written from books they read. Then they can write off that line while changing the meaning to fit their own lives.
  • 60. Choice….
  • 61. Expanding Strategy
    What do you write about? …. .”All sorts of stuff” (student replies). But what kinds of patterns are emerging in your writing? Last night, I was thinking about my writing patterns.
    Talk to students about the patterns you’ve found in your own writing and if applicable how those patterns have changed over time.
    Typically students aren’t ready to start doing this until after about a month’s worth of entries.
    Option: Share sample writings with students as a mini-lesson on how to find patterns (examples in Buckner’s book on pages 37-38, 40-42)
    Today I want you to take some time out form writing to reread your notebook. Try to notice any ideas or themes that seem to keep popping up. It might be a person who tends to be in many entries, or a hobby. Feel free to write in the margins, highlight, or fold the corner of pages over to track these patterns. Think about, what are your writing patterns? At the end of workshop you’ll have time to meet with a partner and discuss what you discovered.
    Once students find patterns – they should try and narrow it down to a topic for a published
    piece to work on. The choice should be that of the students so they are motivated by the
    topic. Finding patterns is difficult for students and will require a lot of coaching.
    At the beginning of the year, collect the notebooks for assessment and make notes of possible
    patterns for each child. It will help you guide the students when you conference. Students need time to focus on
    the selected topic before beginning their draft outside of the notebook. The process takes a different amount of
    time for each student. Start by rereading entries that relate to the chosen pattern or topic. Spend some time
    (varies by student) collecting around the topic. Researching, thinking, wondering about a particular idea – focused
    study in their notebook on one topic. Teach strategies to focus on a specific topic - no rule to when to teach
    strategies or which ones. Follow your intuition.
  • 62. Students have now selected a topic to work on that they will turn into a published piece.
    Prior to drafting, spend time expanding
    (or focusing in on) the topic.
  • 63. Expanding Strategy
    You have all learned to write from a list to get ideas for topics. Today we are going to use that same strategy but with a different focus, it’s called listing the possibilities.
    The purpose of this strategy is to narrow down our topic – to focus on a small moment, idea, or detail. For example ….(find a student example ahead of time from a notebook and narrow down the list in front of students). See example in Buckner book on page. 51.
    What did you notice about the strategy? What could we do next?
    Today I want you to narrow down your topic by listing the possibilities. Go back to your writing area and write your topic on a clean page in your notebook like we did in our example. Then make a list of memories, thoughts, ideas about this topic.
    You can then select one of these ideas on the list to write an entry about.
    Maybe ask students who are still confused to stay back for a small group lesson and work
    with them further to help them create lists of possibilities.
    Be careful not to overuse this strategy. Using it periodically will keep it fresh and meaningful.
  • 64. Writer’s Notebook – Expanding
    • Listing the possibilities
    • 65. Writing from another’s point of view
    • 66. 3 word phrases in 3 minutes
    • 67. Favorite collection
    • 68. Interviews
    • 69. K-N-T-L (know, need to know, what I think, what I learned)
  • Expanding Strategy
    Writers see things that others don’t. They often include details, emotions, events that help you get into the piece more. Today we’ll try a strategy that will help us see/tell more.
    We’re going to try and write a story from another perspective today. Share a story with students (like an argument you had with a child, parent, sibling. Then tell the story from the other person’s point of view.) Show students how you could write these two perspectives in two-column notes, as two entries, etc.
    Has that ever happened to you that the other person remember the save event but in a different way? Have students share with a partner an idea/event and thoughts on how the other person may have experienced the event.
    Today, I want you to write about an event based on what you think happened (your point of view). Then choose someone else who was there and write the story from that person’s perspective. By thinking about the story from how someone else saw it, you might get new ideas about the event (details) to include in your writing. After you write, we’ll come together and share our insights.
    Once students have practiced this strategy – they can apply it to the topic they are working
    on for their draft, if applicable.
    How did the details change when looking at it from someone else’s point of view? How did seeing the story through other eyes help you to see more of what to write?
    Some good books for introducing this are : The Pain and The Great One by Judy Bloom, Hey, Little Ant by Phillip Hoose and Hannah Hoose, and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka.
  • 70. Expanding Strategy
    You’ve selected a topic to expand and write more about to become a published piece. Today, I’ll teach you a strategy to focus on your topic.
    Choose a noun and do the activity together as a group. Write a noun on the top of chart paper (school) and model a few three word phrases (extra long recess) and get student input.
    I need someone to choose a noun. (Get student response) Write that noun on a clean page in your notebook and date the page. Now, I’m going to give you three minutes and I want you to write down as many three-word phrases about that noun as you can think of. Gather a few examples prior to having students start (ex: a long recess).
    Get students responses to this strategy. What information did we gather from using the strategy that might help us in our writing? Is there something they could focus on now for a piece?
    Today I want you to try this strategy with the topic that you’ve discovered in your notebook that you want to write more about.
    Coach students on the strategy – full sentences are not needed – sometimes it’s okay to use more than 3 words – utilize sensory language for more advanced students. Go back and reread and look for gems to use in your writing.
    This strategy would also work well in content areas (such as a topic from social studies or science). It can also work to focus more on a particular character, setting, or feeling. Students might find similes or images to create through this process.
  • 71. DRAFT a piece
    People do not see themselves as writers because they believe they have nothing valuable or of interest to others to say. ….my foremost task with my writing workshop is to help my students believe in themselves as writers-in what they have to say, from the stories they have to tell to their opinions on school and world issues” (Buckner, p. 9).
  • 72. Writers Notebook – Revision
    “For every minute we spend reading,
    we spend a minute learning about writing and spelling. It’s a connection not to be ignored” (Buckner, p. 6).
  • 81. Grabber Leads Strategy
  • 82. Editing Strategy
    For the past couple of days, we have been studying how authors grab your attention with the first sentence.
    I want you to look at the draft you’re currently working on and read your lead sentence to your partner. How many of you found that your lead is bland, blah, etc.? It’s official. We need to work on that first sentence. We want people to read our writing.
    Please go to the next blank page in the back of your notebook, where we keep our notes on revision strategies. Write “Try Ten” on the top of the page. Sometimes it’s helpful to write a sentence that I don’t like as many different ways as possible. I’m going to show you how to do this. Is there anyone who has a horrible lead? Our class will work together to revise it.
    Revise a lead together. Try 10 ways. Number 1 is the original lead sentence. Usually coming
    up with 3-4 ideas is easy but you have to get creative after that. It helps to reference the
    types of leads that were charted during the Grabber Leads lesson.
    Today I want you to try this strategy with your lead sentence. It will be hard work. I’ll be coming around to check on you and see your revised leads.
    This revision strategy works well for working with leads, transition sentences, verbs, endings, similes, and so on. Adjust the number for younger students.
  • 83. Writers Notebook – Editing
    • Color coding paragraph structure
    • 84. Identifying passive voice
    • 85. Reading backwards
    • 86. Editing punctuation
    • 87. Punctuating compound sentences
  • Editing
    Student checks off items as they edit
    Add another specific skill for writer
    Teacher records observations/notes related to skill
  • 88. Writers Notebook – Assessing
    Now brace yourself for some shattering news:
    Grading every composition is time-consuming and mostly wasted effort. Students need to be able to practice, experiment, and fool around with a piece of writing before turning it in for a grade. Writing that counts as a “big grade” should be spaced out among a myriad of engaging, ungraded writing assignments. Students should complete 3-10 ungraded writing assignments for every graded assignment. Grading less does not mean reading less—you have to continue reading and offering feedback—but grading everything is like forcing students to give recitals every day. On most days, the focus should be on practice and learning.
    Lawrence Baines, professor of English Education at The University of Oklahoma from IRA website (Engage blog), Monday June 6
  • 89. Student Writing Samples
    The Reading and Writing Project LLC
    Common Core Standards Appendix B on ‘English Language Arts Appendix C’ toward the bottom)
    Write Source
  • 90. Next Steps
    When you think you’re done, you’ve only just begun.
    “If you had to choose one thing teachers should do when teaching writing, what would it be?”
    He replied,
    Write yourself.
    Invite children to do something you’re already doing.
    If you’re not doing it, Hey, the kids say,
    I can’t wait to grow up and not have to write, like you….
    You can’t ask someone to sing a duet with you until you know the tune yourself.
  • 91. Why are we here?
    • Learn writing strategies to launch the writer’s notebook
    • 92. Create writing entriesto use as models in your classroom.
  • Thank you!
    This presentation will be posted at: