June 13, 2011 12:45 – 4:00 The Writer’s Notebook Stacy Grant & Dana Schreiner Today’s presentation will be online at:d279.us/summerinstitute 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)
Why are we here? Purpose: Understand and implement best practices in literacy instruction. Objectives:
Learn writing strategies to launch the writer’s notebook
Create writing entriesto use as models in your classroom.
What are strategies I can use to launch the writers notebook?
Break: 2:30 (15 minutes)
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: http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=4415 Interview with Donald Graves
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.
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.
What is writer’s workshop? What is the Writing Workshop?
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
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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
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!
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.
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).
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
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.
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).
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Editing Student checks off items as they edit Add another specific skill for writer Teacher records observations/notes related to skill
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
Student Writing Samples The Reading and Writing Project LLChttp://tc.readingandwritingproject.com/resources/student-writing/ Common Core Standards Appendix Bhttp://www.corestandards.org/the-standards(click on ‘English Language Arts Appendix C’ toward the bottom) Write Sourcehttp://www.thewritesource.com/studentmodels/
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. (Graves)