LAUNCHING NOTEBOOKS ANDWRITING WORKSHOP Upper Grade Professional Development P.S. 171 Presentation by Stacey Shubitz Friday, September 1st, 2006
Idea Notebooks• A portable writer‟s notebook is used to record wonderings, observations, overheard conversations, sketches, etc.• Students need a pen or pencil to carry along with their notebook.• Author Lester Laminack calls his Idea Notebook a “Spy Notebook.” He never leaves home without his secret weapon (pen) and something to write about. – Cute idea for younger kids… might not work in 5th, 6th and 7th grades.
We Want Kids To Know Four Major ThingsAbout Collecting Entries In Their Writer‟s Notebooks • Within the personal narrative unit: – Process – Qualities of Good Writing – Volume – Conventions This slide, and the four that follow, are adapted from a presentation at T.C. by Grace Chough, 8/17/06.
How Writers Fit Notebooks Into The Writing Process Adapted from the work of Randy Bomer, A Time For Meaning.
Process Goals• How to get started (on an entry)• What to do when you get stuck.• How to go from one entry to the next (entry). – NO CLOSED NOTEBOOKS!
Qualities of Good Writing Goals• Focus• Entries are easy to follow• Appropriate use of… – Dialogue – Sensory description• Knowing the difference between a summary and a detailed retelling• Crafting strong leads and endings• Development of the internal story• Show, not tell.• Stories have a structure (rising action climax resolution)
Volume Goals• About 2 entries/day.• Approximately 12 entries/week.• If students are publishing 1 ½ pages of writing, then you should expect their entries to be about 1 page long.
Conventions Goals (within notebook entries)• Ending Punctuation – Making appropriate choices about when to use periods, exclamation points and question marks.• Paragraphing – Whenever there‟s a new person introduced, a new person talking or there‟s a move to a different place.
We can‟t ask our students to do what we won‟t do, so…• Now it’s your turn to try it.• By the end of this session you‟ll have five entries in your writer‟s notebook. – All of these entries are directly related to five minilessons you might teach during the first two weeks of school. – Your entries could be used as demonstration texts for your students.
“Observation of the Room” Strategy• Read the room right now.• Write a quick entry about what you‟re noticing, how you feel about being back at school today, an overheard conversation or anything else you wish to record about what‟s happening in here this morning.• You will not have to share this entry with anyone!• This is the type of “Idea Notebook” entry you‟ll want your kids to write.
“Meaningful Place” Strategy • Think of a meaningful place. – It could be anything from the kitchen table in the home where you grew up to your favorite beach in Florida. • List small moments related to that place. • Write about one of those small moments in your writer‟s notebook.
“Look at a Photograph” Strategy• Study the photograph.• Think about: – Who or what is pictured? – Where was the picture taken? – When was the picture taken? – Why did you choose this photo to bring in today?• Write about the small moment related to the photograph.
“Think of a Person” Strategy• Think about a person who is important to you (living or deceased).• List as many small moments as you can about that person.• Write about one of those small moments with him/her.
“Look at an Object” Strategy • Examine the object closely. – When did you get it? – Where did you buy or acquire it from? – Who gave it to you? – Why is it important? • List everything! • Write a small moment entry related to this object.
Q&A• Questions• Comments• Concerns
Conferring During SeptemberThe following slides serve as additional support for conferences you might hold during the first month of school.
Sample Questions for the “Research” Stage of your R-D-T Conference SITUATION CONFERENCE QUESTION(S)The writing is unfocused. •What‟s the most important part of your story? •What do you want your reader to know after reading this story?The writing covers several events or ideas. •Which of these events/ideas is the most important to you?The writing lacks depth and information. •Can you tell me more about _____________?The writing contains too much information. •Can you point to the most important part of this piece? •Can you underline the most important thing you want your reader to know?The piece just lists information and doesn‟t contain the writers •Why is this piece important to you?thoughts and feelings. •How did you feel when this was happening?The lead does not draw the reader into the writing effectively. •Why did you choose to start your story this way? •What‟s the first image in your mind when you think of this story?The conclusion is too sudden or drags on. •What feeling did you want the reader to share at the end of your story?A narrative piece makes limited use of dialogue. •Was anyone talking when this happened.The writing is poorly organized. •Can you retell the story to me? •Tell me a little bit about the plan you made to get to this point… Chart adapted from Atwell (1987) and Anderson (2002). Conference questions generated by Matthews & Shubitz (2006).
A Hierarchy of What Matters Most When Conferring During This Unit of StudyAdapted from the work of Jen Serravallo (2006).
Conferring Menu Sample Writing Conference Teaching PointsTopic Choice Genre Focus Structure Elaboration Word Choice ConventionsWriters think of Writers ask Writers make a Writers Writers add Writers choose Writers begin aan important themselves, timeline of all describe the more relevant words that are new paragraphperson and the what is the the main setting clearly detail to the specific and when someonememories heart of my events and (without heart of their appropriate. new is talking.connected with story? then circle one including story. They usethat person. part of the unnecessary quotation timeline (and sensory marks to show then stretch details). when that out that part). person is talking.Writers think of Writers write Writers ask Writers stretch Writers show, Writers use Writersan important their stories in themselves, “Is out the most not tell. specific nouns capitalizeplace and list sequential there a clear important part throughout proper nounsmemories order. beginning, of their story. their story. as they write.connected with middle andthat place. end to my story?”Writers focus Writers PARTNER Writers start ADVANCED Writers use Writers useon small determine the CONFERNEC their stories OPTION: specific verbs appropriatemoments most important E OPTION: with the lead Writers push that represent punctuation(seed-sized event or idea Writers that hooks their themselves to actions. and the end ofstories) rather they wish to sometimes reader (an say more by everythan giant tell about and recruit readers action, surprise writing twin sentence.watermelon then write who can tell or dialogue). sentences.topics. about that them where small moment. places in their draft are confusing. Teaching points created by Matthews & Shubitz (2006).
Management Tips to establish during the first weeks of school1. Always work towards independence.2. Don‟t be afraid to use Workshop time to teach management. • What to do when you‟re done with an entry. • My job/your job in a conference.3. Make sure you‟re building stamina.4. Use mid-workshop interruptions to give students a break. • Can be compliments that reflect independence.5. Create word walls and portable spelling lists (for WW folders) to help students with their spelling.6. Self-Assignment Boxes (see next slide)7. Compliment Conferences • Quick conferences that consist of 1-2 research questions, then give the student a “paragraph worth of speech” as a compliment. Then, move on!8. Teach-Only Conference • Drop a teaching point to kids as you work the room. • Example: “Oh, don‟t forget to do _______________.”9. Build-in time to move around the room to see what‟s going on in-between conferences. Adapted from a presentation at T.C. by Jen Serravallo, 8/18/06.
“Self-Assignment Boxes” in Writer‟s NotebooksEXAMPLE #1: EXAMPLE #2:Pick another entry Write a scene where I from my notebook show the internal and rewrite it in tiny and external story. little steps.
Closing Quotations• “Walk through life like a writer.” --Lucy Calkins• “Tell the truth about your life and what‟s really going on.” --Georgia Heard• “We know the truth of ordinary life events. Everything doesn‟t end with „happily ever after‟.” --Georgia Heard• “Careful control in craft makes for artful writing.” --Lester Laminack