Mini-lessons: Focus on Craft and Convention EDUC 5423 Hilary Ready and Jennifer Chaisson October 14, 2010
Craft and Convention Often juxtaposed support Taught simultaneously Necessity of time Necessity of a workshop setting Function of mini-lessons
What is a convention? Customary editing of writing that is done in such a way that the reader and the writer understand what the writer is saying. Spelling Grammar and punctuation Capital letters, commas, periods, etc. Formatting Organization of ideas, separation of paragraphs.
Why do we use conventions? Road signs Provide clarity for readers For works in progress, provide clarity and direction for writers Assumptions about what our readers think of or expect from us
Introducing Convention Early Grade 2 New Brunswick Curriculum: “Revise a piece of writing after re-reading; peer/teacher conferencing; using checklists without support; add ideas or change words/edit a piece using a checklist for capitals, periods, spelling; relying on teacher prompts to check the whole piece.” Promote self-management Grade 6 New Brunswick Curriculum: “students will be expected to understand many words greater than three syllables (requires knowledge of root words/affixes), complex plurals/spelling patterns, many nouns/technical words that are difficult to decode.” (Reading) “students will be expected to use appropriate tools (e.g., dictionary, thesaurus, grammar checker, and text models) to edit conventions and strengthen word choice; may require teacher support for split dialogue.” (Writing)
Mentor Texts A text or excerpt of text by an established writer Noting observations Children learn by observation – if at a young age they are observing good writing practices while reading, the will become more implicit in their own writing Employing what they notice in their own writing
Teaching Convention Mini-lesson approach More digestible Collaboration Checklists and charts Analysis of other works Revising own work
Having FUN... with convention! Read the excerpt of text Make notes about your overall reading experience: How long did it take? What, if anything, did you have to re-read? How clearly do you understand it? Using your convention checklist, edit the excerpt. Re-read. Trade your excerpt with another table after editing What has changed? How long did it take to read? How clearly do they understand it?