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Lucy Calkins Units of Study “Teaching begins with seeing the significance and intelligence of what children are doing---and almost doing..” Lucy Calkins By: Marlene Cortez, Vaeshan Hudson, Carmille Sipp, Susan Stachnik
So what is the purpose of the Units of study? The purpose of the unit of study is to introduce a writing curriculum to teachers who teach grades K-5. The curriculum lasts one year. Its goal is to provide children with a rich, vibrant, sequenced writing instruction. It is also research based and focuses on covering some set research principles.
Being a Good Writer Writing tips and strategies From Lucy Calkins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO29k1-RvsA
who is Lucy Calkins and what are the units of study? Lucy Calkins is a Professor of Curriculum and Teaching . She established, launched and directed The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. She provides professional development for hundreds of schools in variety of districts teaching teachers how to do a process called Writers Workshop. She also is a Co-Author of “Units of Study” which is a book series on writing.
Research Principles Research Principles There are fundamental traits of all good writing and students write well when they learn to use them. Using a writing process to teach the complex task of writing increases student achievement. Students benefit from teaching that offers direct instruction, guided practice, and independent practice. Students need ample time to write everyday. A well rounded curriculum provides support for struggling writers and ELL students. Writing and reading are joint processes and students learn best when writing and reading instruction are coordinated.
The units of study Divided into two groups. K-2 3-5
K-2 includes A. Launching a Writing Workshop B. Small Moments: Personal Narrative Writing c. Writing for Readers: Teaching Skills and Strategies d. The Craft of Revision e. Authors as Mentors f. Nonfiction Writing: Procedures and Reports Poetry: Powerful Thoughts in Tiny Packages
We will be Focusing on Writers Workshop for Grades 3-5
3-5 includes Launching Writers Workshop B. Raising the Quality of Narrative Writing C. Breathing Life into Essays D. Writing Fiction: Big Dream, Tall Ambitions E. Literary Essays: Writing About Reading F. Memoir: The Art of Writing Well
Writers Workshop Each writers workshop session is divided into sections. The sections are : A. Getting Ready: This is where the teacher makes sure everything that is needed for the lesson is collected and prepared. B. Introduction: This is where the students are introduced to what is going to be covered and what the lesson aims to teach. C. The Minilesson: This where the lesson is actually taught. Teachers are to use Lucy Chalkins language (which really focuses on making connections and giving examples it can be adapted to the teachers student bodies). Minilessonare tailored to specific classes of children and are tailored to specific lesson that can be adapted. In the Minilesson it has a specific order that it must follow.
Minilesson oRDER Connection between new and prior information. Teaching using a step by step demonstration. Active Engagement, students practice new skill. Link prior and new knowledge. Writing and conferring. Sharing of student work. All mini lessons can be adapted and tailored to each teachers’ student body.
The Foundations of Writing Workshop These are the essential fundamentals that will make any school successful at doing writers workshop correctly. A. Writing and writing instruction is done fifty to sixty minutes every day. B. Making sure that children are taught how to write text, memoir, stories, essay, poems, and editorials and by making sure it is not just done for teachers but are done for an audience of readers. C. Teaching children how to select topics and making sure that they choose topics that are important to them.
When teaching writing to Upper elementary students You Must Teach the students the writing process. Have them rehearse for writing: Which is where the students brainstorm and do “gathering entries” this can be done in upper elementary school if the students have a foundation of writers workshop in the primary grades. They have limited instruction here and generate ideas within the genre they are working with. They will then draft and plan how the piece must go. Revision, which allows writers to rethink ideas and rewrite. Editing to make corrections, not just punctuation but making sure things sound right.
planning a year long Curriculum Teachers must collaboratively share and design curricular calendars where things are planned and far less spontaneous. Send letters home to parents overviewing the yearlong process. Understand the process of units, some unit lessons might be longer than others . The Teacher needs to learn student needs so text can be structured.
Recommended calendar for upper elementary students September Unit 1 : Launching the writers workshop October/November Unit 2: Raising Quality of writing November/December Unit 3: Breathing life into essays January Unit 4: Writing fiction
Recommended calendar for upper elementary students February Unit 5: Literary Essays March/ April Poetry / Homegrown unit April/ May Teachers Choice / Homegrown Unit May / June Unit 6: Memoir
Classroom environment In doing writers workshop the classroom a teacher must have: A meeting area where the lesson is brought up and discussed. A work area where the students can work and the teacher can meet with individual students and small groups. A conferencing and peer conferencing area. The conferencing area is for the teacher and student and peer area is for student to student. A writing Center is where writing activities are done.
Materials that are needed For students A writers notebook Progress writing folders and paper ( this used for when writing is happening) Cumulative Folders ( this is used at the end of a unit and when work is published and completed) Writing Utensils pens or pencils
Materials that are needed For the Teacher Chart paper, easel, marker, pens so things can be shown. Example of exemplar texts so students can see good examples of finished works Word Walls Dictionaries and Thesaurus for students to be able to use.
Management Systems This is how to have a effective class management during a minilessonthroughout the lesson: Teachers must: a. Circulate the room b. Have attention signal that grab all the students attention c. Talk explicitly about expectations and behavior that should be done and not be done prior to starting the workshop.
In conferencing A teacher needs to Be able to know who to conference with, Keep conferencing records Be able to manage their time and have share time for students. Have a research phase, where they observe from afar a student and ask the question about what are you working on as a writer. Have a compliment phase where the teacher listens and talks about their writing. Here questions are based off a compliment and the teacher must think what has the child done and what discussions need to be done to improve writing.
In conferencing Teaching Phase is very similar to the minilesson and where the teacher teaches something that could help the student today but will help with all future writing. Typically the teacher says “can I give you one tip or I think this might help you.”
General Program Modifications Language: scripted, elementary and exaggerated. Level: This can be used all the way up to high school. This is a skeleton and you add the real “meat” for your kids. You may not teach all the lessons in the allotted time and that’s okay.
Modification for ell and special EDUCATION There is a part where she requires kids to sketch out their ideas. Some kids are uncomfortable with sketching or may have some physical issues that will not allow them to sketch. You could have a Sketch Picture Bank for collages instead. Writing time 1. You can pair kids from the very start where one child serves as a scribe. 2. Use a fill in the blank, pass the pen method. 3. Allow the use of assistive technology. 4. Allow the use of a computer.
Modification for ell and special EDUCATION Stretching and writing words time require kids to self correct. You can easily link phonemic awareness and technology with the use of a program like Earobics or Corrective Reading. Peer editing tool: Have kids search for one type of mistake at a time for example spend a day looking for capitalization mistakes only or spelling mistakes only. Revise the actual materials from Lucy Calkins. The editors' checklist can be changed to fit needs. All rubrics can be tailored for your kids.
Assessment These are key areas to think about for yourself as the teacher and for students…. Identify what worked. Identify what did not work. Identify what the students learned. What they still need to learn.
ASSESSMENT Rubric This is an example from the launching worksheet but rubrics are altered for each book/ genres. These are the elements the students will be assessed it is a 1 to 4 scale. * Content *Planning*Stance *Independence *Genre * Productivity*Mechanics *Writing Process *Language*Reading –Writing Connection
How to author you own units of study Decide what subject your unit is going to be on. This means always decide on what you are going to teach. 2. Plan the assignment that the children will have to do. Envision it and think about what outcomes might be. 3. Gather and study text of students to emulate. This means that the teacher need to understand and have prior knowledge of text prior to the lesson for understanding and read over text have examples that the students can visually see so the will have an example to model.
How to author you own units of study 4.Read and write and study what you are going to teach. This means for teachers to write just like what they are expecting the students to do. 5. Outline and make sure to sequence teaching points. By doing this the teacher knows what needs to be covered and when to cover it. Write your minilesson make sure you cover all the elements of a minlesson (that was discussed previously ) 7. Finally plan for conferences, letters that go to parents and the extra anything else that needs be prepared.
Now it’s your chance Time for a minilesson Remember what you have learned…