Re: Writing Discussion
Sun Oct 11, 2015 15:06

I agree with the 5 principles for effective writing instruction. Students need to see writing as an enjoyable time while given choices. I feel this is something that really helped me last year when taking Dr. Frye. I had always modeled writing, but not necessarily in the most effective way during mini lessons. I also made it a point to show enthusiasm about writing. I hate to admit, but I probably didn’t get very excited about writing because, it was not my favorite subject when I was in school or teaching writing as a teacher. I quickly realized my enthusiasm caught on to my students and they were excited to write, more than I had ever seen with my students. I also gave them choices with their writing, as before, I gave them more specific prompts to write about. I was amazed how I did not have any students struggling to think of ideas to write about. It seemed that it should have been common sense for students to begin writing about “what they know”, but I did not really do that with my first graders. Another key component, was writing in my own journal. Students loved to see me write and were curious about my writing. I also had students writing in journals at home. It is very important as teachers to reflect often on our lessons and be flexible with our writing plan and adapt our plans meet students needs. I also made it a point to make sure students were writing every day.

I completely agree that writing instruction needs to have a solid foundation in primary grades, so students are able to write at grade level in later grades and on through life. Therefore, I understand the emphasis on writing with common core standards. Looking back at my education for my under grad degree, we did not really cover writing or how important it is for student success. Students should have some type of writing class during their under grad classes. I learned firsthand last year, that using good writing instruction will increase reading skills as well.

I struggle using technology with writing for many reasons. I have ipads that have screens that do not work, they will not turn on and one is read with lines. Sometimes, the ipads will not be on the network. This year, my apps disappear. It takes a lot of time for students to type and teach the basic technology terms. I have found it even harder and more time consuming this year with a class of 22. I have students in first grade that did not use the iPads very much in kindergarten, so I have to teach the basics. I have used story creator and used a scholastic app that helps students create a story with prompting. I am interested to learn how to use the iPads with writing. I just hate when technology doesn't work and I waste so much time trying to work on it.

  • Writing Discussion - koppenhaverd, Wed Sep 30 21:01
    Discuss the readings on writing instruction and technology-supported writing here. Consider such questions and ideas as: • What constitutes best practice? • What ideas do you want to incorporate in... more
    • Kidspub - Amanda grindstaff, Wed Nov 11 08:08
      I love kids pub. We had so much fun trying it out. I only used it with a small group because not all my children are able to write without complete direction yet. Maybe after Christmas it will be... more
    • website information - byrdaw, Sat Nov 7 00:57
      My students enjoyed using the wordle to create. They liked the ability to edit words, font and color. We discussed the use of this website in different classes and determined it could be useful in... more
      • Wordle - megangouge, Mon Nov 9 09:01
        I have used wordle in the past for character traits or describing words. We used wordle with classmates and with characters from books.
      • Wordle - walshjm2, Sun Nov 8 22:04
        Adele, I enjoyed playing around with Wordle myself and I think this would be a great place for my students to create a product that they can have fun making. This app. is super neat as you can... more
        • Wordle Gifts - Melanie McLeod, Mon Nov 9 17:06
          Hey, Ladies: I think the Wordle site would be great for all age groups to write character traits/adjectives for text characters or for real people they know. It would be great to create adjectives... more
          • Re: Wordle Gifts - candithompson, Tue Nov 10 07:26
            Great idea!! This would be great gifts for the kids to give their parents for Christmas and it is free!!
    • Storage - megangouge, Fri Nov 6 08:21
      As we have been exploring these new apps and websites, I have been downloading the apps on my iPad to explore them. Before doing so, I was told I did not have enough storage. I cleared out all of my... more
    • Toontastic/Story Creator - amanda grindstaff, Thu Nov 5 22:17
      When I am thinking about awesome apps that help with writing and creativity in story telling I think of toontastic and story creator. There is also another one that looks like a sock puppet and I... more
      • Sock Puppets - megangouge, Fri Nov 6 08:17
        I think the actual name is just Sock Puppets Amanda. I have also used this app in the past and my students loved it. Like so many apps, I use them and then forget to add them back every year when we... more
        • Re: Sock Puppets - candithompson, Mon Nov 9 15:14
          Oh my gosh!! I totally forgot about this app! I need to make a list of apps so that I can make sure to put them back on my student iPads. It was very kid friendly. I have used this for many different ... more
        • Sock Puppet Fluency Reads - Melanie McLeod, Sat Nov 7 08:47
          Hey, Ladies: Sock Puppet is great for having students practice fluency readings, as well.
        • sock puppets - amanda grindstaff, Fri Nov 6 08:51
          Thanks Megan!!! I need to add it back.
    • Re: Kidspub - abramsjm, Mon Nov 2 20:20
      While browsing in the Kidspub writing app, it really reminded me of another writing app called The Writing Fix which offers the same type of writing opportunites for students. Writing Fix seems that... more
    • Kid Pub - brittanyavery, Sun Nov 1 19:39
      I absolutely love Kid Pub. I think I remember a professor telling me about it in an undergrad class, but I had forgotten about it until this assignment. This is such an easy way to get kids excited... more
      • Kid Pub - walshjm2, Sun Nov 8 21:43
        I also checked out Kid Pub. I like being able to go through and look over all of the published works from kids. I did read that this app is free to go on and read the published works, but it costs... more
    • Re: Writing Discussion - byrdaw, Sun Nov 1 06:56
      My students love the use of comic life. I had them create comic strips to provide main ideas or key scenes of the book. This would also be a unique way for students to create their own graphic... more
    • Re: Writing Discussion - brittanyavery, Thu Oct 29 21:34
      One of the apps I've been looking at incorporating is Skitch. You can can annotate and mark up pictures from your camera role and screen shots. My first thought was to use this with the skeletal and... more
      • Skitch - haleyferrell, Mon Nov 2 09:22
        Brittany, When I looked at Skitch I also thought about our Informational unit and how students and teacher can utilize the app for various things. My students would like this because they would be... more
        • Skitch-Character Analysis - Melanie McLeod, Tue Nov 3 06:24
          Hi, Haley: I think using Skitch would be great for my younger students to write a character analysis. They could take a photo of a character in their reading and type/write character traits around... more
      • Re: Writing Discussion - brittanyavery, Thu Oct 29 21:38
        The two strategies I feel like Skitch would work for would be text structure instruction and creativity/imagery instruction.
        • Skitch - megangouge, Mon Nov 2 12:48
          I can even see studnets taking pictuires of a page of a nonficton text and labeling the text features.
          • SORRY correction - megangouge, Mon Nov 2 12:49
            That is horrible!!! I can even see students taking pictures of a page of a nonfiction text and labeling the text features.
            • Re: SORRY correction - Amanda Grindstaff, Wed Nov 4 06:14
              I think sketch would be awesome for non fiction as well even in kindergarten. We also teach non fiction features and could teach the. To label the features...good idea Brittany!!
              • Sorry - Amandagrindstaff, Wed Nov 4 06:15
                Or good idea Megan.....can't remember whose idea the labeling features was. :)
            • Re: SORRY correction - brittanyavery, Mon Nov 2 16:23
              Yes, that would be a great idea. That could even be used as an informal assessment to see which text features they truly understand.
    • Re: Writing Discussion - byrdaw, Wed Oct 28 05:54
      The use of mnemonics to aid students in writing development is a trusted strategy. Mnemonics provide students with clear instructions that aid in their development of compositions. This also provides ... more
      • Making predictions with penzu - haleyferrell, Wed Oct 28 10:36
        I also like penzu. Each day I have my 4th and 5th grade students predict what might happen in the upcoming stories they are reading based on the title and previous stories read that week. They... more
        • Re: Making predictions with penzu - brittanyavery, Fri Oct 30 18:45
          I really like this site too. I also thought it would be a good place to let them write their summaries instead of their journals after reading groups, but I love your idea for predicting with it. I'm ... more
        • Penzu - Melanie McLeod, Thu Oct 29 19:48
          Haley: I think that Penzu would be a wonderful way for your upper elementary/middle school students to create reading response journal entries. I would like to try it with my younger students, but... more
    • Writing Technologies - shannonsilver, Mon Oct 26 22:49
      For extra writing and creativity/imagery instruction I found that my students (and their parents) love Last week we finished our literature group book and I wanted them to write an... more
      • Writing Technologies - Martha Brown, Thu Oct 29 23:34
        Shannon I like the idea of having students write an extra chapter to the end of the book. The Storybird artwork is great for enhancing the reading. I would be very interested in seeing one of their... more
      • Writing Tech. - abramsjm, Tue Oct 27 13:37
        I just went on several sites in search of more Kinder apps. I loved the ideas and artwork in Storybird and tried a few times to make a picture book. I don't think it is easy enough for Kinders to... more
        • Scribble Press - shannonsilver, Tue Nov 10 11:54
          last week I used Scribble Press with two of my kindergartners we had a blast. The week before we had completed the group writing session of a LEA about carving our pumpkin. (I brought a pumpkin to... more
          • Scribble Press - Martha_Brown, Wed Nov 11 11:31
            This is such a wonderful idea. This is great for reinforcement of learning. The hands on part of this with carving the pumpkin, writing the sentences, and then when you bring in the technology with... more
      • ? - megangouge, Tue Oct 27 10:41
        Did you have students to complete this at home for homework? Many of our students don't have technology or internet at home, making many of our resources not available to them at home...
        • Storybird - shannonsilver, Tue Oct 27 11:10
          At the beginning of the year I wrote a letter asking about the technology at their homes. All of the letters came back signed saying that the students had access to both computers and internet at... more
          • Re: Storybird - candithompson, Mon Nov 2 16:04
            So what was your plan B? I would love to use my website for snow days. However, I have a few that do not have email or do not respond to my emails. However, I love this idea and think the kids will... more
            • Plan B - shannonsilver, Mon Nov 2 21:14
              If you had time you could cut up random pictures from magazines and place them in ready to go baggies. The would have a blank book that they would have to make using the pictures and write a story... more
              • Re: Plan B - candithompson, Tue Nov 3 07:13
                Thanks! I love that you said, "If you had time"!
          • LOVE this - megangouge, Tue Oct 27 12:27
            Great idea! I love this!! We try to communicate with parents through email and I have always had parents who said they didn't have an email.
            • Storybird - Regina, Thu Oct 29 21:38
              I agree that is a great idea! If all of my students have access to the internet/computer, they could use Storybird on snow days, as well as, other sites that are fun and educational!
              • Storybird - Martha_Brown, Thu Oct 29 23:23
                I also really liked the Storybird website and certainly see why students and parents as well would enjoy this. What a wonderful way for them to see the publication of their writing. Children will... more
                • Little Bird Tales (app/website) - Melanie McLeod, Sat Oct 31 09:29
                  Ms. Martha: For teachers who have student of primary grades, there's another website/app called "Little Bird Tales" that is a nice website. Kids can use the voice recorder and draw a picture to tell... more
                  • Little Bird Tales(app/website) - Martha Brown, Sun Nov 8 22:43
                    I really liked the "Little Bird Tales" app. It is great all the ways this can be used with the younger children. I can see how the younger students will enjoy the Art Pad piece. The pre-readers can... more
                  • Re: Little Bird Tales (app/website) - Anonymous, Mon Nov 2 23:39
                    Melanie, Thank you for sharing about the Little Bird Tales. I will check this out. In looking at these websites/apps, I have thought a lot about what age we should first start to encourage the... more
                    • Re: Little Bird Tales (app/website) - Martha Brown, Mon Nov 2 23:47
                      Melanie, Thank you for sharing about the Little Bird Tales. I will check this out. In looking at these websites/apps, I have thought a lot about what age we should first start to encourage the... more
                  • Re: Little Bird Tales (app/website) - candithompson, Mon Nov 2 15:56
                    Melanie Thanks for the new app! I have never used it, but just set it up and plan on adding it to my website.
                    • Storybird - megangouge, Fri Nov 6 08:51
                      I had not heard of this either and spent some time exploring the website since I am having the storage issue. I am assuming the app would be even more "kid friendly" and I really want to download it... more
                    • Little Bird Tales - Melanie McLeod, Mon Nov 2 20:14
                      You are welcome, Candi! I hope it works well for your class. I learned about "Little Bird Tales" when attending the 2015 ACS Technology Institute, and it's really child-friendly.
    • Using Writing Strategies/Technology - Melanie McLeod, Sun Oct 25 18:19
      For Prewriting Instruction, I like to use graphic organizers to for brainstorming such as bubble maps and circle maps. I can have my primary grade students use the Popplet lite app to brainstorm, as... more
      • Writing - megangouge, Mon Oct 26 14:24
        Melanie, Like you I used bubble maps and circle maps the most in my classroom. I used graphic organizers more than I realized until discussing them in class. I however, did not usually use them with... more
        • Popplet Lite App - Melanie McLeod, Tue Oct 27 05:47
          Megan: My students loved using the Popplet Lite app, and it was kid-friendly for them to use. I will continue to use this app for student-created graphic organizers.
    • Writing apps - abramsjm, Sun Oct 25 16:14
      I explored all the apps and found that for my students (kindergarten) that the I Can Write App would seem to be the most effective. I like that students are able to self correct, as well as that the... more
      • I Can Write App. - walshjm2, Sun Nov 8 21:54
        I explored the (I Can Write App.), and found that it would be beneficial to use with younger children, or children who have language deficits. I like that the words can be manipulated within the... more
      • "I Can Write" apps - Melanie McLeod, Sun Oct 25 17:48
        Hi, Joanne: I like the "I Can Write" apps, as well. However, the only thing I do not like about them is that when children choose the words for the sentence, it does not read the options aloud to... more
        • "I Can Write" apps - Regina, Sun Oct 25 20:24
          Hi Melanie, I thought the "I Can Write Apps" were useful for the lower grades, but I agree that the words chosen to go into the sentence should be read aloud. I also discovered a free version of "The ... more
          • "123s ABCs" Handwriting App - Melanie McLeod, Tue Oct 27 05:44
            Hi Regina: Thanks for letting me know about the handwriting apps. I downloaded the WDT Classroom (Handwriting Without Tears app) and the 123s ABCs app (Handwriting Without Tears). The WDT app was... more
            • 123s ABCs Handwriting app - Regina, Thu Oct 29 20:59
              Hi Melanie, I'm glad the 123s ABCs app had a little more to offer. I didn't spend a lot of time on the Handwriting Without Tears app, but I will go back and check out the 123s and ABCs app.
          • Apps - joanne abrams, Mon Oct 26 23:29
            I was happy to learn of this app for H.W. Without Tears..I have had the kit which was left in my room when I moved in, but I never had the T.E. This past summer I came across a TE in a thrift store... more
          • I Can Write - Martha_Brown, Mon Oct 26 23:07
            The 'I Can Write' apps could be used for the younger students with assistance. (I am thinking with the Pre-K child in mind). These could be useful in Creativity/imagery instruction.
            • "I Can Write" apps - Melanie McLeod, Tue Oct 27 05:55
              Ms. Martha: I agree. This series of apps is for primary-grades or lower elementary students who continue to struggle with sentence construction. However, I would like if the apps actually read the... more
              • I Can Write/ Speech and Language - haleyferrell, Wed Oct 28 10:27
                I have a student in mind that would benefit from the app. He has language delays (expressive) and I feel that this app could help him by allowing him to use various vocabulary words when creating a... more
                • Dragon Dictation - Melanie McLeod, Sat Oct 31 09:32
                  Haley: When I taught 3rd grade I had a student that had illegible handwriting. Therefore, we used the Dragon Dictation site to let him speak/write some of his responses to reading. He seemed to... more
    • Books - shannonsilver, Tue Oct 13 21:01
      I talked with a teacher in the county about grammar instruction and she gave me some great resources to check out. Grammar Matters and Mastering the Mechanics were the two books she said would help... more
      • Books - megangouge, Thu Oct 22 10:45
        I am so glad we didn't do much research into locating these grammar books. After reading these articles, having these grammar books is not a best practice.
      • Grammar instruction - koppenhaverd, Sun Oct 18 19:43
        Did you read Graham et al's (2012) meta-analysis of what kinds of instruction improve student writing? If not, please do before you continue this conversation or purchase the grammar books you view... more
      • Grade level? - megangouge, Wed Oct 14 09:04
        What grade level(s) are these books for? I haven't heard of them... I need to research how/where to get them!
    • Best Practices - Regina, Mon Oct 12 21:06
      What constitutes best practice?: One of the articles I chose was Conversations With Leaders: Principles of Effective Writing Instruction. I agree with the five major themes of effective writing... more
      • Re: Best Practices - byrdaw, Tue Oct 13 20:33
        I want to use the comic strip app. My students have comic life on their MacBooks. I have tried to incorporate this as a way for students to demonstrate knowledge on a book that they have read. I have ... more
    • Re: Writing Discussion - candithompson, Sun Oct 11 15:06
      • Writing Discussion - Regina, Sun Oct 11 17:10
        Candi, I feel the same about writing as you do. I am now taking Dr. Frye's writing class, and I have learned how important it is to model my own writing in front of the children. I have to fake my... more
        • Re: Writing Discussion - candithompson, Mon Oct 12 10:37
          Regina, I was thinking the same thing about keyboards this morning. I tested out a few of the websites for typing and it did not go so well. Wonder who we should ask about getting keyboards? I did... more
          • writing discussion - Regina, Mon Oct 12 20:57
            Candi, I talked to Tommie today about keyboards with the iPads and she is going to let me borrow one to see what I think. We didn't discuss who would purchase those, but I will talk to her about that ... more
            • Re: writing discussion - candithompson, Tue Oct 13 13:55
              Great! She will be in my class tomorrow for Scratch Jr. so I will talk to her as well. Let me know what you think and how your kids like it.
    • Re: Writing Discussion - brittanyavery, Sat Oct 10 23:31
      What constitutes best practice? After reading the Zumbrunn and Krause article I was reminded of a few things from our writing course that are very important aspects of effective writing instruction,... more
      • Writing discussion - Regina, Sun Oct 11 17:20
        Brittany, After reading the articles, I feel that students need to be typing their stories on their iPads. Do you think we need to look into getting keyboards for the iPads at our school??
        • Writing Discussion - walshjm2, Wed Oct 14 23:40
          What constitutes best practice? As I am also taking Dr. Frye’s writing class, I have had lots of time to think about what I feel is best practice for writing. I believe that writing should be... more
        • Re: Writing discussion - brittanyavery, Sun Oct 11 17:25
          Keyboards would be a great idea! I just feel like typing is a skill they need to learn before they're given mac books in middle school with no typing (besides tapping/touching on the iPads)... more
          • Re: Writing discussion - Amanda grindstaff, Mon Oct 12 16:37
            Our kids truly do need to learn keyboarding because as much as the computer has become part of our existence i can't imagine not know how to type. I know that they learn to text and type with thumbs... more
            • writing Discussion - walshjm2, Wed Oct 14 23:52
              I also believe that we need a keyboarding class or instructional sessions incorporated into our curriculum day. I think that so many children could benefit from this. So much in today's world is... more
              • Keyboarding & Writing Content - Melanie McLeod, Sat Nov 7 08:54
                Hi Jennifer: I think that school districts should require a technology facilitator to come into each grade-level's classroom at least once per week, have keyboard hookups for the iPads, and give each ... more
          • Keyboarding - megangouge, Sun Oct 11 20:30
            Teaching keyboarding and typing skills on an iPad is totally backwards to me! I have printed keyboards on larger paper that I have used in the past for students to practice typing their spelling... more
          • Writing discussion - Regina, Sun Oct 11 20:13
            We need to talk to our principal about that :0)
      • Writing discussion (nm) - Regina, Sun Oct 11 17:15
      • Re: Writing Discussion - candithompson, Sun Oct 11 15:19
        I also saw an the impact of quality instruction with my first graders. Giving them choices, I found that I did have students not able to think of anything to write about. I had students to ask for... more
        • Re: Writing Discussion - brittanyavery, Sun Oct 11 17:20
          Emailing would be a good idea for my third graders because once I showed them how to do it a few times, they could do it independently (I think) after that. I hadn't thought of that, thanks!
    • Re: Writing Discussion - byrdaw, Sat Oct 10 19:42
      In the article "Writing Instruction for Adolescents with Learning Disabilities:Programs of Intervention Research", the authors spoke of the use of various strategies.These strategies implement the... more
      • Re: Writers w/learning disabilities - Joanneabrams, Sat Oct 10 22:54
        I also read that the article Technology for for Struggling Writers and found much of the findings to be true for what I've experienced both as a mother of a child with dyslexia, as well as a teacher, ... more
        • Re: Writers w/learning disabilities - byrdaw, Sun Nov 1 06:50
          You are completely accurate about the the fear students face when attempting to create a composition. Students so want to share their stories with us, but often are unable to begin when they are... more
        • Re: Writers w/learning disabilities - byrdaw, Sun Oct 11 06:36
          i agree with your statement about the use of spell checker. This tool has aided in the revision process for students with learning differences. After some research, I wanted to share this website... more
          • LD writers - haleyferrell, Tue Oct 13 15:21
            I just visited this site and Dragon would be perfect for some of my students in upper elementary and those that just moved into 6th grade. When I was working with the 6th grade students I noticed how ... more
            • Dragon Dictation - Melanie McLeod, Wed Oct 14 06:15
              I looked up Dragon Dictation after you mentioned it, and it seems to be a wonderful app for struggling writers to get their thoughts and content down on paper where it is legible. Not all students... more
              • Dragon Dictation - abramsjm, Tue Oct 27 14:06
                During my son's years in high school he tried using dragon dictation to take notes because he had trouble writing quickly. He liked it somewhat, but it did cause heads to turn as it is voice... more
                • Dragon dictation - Amanda grindstaff, Wed Oct 28 06:10
                  When we first got iPads I tried this with my class on some things and they loved it. I was teaching second grade at the time. I can see though where older students might be self conscious with it,... more
                  • RE: Dragon Dictation - joanneabrams, Fri Oct 30 17:14
                    I have never tried this app with my own students because we didn't have the 1:1 initiative when I taught students old enough to use it. The only experience I do have, was when my own child used it.... more
                • Dragon Dictation - Melanie McLeod, Tue Oct 27 14:33
                  As you mentioned, I don't think it would be as distracting for lower elementary students to use this app within a group setting if needed. However, I understand what you are saying about drawing... more
    • Strategic Instruction Model - haleyferrell, Fri Oct 9 15:59
      The article from Mason and Graham on writing instruction for adolescents with learning disabilities has great strategies for teachers to use with students that have learning disabilities. In the... more
      • Re: Strategic Instruction Model - byrdaw, Sun Oct 11 06:20
        I agree that this strategy would aid students with and without learning differences. This form of instruction has clear guidelines for students and offers a self-check component. Students would be... more
        • Mentor Text book - haleyferrell, Mon Oct 12 15:32
          Is this the book you have for Dr. Frye's class? If so, I would like to look at it and see if it would be useful (which I'm sure it will be) in my class. You are correct in students having difficulty... more
          • Re: Mentor Text book - byrdaw, Tue Oct 13 20:24
            Yes. This book is great. The lesson suggestions in this text develop writing skills for all students and meet individual needs as well.
    • Writing Instruction - joanneabrams, Wed Oct 7 21:19
      As I read the article Primary Grade Writing Instruction: A National Survey by Cutler and Graham, it made me think back to my experience in my teacher prep program, which primarily focused on the art... more
      • Re: Writing Instruction - candithompson, Sun Oct 11 15:33
        I had the same thought about under grad courses. I do not remember having any writing instruction in my under grad. I think it is very important for teachers to have some type of writing class,... more
      • Blogging In the Primary Grades - Melanie McLeod, Thu Oct 8 06:23
        Hi, Joanne: Have you ever blogged with your Kinders? I have never blogged within the primary-grade classroom. If you have blogged, how did it work out while using it with Kinders?
        • Blogging - joanneabrams, Thu Oct 8 20:15
          Hi Melanie, I have never thought of Blogging with my students but after reading the article on New Literacies that discussed so many tech options I am very interested in getting started. I would love ... more
          • Blogging - megangouge, Fri Oct 9 08:33
            I love the idea of blogging but am curious about what grades to begin this. Since we do not have any technology classes that teach actual skills to students, I think finding ways to integrate these... more
    • Writing Instruction in my Opinion - shannonsilver, Tue Oct 6 16:35
      • What constitutes best practice? Most importantly, writing has to be meaningful for students or it is not going to be seen as an important skill. If writing can never benefit them in any other way... more
      • Writing - megangouge, Fri Oct 9 09:55
        Writing was my least favorite thing to teach until I had Dr.Frye's class because I had no clue where to begin or what exactly to do. After having that class and reading these articles I have felt... more
        • Re: Writing - candithompson, Sun Oct 11 16:00
          Yes peer editing is very difficult for first grade!! It is so true that it is the blind leading the blind. First graders struggle trying to figure out where their sentence ends so I don't think it is ... more
      • Re: Writing Instruction in my Opinion - brittanyavery, Wed Oct 7 20:28
        I wholeheartedly agree with this statement that you made: "...writing has to be meaningful for students or it is not going to be seen as an important skill." Even as adults, this concept is true. Who ... more
        • Re: Writing Instruction in my Opinion - Martha Brown, Wed Oct 7 22:42
          "Writing has to be meaningful for students or it is not going to be seen as an important skill." is so important to keep in mind as we are teaching. With the younger children, I think this can be... more
          • Re: Writing Instruction in my Opinion - candithompson, Sun Oct 11 16:07
            I am starting to send journals home every Friday with students. They write letters to their parents about what they have learned or things they have done though the week. I am encouraging parents to... more
            • Great Idea - shannonsilver, Mon Oct 12 21:06
              What a great idea. Not only will they be excited to being written to but also show how writing can be a useful form of communication.
            • Re: Writing Instruction in my Opinion - amanda grindstaff, Mon Oct 12 16:43
              When I taught second grade we sent a bear and journal home with students and they had to write about what the bear did at their house that night. We then shared it with the rest of the class the next ... more
              • Re: Writing Instruction in my Opinion - candithompson, Tue Oct 13 12:23
                What did you do for your hispanics? I have a start of the week that I just started this week and they will take a puppy home for the weekend. I send a journal, but most of the time the parents write... more
                • Re: Writing Instruction in my Opinion - amanda grindstaff, Tue Oct 13 13:11
                  I tried to set up a time that they could go work with an older peer to write in the notebook what they did with the bear or I tried to help them that morning. Its hard to know what to do. That... more
              • Re: Writing Instruction in my Opinion - Martha Brown, Tue Oct 13 11:43
                Sending the bear with the journal is a great idea. This offers so many opportunities for the students to be creative and really brings in the motivation piece. Another possibility is to get... more
              • ELLs - shannonsilver, Mon Oct 12 21:03
                I wonder what Beth or Lara could do to help with this because I think it would be a great chance to share their culture with their classmates even if it was in a different language.
            • Journals - megangouge, Sun Oct 11 20:38
              I LOVE this idea! The weeks at school that there is a lot going on (like this past one; fire safety and wooly worm) topics should be easy for them to create. However, I can see that things could get... more
          • Re: Writing Instruction in my Opinion - byrdaw, Sun Oct 11 06:43
            I was inspired after reading your post. I now want to explore ways to develop that "partnership" between the school and home. Your examples of modeling the daily importance of writing created... more
          • Journaling - megangouge, Fri Oct 9 10:31
            I love the idea of sending involving parents in the writing process! Like one of the articles discussed, writing progress is not usually reported to parents. Sending journals back and forth between... more
          • Re:Writing... - joanneabrams, Thu Oct 8 20:22
            Hi Martha, I liked your suggestion about sending journals back and forth from school to home. I may try to do something with journals in this way the first of the year. By then, many of my Kinders... more
          • Writing Enjoyment - Melanie McLeod, Thu Oct 8 06:13
            Hi, Ms. Martha: I agree with your thoughts about writing instruction. After I have completed our graduate studies Writing Course, I have become enlightened to the fact that much of our students'... more
            • Re: Writing Enjoyment - byrdaw, Sun Oct 11 06:55
              I completely agree with your statements on gaining confidence after receiving instruction. I am currently enrolled in writing course and am developing skills in writing instruction. I believe that... more
              • Writing Attitude - Melanie McLeod, Sun Oct 11 15:32
                You are correct, Adele. Our attitudes shape the way our students feel and perform within any subject-area. I am thankful that I now have the confidence and teaching tools to teach writing in an... more
                • Attitude - megangouge, Sun Oct 11 20:41
                  I agree 100% Melanie! I think it is ok for students to see that we might not always be comfortable or have strengths in everything but that we can learn skills and ways of accomplishing things!
      • Meaningful writing - haleyferrell, Wed Oct 7 15:31
        I agree with you Shannon that writing needs to be meaningful to the students. Like you, I too had a group of students in first grade that wrote a persuasive paper to the cafeteria. It was during... more
        • Meaningful writing/Best Practices - Martha Brown, Thu Oct 8 23:37
          Thank you for sharing this example. It was great that the students were able to see immediate results of their persuasive writing. This is something that they will remember and provided a valuable... more
        • Persuasive Writing - Melanie McLeod, Thu Oct 8 20:48
          Haley: We worked on a similar persuasive letter to our cafeteria at FTES last school year. Our first graders wanted to persuade all the first grade teachers to let them buy ice cream each Friday... more
          • Persuasive Writing - Martha Brown, Fri Oct 9 22:20
            This was such a great experience for your students. It gives them such a strong foundation to write about other topics. The confidence they gain of being able to express their thoughts and opinions... more
    • Effective Writing Practices - Melanie McLeod, Sat Oct 3 09:50
      What constitute best writing practice? **Best writing practice for teachers involves balancing the time and energy with process writing and skills practice. While growing up and learning within the... more
      • Re: Effective Writing Practice - joanneabrams, Wed Oct 7 21:44
        Hi Melanie, I have tried incorporating grammer skills into my writing block and found myself losing a lot of the process of writing at the same time. I read in the article by Cutler and Graham that... more
        • Re: Effective Writing Practice - byrdaw, Tue Oct 13 20:27
          Perfectly stated writing goal. I wish I was instructed with these principles as an elementary student. I also agree with allowing the flow of writing. I often had to keep my mouth closed and let the... more
        • Writing Practice - haleyferrell, Thu Oct 8 11:39
          Joann, I understand what you are saying and your time is very limited. I had a student last year that had trouble with grammar and with remembering his sentence. So, to help him and to use time... more
          • Re:Writing Practicie - joanneabrams, Thu Oct 8 19:46
            Thanks Haley...I like the ideas you've shared and want to try the popsicle sticks with certain kinder students that I have in mind. When I taught 4th grade, I put those kind of sentences you... more
        • Not During Writing Workshop - Melanie McLeod, Thu Oct 8 06:07
          Hi, Joanne: I agree with your thoughts and the articles, as well. I do not want to spend any of my valuable process writing time working on basic grammar skills. I already have a very limited amount... more
          • Re: Not during writers wkshp - joanneabrams, Thu Oct 8 20:08
            Hi Melanie, I think teaching writing at any grade level is truly challenging, with that said however, K-1 teachers are teaching writing on such a wide spectrum...from learning how to grip a pencil... more
      • Question - shannonsilver, Tue Oct 6 15:40
        **Question I have: Maybe modeling how to use the word processing tools could help. They customize the grammatical issues that each student has in their writing. Of course you would have to model... more
      • Re: Effective Writing Practices - brittanyavery, Mon Oct 5 05:27
        Melanie, That's a great question, and I actually found myself trying to figure out the same thing this year. I've been using a narrative unit that has mini lessons for specific skills, and included... more
        • Gammar - shannonsilver, Tue Oct 6 15:32
          I think that grammar is really abstract for students to understand until they can apply it to there own reading or writing. When I taught 4th grade, we use to complete a grammar lesson daily out of... more
          • Daily Fix-Its - Melanie McLeod, Wed Oct 7 15:27
            Hi, Shannon: We have very limited time for grammar instruction within my daily schedule. However, I would have time for a 'Fix-It' grammar correction practice with 2 sentences (which go along with my ... more
            • Daily Fix -Its - shannonsilver, Wed Oct 7 21:26
              Hello Melanie, That is what we did with Daily Oral Language. I agree teachers have limited time as it is, so choosing the most effective way to teach a concept is key. I saw at a school in the... more
              • Sentence Fix Its - megangouge, Mon Oct 12 09:06
                When I did my student teaching, we used to do the DOL and I felt it was very beneficial for such a short quick lesson. With first grade I used to use the Letterland sentences that are on the spelling ... more
                • DOL - shannonsilver, Mon Oct 12 20:59
                  They sure do like to point out your mistakes. Makes it fun and it puts everybody on an even playing field. Did you teach grammar during their writing time as well or did you find it difficult to fit... more
                  • Grammar - megangouge, Tue Oct 13 10:27
                    During this time I was not focusing much on grammar. I taught grammar separately and did have a hard time fitting it into the schedule!! There isn't enough time during the day to fit everything in!
              • Fix-Its - Melanie McLeod, Thu Oct 8 06:02
                I agree, Shannon. Students need to hear how a correct sentence sounds so that he/she can produce an effective sentence of their own. I think working with a Daily Fix-It sentence correction would help ... more
                • Re: Fix-Its - candithompson, Sun Oct 11 16:16
                  My students correct a sentence every day on their morning work. It is not a lot, but I see them starting to pay attention to sentence structure. I also give mini-lessons with nouns, verbs, proper... more
                  • Sentence Correction - Melanie McLeod, Sun Oct 11 17:11
                    Candy: Thank you for replying. I'm going to try the sentence correction and see how my students respond.
            • Daily Fix it - haleyferrell, Wed Oct 7 15:34
              Melanie, When I was working in 5th grade during a maternity leave the teacher had a daily Fix It for grammar. I feel that it was beneficial because the students, over time, were able to complete this ... more
              • May Try It - Melanie McLeod, Thu Oct 8 05:59
                Thanks, Haley. I may try to fit it in during my morning Welcome Work to see how it goes. At least I would be getting in some basic sentence/grammar structure skills in within my busy day.
                • Worth a try - haleyferrell, Thu Oct 8 09:25
                  It is worth a try. If it is too much for your students cut it down to one sentence and start with just one grammar error or one punctuation error. Then, as time goes by start adding more.
              • Re: Daily Fix it - brittanyavery, Wed Oct 7 20:35
                Haley, Do you think this helped them in a way that they were actually able to transfer what they learned in their writing?
          • Re: Gammar - brittanyavery, Tue Oct 6 15:59
            Shannon I seriously laughed when I read your "funny story" because I can totally relate with a similar experience with my family as well. I think you're so right when you made the point that those... more
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