Process Writing Resources


This newsletter will help us access the ideas and resources gathered in our work to enhance process writing in Oceanside. We will continue to update this news as we learn and grow with our literacy consultants Sarah Cordova and Randi Bernstein as well as with one another.

3 Text Types in the Common Core

Oceanside's 2017-2018 Process Writing Scope & Sequence

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The Writing Process

The Stages of the Writing Process

Immersion: The time to provide background information about the genre/text type. Teachers read mentor texts in their entirety and explore and investigate the authors, texts, and genre, which will be studied.

Generating Ideas: The time to “brainstorm” lots of possible ideas for topics. Various strategies are used to gather seeds, which might have the potential to turn into a published piece

Selecting an Idea: The time to encourage students to find subjects that matter and are relevant to their purpose and intention; Writers think about what more they have to say, the impact on a potential reader and if the topic is important to them

Collecting: The time to provide students with strategies for developing and researching their ideas. This stage is where students will collect more information to add to their draft.

Drafting: Help students envision, plan, and organize finished text. This is the time for organization and making meaning for the reader.

Revision: Guide students to effectively craft their writing to fit genre, purpose, and meet the needs of their intended audience. Students will be ‘re-seeing” their work, thinking about a potential reader, and making the writing interesting and engaging for them.

Editing: Provide “skill” (spelling, punctuation, grammar) instruction directly related to student texts.

Publishing: Celebrate and authenticate students’ writing by preparing writing for an audience of readers.

Architecture of a Minilesson

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Minilesson Architecture - Expanded Version

INFORM- Connection/Direct Instruction/“Listen Up” Phase

· Lasts no longer than a minute

· Put today’s mini-lesson in the context of ongoing class work

· “Today writers, we’re going to be thinking about/working on/looking at . . . because . . .”

· Explains what real writers do and WHY we will be doing the same thing

PRESENT- Demonstration/Teach/“Let me show you”

· Teaching the students something they’ll use often as they write

· Name the strategy and show how and when they will use it

· Model (demonstrate, explain and show an example using a mentor text/student example)

· This strategy will be something they may use today as they write in class and/or something that they will be able to use in the future.

· This strategy can be stored in their “Writer’s Tool Box” for later use.

ENGAGE “Try it Out” phase

· This is an opportunity to let the students try what you have taught in a scaffolded environment.

· They practice the strategy right in front of you/on “the rug” and try out what they have learned.

· This could be a guided practice or the students can talk to a partner about what they saw and what they plan to do.

· This phase allows you to assess understanding quickly and quietly BEFORE students go out “on their own” to use the strategy.

· Sometimes classmates can “remediate” the misunderstanding before you even have to step in to help.

** If you find students who do not understand the strategy at this point in the minilesson, you have 2 options:

¨ Remediate right then and there on the rug and try to “catch” the misunderstanding before students work independently

¨ If this does not work, you can group the few students who are still missing the strategy and work with them when students go off to write independently.


· Link the mini-lesson to the ongoing work of today’s workshop

· Some students may use the strategy right away, some may not. There may be times you want everyone to incorporate it into their writing.

· Dismiss children to their writing spot to work independently using writing as the way to get working (dismiss by topic, type of introduction, etc. to avoid noise level increase and stampede)

· Brings the lesson full circle back to the inform portion

· A reminder of what we’re doing today in Writer’s Workshop and why.


Mid-Workshop Teaching Point

· Halfway through independent writing time you speak to the entire group.

· You draw attention to something you saw during observations, conferencing, an example of good writing or an issue with which you see students struggling

SHARE- After the Workshop “Share”/Reinforcement

· At the end of workshop, students come together for a share session.

· This is an opportunity to reinforce the strategy taught by exemplifying some student work.

· You can highlight the work of 2-3 students who used the strategy very well or students who struggled at the start of the independent writing time but then had an “AHA” moment and are now using it correctly.

· Students can share during this time but watch your time as you want to make sure this is short and always reinforcing the strategy taught or something positive that came of today’s work

· You can remind students what to do for homework that evening and repeat the strategy once again for further clarification.

A Sample Minilesson

Writing Mini Lesson Randi Bernstein

Trimester-Based Instructional Planning

Process writing and extended reading experiences will be at the forefront of our planning and instruction. See the chart below for ideas and opportunities to promote and instruct eager, skilled, life-long readers and writers.
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Please contact Jessica Keegan Beth Zirogiannis, one of our TLCs: Suji Cibirka, Kathleen Nicoletti, or Amy Gigliobianco; or Randi Bernstein with any ideas and questions.


Randi Bernstein, Literacy Consultant