Tips, Titles and Tools for Teachers
Instructional Resources for Writing Workshop
If you are interested in Skyping with an author this spring, it's not too late! I'm including a link to Kate Messner's list of authors who will schedule short, FREE Skype visits with classrooms. Let me know if you would like help arranging a virtual author visit!
In this week's newsletter, I am also sharing a few blog posts and book recommendations for writing workshop. Take a few minutes to read the blog post from Paula Bourque on creating "Look-Fors". I know we are all short on time, but I think you may all appreciate this quick and valuable strategy!
Ready for Some March Book Madness?
WES Teachers ~ I will be sending you the link to our March Madness Google Doc file for directions and your bracket assignment. We will plan to create a Google Doc of ideas for using the titles at our book talk on Thursday!
Author, Melissa Stewart, also shared a rating guide with us to help your students make an informed decision between two nonfiction titles! See her link here: http://celebratescience.blogspot.com/2015/10/nonfiction-smackdown.html
Skyping with Authors
New Blog Posts from Two Writing Teachers
Instant Minilesson Follow-Up from Elizabeth Moore
The essential elements of a writing minilesson, as well as suggestions for engaging and informally assessing students.
Looking At Student Writing from Dana Murphy
Suggestions for comparing two pieces of student writing for growth and topics for instruction. (Perfect for this time of year with parent conferences!)
Student Writing Reflection from Deb Frazier
Ideas for encouraging students to reflect on their writing using the prompt, "Tell me what you noticed about yourself as a writer."
The Importance of "Look Fors"
An excellent blog post by Paula Bourque
Often we hang student work in the hallway or on a bulletin board to celebrate the writing process or the final product. A "Look-For" is a way of drawing the audience's attention (parents, teachers, other students, etc.) to a particular element of the piece. It's a way of sharing the 'behind the scenes' work that is behind the artifact on display. Your Look-Fors can be particular learning targets, but they can also be created by the students. What does the child want us to "look for"or notice in his or her writing piece?
Paula has excellent questions and suggestions in her blog post! I highly encourage you to take a few minutes to read it. I think you will find Look-Fors to be an easy-to-implement strategy that encourages your students to be more reflective!
Check out Paula's Gallery of Look-Fors with photographs from elementary classrooms!
Mentor Text Recommendations
The picture books in this series would be great read alouds during a narrative writing study! Library Mouse is a great character to model living a writing life.
Looking for a fun spin on informative writing? Mentor texts by Steve Jenkins are always a great choice! Creature Features is a fun collection of letters written to twenty-five creatures asking why they look the way they do. This would be a great mentor text for organization, voice and word choice! (Really, any of the traits!)
Many of you may be familiar with the book I Wanna Iguana. If you haven't seen I Wanna New Room and I Wanna Go Home, you should check them out as great mentor texts for persuasive writing for all ages!