By: Keeli Gibson, Section C, 9/10/15
Essential parts of an interactive writing lesson:
Interactive writing: grades 2-5 shifts
- Shift 1: Lesson is more fluid and dynamic- this means that with more matured writers, the lesson will move quicker and at more ease, thus creating more sentences at the end of the lesson.
- Shift 2: Share the Pen part modified- the pace, discussion and medium are modified for the more fluent readers. The main idea of this is that not every little detail is pointed out to the extreme it was in primary grades. There may also be technology incorporated and the students would share the keyboard instead of a pen.
- Shift 3: Lesson frequency decreases and length increases- students with a more mature understanding for writing will not have to have as many opportunities to practice it but instead longer lessons to deepen their learning.
- Shift 4: Genre expands and becomes a central goal- particular aspects of the genre and the genre itself are explored more with students in upper elementary grades.
4 Principles of Interactive Writing for All Grades
- Value each step in the lesson: Each lesson includes multiple goals for the students and the teacher should focuses on specific important ideas throughout the lesson. Students should be gaining and learning new items in each part of the lesson.
- Balance the Planned and Unplanned Teaching Opportunities: The planned portion of the lesson is done before the writing occurs and is influenced by the students data of where they are in writing. The unplanned opportunities differ with each circumstance and classroom but good teachers will see these opportunities and maximize on them.
- Make Intentional Teaching Decisions as Writers Develop: The teacher needs to make sure to make teaching decisions for each individual child and their needs within the classroom.
- Make Explicit Links to Students' Own Work: Teachers need to make sure that students connect what they learn from the interactive lessons to their independent writing. Sometimes students connect the two independently but other times the teacher must help guide the student to connect the two.
This article was detailed and explicit in explaining the method so teachers knew exactly what it was, how to implement it in their classroom and why it is so important and effective to use. I would definitely use this method in my future classroom as much as I can to help build those necessary skills in a supporting classroom.
Overall, I believe this is something that every teacher should use in their classrooms and I would recommend it to anyone I know.
- Why is interactive writing beneficial to students, especially young ones?
- How could interactive writing be used in grades 6 and higher? What shifts would have to be made?
- How would you differentiate interactive writing instruction for students of higher and lower levels in the primary grades?