Teaching Writing

Happy Fall! Happy New School Year!

I am three weeks into yet another school year, and yet another new role. This year, I've moved to teaching both fourth and fifth grade reading, writing, and language arts. I have been thrilled to focus on these core subjects, but along with that, comes a lot of organization and new planning!

If you follow me on Instagram, I've been posting a lot about what I'm doing with writing. It all started this summer when I read this book:

The book is organized in such a clear, simplistic way. It walks the reader through 46 moves that help young writers elaborate. In the back, it is organized in a way to help you see which moves fit with the write traits and even different genres. When I read this part, I knew I needed to start choosing different lessons to fit with my grade levels. I quickly made a plan... (stay tuned for that part)

In addition to a plan, I quickly developed a way to organize our notebooks. I decided to create tabs and heading for the writing notebook. This has been my best decision ever! It has set clear expectations for the students, while keeping them very organized. (click here to get them for free)

After creating these tabs, I developed a plan on how I would launch writing. I created a 22 day plan for teaching the write traits to both my fourth and fifth graders, by choosing lessons that fit with each. I knew I wanted to incorporate pictures books into these lessons, too, so started looking for books that fit. (the students LOVE having picture books incorporated)

My writing lessons follow this format:

1. Introduce the enduring standard at the top of the page. (Active writers...)
2. Show an example of how the move is used in writing. (these are given in the book)
3. Describe when and how the students would use the move, and discuss how it fits with the trait.
4. Complete a mini practice together as a group and share. (usually includes a picture book)
5. The students practice the skill on their own.
6. End with a Kagan structure to share out.

I keep things very consistent in my classroom, so this format works well for us. Check out some of the work we have done thus far in the notebook!

Showing the students under the document camera how to set up their page. 

Such a cute book for modeling how to catch vocabulary! 

This book was by far my favorite for how to develop ideas and care for them!

A student independently reading, while also catching new vocabulary to use in their own writing! 

For each lesson, I create slides to teach the skill. 

An example of a student taking quality notes. We spend a lot of time talking about what this should look like. 

Love this book! "If You Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!" to teach the idea lessons, "Stating the Obvious" and "But, Why?" (Both lessons are in the book)

More quality notes! 

Ending with a Kagan Structure to share out our writing. 

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