Nov 25, 2018

Striving to Thriving Writers... GIVEAWAY!

Do you have writers?  Do you have writers who are thriving?  Do you have writers who are striving?  Do you have writers everywhere in between?  We do.

Our writers have come to us in all different shapes, sizes, and most importantly abilities.  In a dreamy world, all our writers would come in confident and writing pages upon pages, BUT.... writing is H.A.R.D.!!!  Our firstie writers have to do a LOT of work to get their words down on the page.  We need them to become authors. We strive for them to become authors. The odds for them to become a professional author is .04%.  Not good. But we're not looking for them to do this as a profession, we're looking for them to view themselves as authors for their lives.


In our never ending crusade to get better at our craft, we were asked to read and blog about From Striving to Thriving Writers by Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger.

We dug right in.  The authors begin with a quick introduction that dives into the importance of writing purpose, audience, and interest, which can be achieved many times through content area writing.  They go on to explain what their writing frameworks are and the process to implement them.

There are 27 different writing frameworks that are ready to be implemented. These frameworks help every writer in your classroom.  Each framework includes the time, materials (can be found online), focus skills, the grade band (this is an important feature, to us), and the lesson to be used in the classroom.  Even the mentor texts are included and ready for use.  Samples of student writing are also found throughout the frameworks, which really helped us to visualize the student expectations.


As we read through the frameworks, it became clear that we could not just write about this teaching resource, we had to put it into action.  So that is just what we did.
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November means change.  Summer has turned to fall and fall is slowly (or quickly) turning into winter.  We use this time to examine the changes that have taken place between our lives now and the lives of people long ago.  Framework 12 is titled "Then and Now: Charting Change" and it seemed like a perfect fit for us.

Starting with the mentor text from Holbrook and Salinger, the students examine the back and forth nature of then and now.



Then we took a look at how people lived long ago: how they looked, what they ate, where they lived, and how they moved.

Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger include (what they call) GO sheets to help the students organize their thinking.  Since we were marrying this framework with our current work, we added to the GO sheet.  This helped our firsties look at the specific parts of the informative piece they were writing.  We even differentiated it for some of our writers that needed to focus on fewer facts about long ago.








From Striving to Thriving Writers helped us to have some good, hard conversations about what we are currently doing, what we could be doing, and how to integrate those.  We will share with you the frameworks that we continue to try out and implement.

This book is a great resource to help you take a closer look at your writing instruction.  Grab your own FREE copy of this book by entering in the giveaway below (U.S. residents only, please).


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9 comments:

  1. As always, I am eager to give this a try. That framework is something that even my Kinders could handle with ease (after teaching and modeling, of course). Thanks for a great review!!!
    Alyce

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  2. When teaching writing, I struggle to get it all in: read aloud mentor text, mini lesson, writing time, conferencing, peer sharing! Yikes! My goal is to do it all within a week, doing it all in a day is just not possible with my schedule.
    Alyce

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    1. Timing is so tricky! Maria and I talk about this every summer when we sit down to plan the year. And it just doesn't get any easier!

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  3. My struggle is to reach the kids at all levels of writing ability and to inspire my kids to challenge themselves.

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    1. Yes!! I do think some of the frameworks lend themselves to differentiation pretty well! I like that they call the writing drafts..."versions."

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  4. With writing, I think the biggest struggle is pacing. With writer's workshop, it seems everyone needs my help all the time, and some take longer on each stage. Using a workshop model makes sense with this issue, but sometimes administrators don't understand pacing very well.

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    1. Pacing...yes!! First graders fall into this description for sure! They need help. It is all new to them.

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  5. As a Literacy Coach I have a lot of teachers looking for ways to enhance their writing blocks. This would be a great resource to use during our PLC's when we are clarifying our standards and looking for ways to differentiate.

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