Friday, March 11, 2016

Writing Process---From a Student's Point of View

I recently spent a few days in a writing workshop hosted in my district that featured both poetry and non-fiction writing.  In the workshop, we discussed the merits of different writing programs such as 6 Traits and ideas that are taken from Lucy Calkins but spent a lot of time on developing mini lessons and how to make the most of the writing conferences.  Amid the discussions that we had in how we presented topics and edited with students, we never talked about the writing process as a whole.  We discussed the different steps of the writing process, but as we talked in groups or in pairs, I noticed something that was universal among us.  We all added 'extra' steps into the writing process.  Even more interesting to me was that these 'extra' steps were added at the same exact place by each teacher.  We may not have referred to them with the same vocabulary, but they were there, just the same.  I identified 12 steps needed to help students improve their writing:

Step 1:  The student brainstorms with a graphic organizer.

Step 2:  The student begins illustrating and labeling  the ‘nouns’ which will help with adding details.

Step 3:  The student begins writing a strong lead, a beginning, middle, and end, and a conclusion.

Step 4:  Conference with student. Is the student ready to convert this from 5 sentences to 5 paragraphs?

Step 5:  Check for a problem and solution or opinion. 

Step 6:  The student rereads and edits again if necessary. This can be done with a partner.

Step 7:  Conference with the student to revise the story.

Step 8:  The student rereads to make further changes and checks for clarity of the story.  The focus is on adding more details!

Step 9:  The student begins to rewrite the story to work towards a final draft.

Step 10:  The student rereads for clarity again.

Step 11:  The student adds details to the illustration to help tell the story.

Step 12:  Ready to publish!

Here are those same 12 steps in a poster format for you! I included a check off sheet, too!

I know that realizing this validated not only me as a teacher, but also me as a writer.  I had never thought about breaking it all down so that I could analyze the way I taught the writing process.  I hope that this helps you strengthen your writer's workshop like it has me.  

Here is a poster that I have used for a long time, but I lost the name of the author a LONG time ago!  If this is your graphic please let me know and I'll note you as the source.  But, it is so helpful!

It is incredible when something that you have thought about makes a connection with such strength that it changes the teacher's heart inside you.  

Here are 3 other things to remember....Maybe these can be the beginning of a few anchor charts for you.

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