September 26, 2015

Falling In Love With Teaching Writing


I am so excited to be part of this Blog Hop!
This is my first and I am excited for so many reasons!
I can't wait to see all the wonderful things we all love about teaching.

Anyone who knows me loves I love reading.
I love teaching reading.
I love reading for fun.
I love talking about reading.
So, I really thought my blog post would be about reading.
However, this year I have grown to love writing as well.

I decided to talk about writing because I think many of us are afraid of how to teach it 
because we were not taught how to teach writing.
If you were taught how, PLEASE leave me a comment so I can get in touch with you!
I have always enjoyed reading the wonderful stories my students wrote for creative writing.
I even enjoyed reading the facts and seeing the excitement in their faces as they learned new things about interests they had.

My view of writing has changed completely over the last few years as our testing has changed;
therefore, changing the way I have had to look at how I teach writing.

HOW TESTING HAS CHANGED

1.  Our testing will be on the computer.  On the reading test the students could have up to 2 texts and then respond to a prompt about what they have read.  On the social studies test, we could have any primary source, map, diagram or text, that the students will have to analyze and then respond to a prompt.  On top of that, the students will have to type their responses while scrolling up and down to the text.

2. We have been told to be prepared for mainly opinion writing on both of these tests.

3.  Our social studies standards for third grade in Tennessee include THE. ENTIRE. WORLD. - geography, culture, history, government, economics, etc.  of each continent.

So, my amazing third grade team and I had to sit down and rethink how we were teaching.

HOW MY TEACHING HAS CHANGED

1.  My kids are on this blog almost every day.  I give them crazy photo prompts.  I give them social studies prompts that apply to what we are studying in social studies as well as reading. I have found the key to making this work is my responding that day to what they have written.  This usually takes me no more than 30 minutes at night (or early in the morning).  The next day, the students know they have to find their comment, read my reply and, then, reply back showing their corrections.

Here is one of our fun "Picture of the Week" posts.
When we read about Marco Polo (who is part of our social studies), the kids looked and responded to this post.
The kids fell in love with Ellis Island when we did this study.

I have seen such a huge growth already in our writing due to these additions to our day.
As a teacher I LOVE them.
I love them because they are fun to write.
I love them because they are fun to read.
I love them because I am seeing ALL my students grow in various ways.
Some of them are typing a sentence and that is a celebration.
Some of them are leaving peer feedback which is amazing!

2.  We still do the paper and pencil writing because that is critical as well.  We have had to do this for years, and I have loved them all.  (Some are up for a MAJOR facelift, but that will come. Please excuse those that aren't "cute.")  Our "saying" for our writing time has come from my 
fabulous friend/teaching neighbor, Belinda, from Third Grade to the Edge.

To Seek...
To Know...
And Thereby Grow...

We seek information through observing primary sources, websites, books, magazines, etc.
We take the information we gained and see what we know about that subject now.
We grow when we can put what we know into writing and share it with others.

                         


3.  In our reading, we have implemented the reading response journals with the Power Reading Workshop plan.  Every week the students are writing in their journals about the book they have read.  Many times what they are writing is an opinion that has to be supported with evidence from the text. I saw so much growth with this last year, and can't wait to see how it helps my kiddos this year.

I could go on and on, but this has already wound up being longer than I had planned.
I want to hear from you!
Do you have any questions or ideas?
Please leave a comment for me!


2 ways to win:



Keep going until you come back to me!
Then you will have made it through the entire hop!
Remember you DO have until September 30 to take advantage of everything!
Thanks for visiting!

31 comments:

  1. I could use help on how to do conferences with my class while others are working on their writing assignment.

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    1. Thank you, Emily! I am working on something coming up that will cover this for sure! Be checking back to see what will be in the works! Check my Facebook page group to give more ideas on this topic!

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  2. I second Emily's request. Thanks for the giveaway :)

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    1. Thanks, Amy! I never would have guessed I would have had this much interest. I am working on something that will cover all of these topics! Check out my Facebook page to see what will be happening and to add ideas!

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  3. We use Lucy Calkin's Units for writing-she is fantastic!

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    1. I have heard she is amazing! Thank you for visiting and being part of the hop!

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  4. Any help with writing is great! It is my weakest subject. I scour teacher blogs for ideas! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I am working on something since I have had many comments with questions. Be on the look out! Thanks for stopping by and all of your encouragement you give!

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  5. I could use help with the Common Core Standards for writing.

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    1. Jennifer, all I do is Common Core aligned so I can try to help with this. I am working on an idea after seeing everyone's comments! Be sure to come back. Also, check my Facebook page so you can give more ideas!

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  6. For me, it is the most difficult to teach. I could use help with easy to use and yet creative lesson plans. I teach struggling learners, so motivation plays a factor. They need hands on, interactive writing. Thanks!

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    1. I agree, 100%, Tina! I was in your boat not too long ago! I have some ideas after seeing everyone's comments. I hope you will check back to see what I have in mind. Also, check my Facebook page to see what will be going on and leave me more ideas!

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  7. I can use help with everything. I made the switch from Kindergarten (15+ years) to Third Grade. I'm enjoying it but we haven't really started writing more than a paragraph. I just want to give my students my best but researching what I need is a bit overwhelming! I need to figure out what I need to narrow down.

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    1. I understand where you are coming from! I had a 9 year maternity leave!!!! When I came back, things were so different! I have loved seeing everyone's comments and have a plan brewing in my brain! Be sure to check back and check out the Facebook page! I would love to hear any more ideas and suggestions you have!

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  8. Thanks for posting your writing tips. I like how they get social studies prompts.

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    1. Thank you! I think this is what has helped me fall in love with writing - integrating the social studies into it!

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  9. I really love some of these ideas for writing! It's usually not my favorite subject to teach, but I definitely think incorporating these opinion writing ideas and resources would help. :)

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    1. Thank you, Kim! I have just loved it! Be sure to come back and see what else we are up to! I would love to hear more about what you need and ideas you have! Check back and check the Facebook page!

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  10. Love your writing ideas! I bet your students enjoy writing in your class!

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    1. Thank you! We are getting close to loving writing!!!

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  11. I need to know how to differentiate writing activities since I have nonwriters as well as students that can write paragraphs.

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    1. Yes!! We have those as well! I am going to work on a series that will cover all of these comments as well as touch on the ones you have addressed. Please keep checking back and check the Facebook page for when things are coming and to give me ideas!

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  12. Becky, I am so inspired by how you reflect on your own practices to make sure that your instruction is equipping your kids for success. Having them write to prompts on your blog - and then responding to them, urging them to truly write to the prompt thoroughly and accurately - wow! I also like your Reading Response Packet. Thanks for all of these great tips on writing instruction!
    :o) Pamela
    Hedgehog Reader

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. We have loved this aspect of teaching this year!

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  13. Have you ever tried "Kidblog"? My second year of teaching I used it-- and my kids LOVED it! Just wanted to share :)

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    1. I will check that out for sure! I used to use Edublogs. I have in mind having "Guest Bloggers" on the blog. Those guests being my students!

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  14. I could use help in writing progression for K!

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    1. Mary.... I will work on that for you! I am working on a series that will hopefully address many of these questions people have addressed and this will be one I will get on! Please check back and check the Facebook page to leave more ideas you would like to see in writing!

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  15. Kids that always says "I'm done!"

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    1. I gotcha on that one! I am working on something that will cover this! I believe this is a problem we ALL have in our rooms! Please be sure to come back as well as check out the Facebook page to see what will be happening as well as offering ideas you would like to be covered.

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  16. Kiddos saying they don't know what to write!

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