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My goal for the past two

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My goal for the past two years of teaching is to improve my teaching of writing and because I have been so focused on improving my writing, I was drawn to this blog. Last year in my grade level team we worked on dividing up our writing students by the writing skills they needed to work on, and focused on those skills to help improve students' writing. This really helped our students gain confidence. They were working on skills that everyone else in their class was working on. Some of the low writers in my class became the leaders due to this new found confidence.
I agree with the points you made on how to structure writing time in the classroom. We always have a set writing time each day and I allow my students to work where they would like to, as long as they are writing. I also agree with you that a lot of modeling is mandatory for successful writing growth. I rarely have my students do an assignment that I have not modeled previously. In my classroom we have our writing block, and a time during our Language Arts centers for free writing. I have found that my students love this free writing. Almost everyone is engaged in the process, and producing quality work. What more could I ask for? I think the key to this engagement is treating my students as “real writers.” I have tried to have an assortment of writing tools available, but I often find they have gone missing. I’m not sure what the key is to keeping them available for all students to use. Thanks for the great insights. I look forward to reading more.

Love!

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I am currently a student teacher doing the first part of my internship in a fourth grade classroom. I was so excited about seeing the writing activities in the classroom based off of the theory and ideas that were talked about in my university classes. I have thus far been mildly disappointed in what I've seen. We have a writing IL that comes in every other week, and she's wonderful with the students, but on the week she isn't there, writing is mildly neglected. When the class is working on writing, it's very stern and regimented. I think that it's reflected in the student's writing because they are writing very short, unimaginative work. I love the ideas that you've put forward here and I see myself running my own class like this when I get to that point! I found this post to be encouraging and re-excited me about writing in the classroom!

Kindergarten teacher

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As a first-year teacher, I found this article to be insightful and relevant to my profession. Although I consider myself to have great writing skills, I often worry about how I will effectiveely teach writing to my Kindergarten students. Writing seemed to come easy to me as a young student; therefore, it is difficult for me to relate to struggling writers. Writing is a complex subject, and I often wonder where to begin in teaching it. In reading this article, I found exactly where I must begin with my class. I must begin with creating a positive environment that is conducive to writing. I anticipate having struggling writers. In order to help them overcome this, I must provide them with a positive writing environment. Your article has allowed me to gain insight into how I will create this type of environment. First, I must decide on a schedule for writing. My students must know when writing workshop will begin in our classroom. Next, I must allow my students opportunities to spread out and write throughout the classroom. However, it is important that I teach them my expectations for this opportunity as my students are young and new to the school environment. Then, I must inform my students about all of the tools that are available for them to use in their writing. Finally, I must inspire and motivate my students to write through modeling and embodying the attitude of a writer. As a result of reading this article, I have gained wonderful insights into how to establish a positive writing environment at the beginning of the school year. Thank you!

These are great ideas! I

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These are great ideas! I really like the idea of being able to write anywhere in the classroom. This gives the kids freedom to move around and get more comfortable as they great. I also love the idea of using anything to write. I have always pushed students to use their pencils and don't be afraid to make mistakes but as I read your post I realize that it isn't about what their writing with but that they are actually actively engaged in the writing process.

I love these ideas. They

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I love these ideas. They will be easy to immediately implement into my classroom. I can't wait to share the ideas with my fellow teachers.

4th Grade Teacher

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This entry is great especially since I will be team teaching in a 4th grade classroom this year. In Florida we have the FCAT Writes were students need a 4, 5, or 6 in order to be considered passing. I can definitely relate to Pt. 3 because as a Math person I never erase I just scratch out my work and keep going. Like writing I feel that erasing affects my thought process for that particular math problem. In my quest to help my classroom partner with our students’ writing ability I am going to implement a math journal. Most math journals consist of math problems students do every morning. However, this math journal is going to have students reflect on the days teaching, what they learned that day,, and what can be done to improve the lesson or help them better understand the task at hand. I also thought Pt. 4 was great because even I am a victim of making noise when students are working in groups or in an individual setting. By showing students that the assignment is important to your real life context they will soon follow suit. Overall I think we as educators have to show our students that there is no such thing as bad writing and that there isn’t a specific time or place to begin writing. This entry has definitely helped my confidence with 4th grade writing this upcoming school year.

Fourth Grade Teacher

I am really hoping to develop

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I am really hoping to develop my writing teaching this year and support students in finding their love of writing. This post is very helpful in helping me to visualize where I am going. I anticipate having the "quiet 10" as mentioned and making sure students can move around the room and really develop their ideas. How do you support the different types of writing that students are expected to master? Do they get to choose their topics but stay within the genre required?

3rd Grade Teacher and Founder of Luria Learning

Quiet 10

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Thank you for your comments. Number 4 has made a big difference for me and helped me feel less stressed in the classroom. It can be overwhelming, thinking about all of the students you want to conference with.

I used to go straight from modeling to conferencing with students. Before long, students would be talking, I would feel stressed and writing time was not productive for anyone.

Then I started using the quiet 10. After I model, I put on some music and we all write quietly. The students write for a full 10 minutes, and then can conference. I made sure to write for some of that time, modeling how quietly they should be working.

You would be amazed by the difference this makes. The students are suddenly writing more. They are engaged. They are excited about writing. You feel less stressed and overwhelmed. This one change has made such a big difference.

Here is a video of one of my writing videos I use with my students to teach them to write interesting sentences: http://luria-learning.blogspot.com/2011/04/soba-sentences.html

Sacha
www.luria-learning.blogspot.com

2nd Grade Teacher, St. Petersburg, Florida

Thank you!

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Your post gave me specific, easy to implement ideas for improving my teaching of writing. I think # 4 is my favorite; I know that one and have used it, but I keep forgetting it in the rush to conference with my writers!

K-6 ESL Elementary Teacher from Guayama, Puerto Rico

Education It is like hiking

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Education It is like hiking up a mountain, one that probably is not so easy to climb, but one which we will always manage to conquer.

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