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LAUNCHING NOTEBOOKS AND WRITING WORKSHOP Upper Grade Professional Development P.S. 171 Presentation by Stacey Shubitz Friday, September 1 st, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "LAUNCHING NOTEBOOKS AND WRITING WORKSHOP Upper Grade Professional Development P.S. 171 Presentation by Stacey Shubitz Friday, September 1 st, 2006."— Presentation transcript:


2 LAUNCHING NOTEBOOKS AND WRITING WORKSHOP Upper Grade Professional Development P.S. 171 Presentation by Stacey Shubitz Friday, September 1 st, 2006

3 Idea Notebooks A portable writers notebook is used to record wonderings, observations, overheard conversations, sketches, etc. Students need a pen or pencil to carry along with their notebook. Author Lester Laminack calls his Idea Notebook a Spy Notebook. He never leaves home without his secret weapon (pen) and something to write about. –Cute idea for younger kids… might not work in 5 th, 6 th and 7 th grades.

4 We Want Kids To Know Four Major Things About Collecting Entries In Their Writers Notebooks Within the personal narrative unit: –Process –Qualities of Good Writing –Volume –Conventions This slide, and the four that follow, are adapted from a presentation at T.C. by Grace Chough, 8/17/06.

5 How Writers Fit Notebooks Into The Writing Process Adapted from the work of Randy Bomer, A Time For Meaning.

6 Process Goals How to get started (on an entry) What to do when you get stuck. How to go from one entry to the next (entry). –NO CLOSED NOTEBOOKS!

7 Qualities of Good Writing Goals Focus Entries are easy to follow Appropriate use of… –Dialogue –Sensory description Knowing the difference between a summary and a detailed retelling Crafting strong leads and endings Development of the internal story Show, not tell. Stories have a structure (rising action climax resolution)

8 Volume Goals About 2 entries/day. Approximately 12 entries/week. If students are publishing 1 ½ pages of writing, then you should expect their entries to be about 1 page long.

9 Conventions Goals (within notebook entries) Ending Punctuation –Making appropriate choices about when to use periods, exclamation points and question marks. Paragraphing –Whenever theres a new person introduced, a new person talking or theres a move to a different place.

10 We cant ask our students to do what we wont do, so… Now its your turn to try it. By the end of this session youll have five entries in your writers notebook. –All of these entries are directly related to five minilessons you might teach during the first two weeks of school. –Your entries could be used as demonstration texts for your students.

11 Observation of the Room Strategy Read the room right now. Write a quick entry about what youre noticing, how you feel about being back at school today, an overheard conversation or anything else you wish to record about whats happening in here this morning. You will not have to share this entry with anyone! This is the type of Idea Notebook entry youll want your kids to write.

12 Meaningful Place Strategy Think of a meaningful place. –It could be anything from the kitchen table in the home where you grew up to your favorite beach in Florida. List small moments related to that place. Write about one of those small moments in your writers notebook.

13 Look at a Photograph Strategy Study the photograph. Think about: –Who or what is pictured? –Where was the picture taken? –When was the picture taken? –Why did you choose this photo to bring in today? Write about the small moment related to the photograph.

14 Think of a Person Strategy Think about a person who is important to you (living or deceased). List as many small moments as you can about that person. Write about one of those small moments with him/her.

15 Look at an Object Strategy Examine the object closely. –When did you get it? –Where did you buy or acquire it from? –Who gave it to you? –Why is it important? List everything! Write a small moment entry related to this object.

16 Q&A Questions Comments Concerns

17 ConferringDuringSeptember Conferring During September The following slides serve as additional support for conferences you might hold during the first month of school.

18 Sample Questions for the Research Stage of your R-D-T Conference SITUATION CONFERENCE QUESTION(S) The writing is unfocused.Whats the most important part of your story? What do you want your reader to know after reading this story? The writing covers several events or ideas.Which of these events/ideas is the most important to you? The writing lacks depth and information.Can you tell me more about _____________? The writing contains too much information.Can you point to the most important part of this piece? Can you underline the most important thing you want your reader to know? The piece just lists information and doesnt contain the writers thoughts and feelings. Why is this piece important to you? How did you feel when this was happening? The lead does not draw the reader into the writing effectively.Why did you choose to start your story this way? Whats the first image in your mind when you think of this story? The conclusion is too sudden or drags on.What feeling did you want the reader to share at the end of your story? A narrative piece makes limited use of dialogue.Was anyone talking when this happened. The writing is poorly organized.Can you retell the story to me? Tell me a little bit about the plan you made to get to this point… Chart adapted from Atwell (1987) and Anderson (2002). Conference questions generated by Matthews & Shubitz (2006).

19 A Hierarchy of What Matters Most When Conferring During This Unit of Study Adapted from the work of Jen Serravallo (2006).

20 Conferring Menu Sample Writing Conference Teaching Points Topic Choice GenreFocusStructureElaboration Word Choice Conventions Writers think of an important person and the memories connected with that person. Writers ask themselves, what is the heart of my story? Writers make a timeline of all the main events and then circle one part of the timeline (and then stretch out that part). Writers describe the setting clearly (without including unnecessary sensory details). Writers add more relevant detail to the heart of their story. Writers choose words that are specific and appropriate. Writers begin a new paragraph when someone new is talking. They use quotation marks to show when that person is talking. Writers think of an important place and list memories connected with that place. Writers write their stories in sequential order. Writers ask themselves, Is there a clear beginning, middle and end to my story? Writers stretch out the most important part of their story. Writers show, not tell. Writers use specific nouns throughout their story. Writers capitalize proper nouns as they write. Writers focus on small moments (seed-sized stories) rather than giant watermelon topics. Writers determine the most important event or idea they wish to tell about and then write about that small moment. PARTNER CONFERNECE OPTION: Writers sometimes recruit readers who can tell them where places in their draft are confusing. Writers start their stories with the lead that hooks their reader (an action, surprise or dialogue). ADVANCED OPTION: Writers push themselves to say more by writing twin sentences. Writers use specific verbs that represent actions. Writers use appropriate punctuation and the end of every sentence. Teaching points created by Matthews & Shubitz (2006).

21 Management Tips to establish during the first weeks of school 1.Always work towards independence. 2.Dont be afraid to use Workshop time to teach management. What to do when youre done with an entry. My job/your job in a conference. 3.Make sure youre building stamina. 4.Use mid-workshop interruptions to give students a break. Can be compliments that reflect independence. 5.Create word walls and portable spelling lists (for WW folders) to help students with their spelling. 6.Self-Assignment Boxes (see next slide) 7.Compliment Conferences Quick conferences that consist of 1-2 research questions, then give the student a paragraph worth of speech as a compliment. Then, move on! 8.Teach-Only Conference Drop a teaching point to kids as you work the room. Example: Oh, dont forget to do _______________. 9.Build-in time to move around the room to see whats going on in-between conferences. Adapted from a presentation at T.C. by Jen Serravallo, 8/18/06.

22 Self-Assignment Boxes in Writers Notebooks EXAMPLE #1: Pick another entry from my notebook and rewrite it in tiny little steps. EXAMPLE #2: Write a scene where I show the internal and external story.

23 Closing Quotations Walk through life like a writer. --Lucy Calkins Tell the truth about your life and whats really going on. --Georgia Heard We know the truth of ordinary life events. Everything doesnt end with happily ever after. --Georgia Heard Careful control in craft makes for artful writing. --Lester Laminack

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