This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Steps of the Writing Process
a. Brainstorming is planning the story. It takes a large amount of time, and we should not rush students through this step. Don’t let students tell you they do all their planning in their heads. b. Teachers must be directly involved in helping students choose possible topics. Students don’t believe anything interesting has ever happened to them, so they will whine about having nothing to write about. c. Have students keep journals of ideas and add to the list daily. Assure them that even seemingly insignificant things (planting a garden, jumping in a pile of leaves) often make the best stories. We must value those stories as much (if not more) than the trip to Disney World or climbing Mt. Everest. d. Write bullets or phrases, rather than complete sentences. Dump all your ideas on the paper—the more the better. Not everything has to go into the story. Don’t worry about spelling. e. Share student writing ideas with partners and the whole class. Writing is social, so sharing gets everyone involved and excited. Most authors don’t write in a vacuum, so encourage lots of discussion and collaboration throughout the process. f. A graphic organizer is helpful in organizing ideas in prewriting. Organizers vary by their usefulness to a particular genre of writing. g. Many students prefer to skip the prewriting step because they feel the pressure to “just get it done”. A well-thought-out plan makes it easier to write the piece.
a. A draft is the first time sentences are written. We must dispel the idea that our first draft is also our “final” draft. Many students have trouble getting started because they want it to be perfect. Remind them it will be revised anyway, so it’s important to get over their paralysis and get something down on paper. b. Encourage students to write on “every other line” during their drafts to make revision easier. c. Remind students during this step that our main concern is content. We don’t want to be overly concerned with grammar, spelling, and mechanics. This often causes students to choose words they can spell easily rather than risk a more challenging and precise word they would have to look up. d. Have students read their drafts aloud to themselves, their partner, parents, and anyone else interested. They often see where changes need to be made by comments and suggestions given by others. e. It is not recommended to give exact amounts that students must write (one page, 200 words, etc.) Even many of our best writers will do the minimum required and then stop. Through good prewriting by the student and conferencing with the teacher throughout the process, students will begin to focus on what they need to say to tell a good story and not meeting minimum standards of length.
a. To revise means to change something—that’s how we make it better. Many students insist they got it perfect the first time and don’t need to revise. Real authors are rarely satisfied and are constantly revising to improve the writing. Many students confuse revising and editing and use this step to correct spelling and mechanics errors. We are still focused on improving the content. Revision is the in-depth and important step that takes our writing from good to spectacular! b. We must be specific in teaching mini-lessons on how to revise. To simply tell students to make the writing piece better or longer, is not adequate. Give something concrete students can to do improve their writing: choose three more precise words, add two details, vary the order of two sentences in which you began with the subject, add dialogue to your story, etc. c. Having students highlight the changes made in their revision, make it easier when a teacher conferences with the student. Word changes are in yellow, details are in pink, dialogue in green, etc. It saves time when you want to just see where a student has added the changes taught in the mini-lesson. d. Peer revision can be useful if students have seen the process modeled. They must be trained to make specific suggestions—not just tell their peer the story is good or that he liked it. Students should write suggestions on post-it’s rather than directly on a student’s paper. A teacher can make this a part of a student’s grade to very conscientiously look at and help another student improve his/her piece. e. Students do not want to continually recopy their drafts. It’s boring and unproductive. Use the concept of cutting and pasting that we do on a word processor. When students want to add more than there is room on the original paper, write it on a separate sheet. Cut the original where they intend to add the new section. Glue or paste it in the appropriate place. They have literally cut and pasted. f. An important task for teachers is to ask lots of questions when conferencing. Many students are done quickly and want to skip right to the editing step. Teachers must dig to get the details that take writing to another level. Comments like, “I’m have trouble picturing your dog,” or “I’d love to know what you were thinking when he did that”.
a. Students need a comprehensive editing checklist for all spelling, grammar, and mechanics errors. It is recommended that each grade level determine what its expectations are, based on state standards. That can be built upon with each succeeding grade level. A checklist of these skills should be placed in the students’ writing folders. Each student should check them off as they edit their work. b. Have students keep a list of high frequency spelling words in alphabetical order in their writing folders. The number of words on the list will be determined by each grade level. Make students accountable for using this list, rather than asking the teacher. c. Give help to students that want to use a more challenging word but aren’t sure how to spell it. Ask the student to attempt to spell it themselves first. Give them help with it rather than immediately telling them to “look it up”. Most will just choose a simpler word than spend the time going to a dictionary. d. Students prefer to have the teacher do all the editing of their work. Stop making students so dependent on you. Mark an “X” in the margin outside the sentence where there is a mistake. It is up to the student to find the error and make the correction. Have the student bring it to you and explain what the mistake was and how it was corrected. e. The level of editing will be determined by the capability of the student. If a student has dozens of errors, it is probably better to focus on the most serious of these. It is too overwhelming for a student who would need hours to make the paper perfect. Focus on the skills that should have been mastered by that grade level. Expect students to continue to make steady improvement and not continue to make the same mistakes. For many students, it is simply a bad habit of not wanting to go back to edit. The only way to change that is to require students to take more responsibility for editing their own work.
a. Publishing means putting your work into a form that can be shared. There are a variety of ways to do this including: a class book, an oral report, a letter to an editor, a poster display, etc. b. Not every piece written has to be published, because that requires no mistakes in the writing. For some that process could take a huge amount of time. Learning to write is developmental. Have students make as many corrections as possible without losing their enthusiasm for writing. Progress should be continually made toward eliminating mistakes. We need to keep the mechanics in proper perspective and understand that we are striving to teach students that both the content and the mechanics (which allow us to more easily read someone’s writing) are important. c. The more potential audiences a student has, the more inspired he/she becomes as a writer. Invite parents, administrators, custodians, etc. into the classroom to hear students read their pieces. Arrange for students to read their work to students in other classes. Encourage special literary events, such as an Author’s Tea, and definitely have an Author’s Chair in the classroom. The only requirement for any audience member is to clap enthusiastically! d. Keep samples of students’ published work in the classroom for all students to read and enjoy.
a. Using a writer’s workshop approach to writing instruction allows students to understand that writing is a craft. It must be taught and practiced if we expect to learn to do it well. A scaffolded approach with much modeling has been the most successful way to build a community of writers in a classroom. b. The “Mini-Lesson” part of the workshop involves direct teaching of a strategy (by the teacher) to the whole class. It is a fairly short lesson of generally not more than 10 minutes. c. The “Activity Period”, which will be the longest amount of time (20-40 minutes), has students doing the actual practicing of what was taught in the mini-lesson. The teacher will conference with students during this block of time. d. “Sharing” will happen at the end of every workshop (3-5 minutes). As you conference with students, carry 3-5 numbers with you. Leave them with those students who will be sharing. They will each get one minute to share and will have been told what that should be. They might share a clever title, a lead sentence, an unusually interesting word, exceptionally descriptive details, a corrected run-on sentence, humorous dialogue, or anything else worthy of sharing. Make time for daily sharing, and be sure all students get a chance at some point. e. It generally does little good to have every student stand up and read his/her whole story at the end of the assignment. It’s boring, time consuming, and most students don’t listen. Also, students can’t take anything they’ve learned from the sharing and apply it, because their work has already been turned in. f. Two good questions to ask students when conferencing are (1) what are you most proud of in your writing that you can’t wait to show me? and (2) how can I help you or where are you having difficulty? g. Keep conferences short, so that you have time to meet with more students. You won’t try to read a student’s entire piece of writing during a conference. Your job is to help and inspire, not to find all their mistakes. Students should look forward to these conferences and excited to share their writing with you. Sharing Mini-Lesson
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.