Session 3: How Can We Help Students Become Reflective, Goal-Driven Writers? Checklists, Feedback and Goal Setting Can Accelerate Student Growth – Alexandra Marron
- Strategy Seminars: This is a way to teach strategies that makes the learning transfer to student need. Students sign up for a strategy for example, how to find the Main Idea, this builds in choice, and formative assessment. Choice because students are determining their needs by making a selection. Formative assessment because teachers can observe the choices made. This tells us a lot about mindset:
- Does the student have a fixed mindset, are they selecting strategies that they are already good at?
- Do students know themselves as learners?
- How effective was my instruction? Do certain methods work better for certain children?
- Using the TC Learning Progression from the Reading Pathways Book as a multifunctional tool for teachers and students during goal setting. This idea was first introduced to us in Brooke Geller’s session. We are the kind of teachers who think it is so important to integrate all our learning into a cohesive vision.
- Teachers use the progression as a record keeping device (insert pictures)
- Students can cut them up and make micro progressions, and goal setting tools (insert pictures)
What this means:
- Independence: either of these take-aways work as structures to promote independent work. Choice and tools work together to empower students. The whole goal of workshop is to lift the scaffold and foster independent learning.
- Agency: Our work aims to p
- ut the learning in the hands of our students. Together we explore student potential which means we have to let them shape the path for us to follow. This work resonated with us because it is additional thinking that informs our current practices and makes us think deeply about the vision for what might come next.
Session 4: Structures and Rituals (and a Calendar) Can Make Your Writing Workshop Support Your ELLs K-5 – Jen DeSutter
- The way we can get to know our writers is by using three lenses to study student work to set goals: language, word study and genre knowledge. The way we view their work is shaped by the different expectations for each stage of language acquisition.
- Everything we do in our classroom needs to be rooted in context. Knowledge integration means that we make connections for learning throughout the day. We have to provide instructional variety to engage learners. We can do this through shared writing, interactive writing and writers workshop.
What this means:
- Once we look beyond the way students’ writing looks on the page, we can learn to embrace how their language knowledge is conveyed through their writing. This will change how we view progress for their writing. We are moving away from only looking at mechanics/spelling and closer to process learning. We loved the idea of using the three lenses (language, word study, and genre) to evaluate student writing. Jill was able to look at the different stages of language development and match her students to their levels of language readiness. It was a natural fit and that just made sense. As we do this, we are looking at possibilities opposed to limitations.
- We’ve been thinking a long time about using instructional techniques in strategic ways. Shared writing is a natural fit for learning syntax and grammar. Interactive writing is a great way to promote elaboration through group discussion. What better way to teach academic language than having children apply their learning right there on the spot? As we listened we began to think about how we would integrate tools as part of our instructional practice. A focus might be on generating cognates, synonyms, or suffixes/prefixes to promote meaning making. Where there are tools there is also engagement. As we incorporate pictures, gestures and phrases, we can reach many more writers.
- We believe in the reading/writing connection. Our next thoughts turned to taking Jen DeSutter’s ideas and transferring this learning to reading work. Context is extremely important, and it is especially so for our ELL students. Every writing move can be made more meaningful through reading work. How can we do this? Student work offers us opportunities to teach into language, word study and genre. If we use student writing as a mentor for shared reading and interactive read alouds, we can teach them how to look at writing through the three lenses: language, genre, and word study. This is a way to tap into language that is easily accessible to them and values their work.