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A division of Reed Elsevier Inc,361 Hanover Street. Portsmouth NH 03801 3912,www heinemann com,Offices and agents throughout the world. 2004 by Katie Wood Ray and Lisa B Cleaveland, All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or. mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in. writing from the publisher except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. Ray Katie Wood 1964, About the authors writing workshop with our youngest writers Katie Wood Ray with Lisa B. Cleaveland,Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0 325 00511 7 alk paper, 1 English language Composition and exercises Study and teaching Early childhood. 2 Language arts Early childhood I Cleaveland Lisa B II Title. LB1139 5 L35R39 2004,372 62 3 dc22 2003017154,Editor Lois Bridges. Production Elizabeth Valway,Cover design Jenny Jensen Greenleaf. Title on cover written by Billy Valway,Interior design Lisa Fowler. Composition Publishers Design and Production Services Inc. Manufacturing Steve Bernier, Printed in the United States of America on acid free paper.
08 07 06 05 04 ML 1 2 3 4 5,P 00 4176 a 12 11 03 11 16 AM Page v. Acknowledgments vii,Introduction ix,SECTION ONE Building a Strong Foundation. Chapter 1 Writing Workshop A Happy Place Where We,Make Stuff 1. Chapter 2 Work Space and Time Writing Workshop,Right from the Start 23. Chapter 3 Wrapping Strong Arms Around the Writing,Workshop Children Learning About Language.
All Day Long 38, Chapter 4 How Our Youngest Writers Use the Writing. Process to Help Them Make Books 58,SECTION TWO Understanding the Teaching. Chapter 5 Looking Closely at Minilessons Whole Class. Teaching That Fills the Workshop with,Possibilities 82. Chapter 6 Organizing for Thoughtful Instruction with. Units of Study 102, Chapter 7 Assessment Learning All We Can About the. Authors 119,Chapter 8 Teaching Into and Out of the Work of.
Individual Children Writing Conferences,and Share Times 139. P 00 4176 a 12 11 03 11 16 AM Page vi,SECTION THREE An Overview of Units of Study. Unit of Study A The Kinds of Things Writers Make and. How We ll Make Them in This Room 155,Unit of Study B Where Writers Get Ideas 159. Unit of Study C How to Read Like Writers 165,Unit of Study D Finding Writing Mentors 172. Unit of Study E How to Structure Texts in Interesting. Unit of Study F How to Make Illustrations Work Better. with Written Text 183, Unit of Study G How to Have Better Peer Conferences 188.
Unit of Study H Literary Nonfiction 192, Unit of Study I How to Use Punctuation in Interesting. Unit of Study J Poetry 214,Unit of Study K Revision 221. Closing Thoughts 233,Works Cited 235,P 00 4176 a 12 11 03 11 16 AM Page vii. Acknowledgments, We would like to thank several people who helped make this. book project possible, Angie Leatherwood Lisa s wonderful teaching assistant Thank.
you for helping us with this thinking teaching alongside us and always. pitching in to take care of the little details along the way. Lynn Milner principal of Jonathan Valley Elementary School. who so kindly supports both teachers and children and who supported. our work together right from the start, Emily Wood Lisa s intern from Western Carolina University dur. ing the 2001 2002 school year What joy and energy you brought to. our work together Thank you for helping us see teaching through such. Our families the Brysons and Cleavelands Woods and Rays who. were excited about our work together and understood the long hours. needed to make a project like this happen, Lois Bridges editor extraordinaire and friend from Heinemann. Thank you for guiding us through and believing About the Authors was. an important project, And finally the authors themselves all the children in Lisa s writ. ing workshops the last few years who have taught us so much and. especially those from the 2001 2002 school year Aaron Barnhart Kayla. Campbell Colten Chambers Levi Duffield Riley Hannah Jordan. Henry Meagan Hickman Helena Hunt Forrest Kerslake Autumn. Macemore Carlie Mazurek Ashley McClure Cauley McClure Cassey. Parker Sierra Perez Tayler Price Taylor Reid Jared Rigdon Joshua. Shuler Michaela Stiles and Clay Wightman,P 00 4176 a 12 11 03 11 16 AM Page ix. Introduction, No matter what just let them write every day Even if.
you re not sure what to teach just let them write They ll do fine. These were Lisa Cleaveland s parting words to the long term sub. stitute teacher who would fill in for her for the twelve weeks of her. maternity leave during the 2002 2003 school year And this is the. belief no matter what let them write every day that has guided Lisa s. teaching in kindergarten and first grade for years Even when she felt. unsure about what to teach she believed young children needed to take. markers and paper in hand every day and explore the wonderful possibil. ities of written language, We introduce this book with this belief because it is the point of. departure for everything we have learned about teaching very young. children to write no matter what let them write every day We say it is a. point of departure because it is a starting place only not a destination unto. itself With lots of teaching surrounding them we believe young chil. dren who have time to write every day can grow in all the important. ways anyone who writes every day will grow We believe with lots of. teaching they can develop important understandings about what it. means to write useful strategies to guide them in the process of writing. a sense of form and genre and craft in their written texts and a good. beginning control of the conventions of written language. We have written this book really for two reasons First we wanted. to share with others what we ve learned as we ve explored teaching. writing to very young children What does this teaching look like What. P 00 4176 a 12 11 03 11 16 AM Page x, INTRODUCTION needs to be in place in the classroom for this teaching to happen And. how does this teaching make sense in the context of five six and. seven year olds writing This book will address these questions from a. variety of different entry points including getting a writing workshop. under way preparing units of study conducting minilessons conferring. and assessing And in Section 3 An Overview of Units of Study we. share a variety of teaching resources for getting started that we hope. readers will find helpful, The second reason we wanted to write this book was to address. perhaps an even larger question Should we even be concerned whether. very young children are developing in all these important ways as writers. in the first years of school Is this a developmentally appropriate concern. for us to have as teachers We have thought a lot about this question and. we believe our thinking about it has helped us refine our teaching of. young children in so many ways Perhaps if we share this thinking it will. help others as well, While we ll address the question of developmentally appropriate. concerns from different angles throughout the book we just want to say. here that we aren t concerned at all that children develop as writers in all. these ways Nothing about how we work with young children has. grown from our concern about their development as writers We believe. that curriculum that grows from concern has the potential to be curricu. lum that is shoved down on students who may not be ready for it. Our work has grown instead from a fascination with their develop. ment as writers We have seen again and again that when we get those. markers and that paper in their hands worlds of possibilities simply open. up for all kinds of interesting development that feel natural and joyful. and absolutely appropriate We believe that the curriculum that follows. these possibilities is a shoved up curriculum pushed upon us as teach. ers when young children show us what they are capable of doing We. hope that our fascination and the respect we have for the young chil. dren who instill it will shine through in every chapter of this book. So who are we As we write this Lisa Cleaveland is in her fifth. year as a first grade teacher at Jonathan Valley Elementary School in. Haywood County Haywood County is a mostly rural mountain county. in the southern Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. Before coming to Jonathan Valley to teach first grade Lisa taught. kindergarten for seven years in another school so she has experience. with writing workshop in both kindergarten and first grade Katie Ray. is a former associate professor of language arts education at Western. Carolina University and it was in this capacity that she first met Lisa and. became interested in her teaching of young children For several years. P 00 4176 a 12 11 03 11 16 AM Page xi, we have put our heads together to think through the teaching of writing INTRODUCTION.
in Lisa s kindergarten and first grade writing workshops This book has. grown from that thinking, The we voice we use to write this book certainly includes Lisa and. Katie in its antecedent but we hope it includes our readers as well all. teachers of young children in all kinds of settings who want to think. deeply about the teaching of writing into their classrooms We hope that. the possibilities we offer readers will transcend the differences we may. see in the students we teach We hope to get to the heart of what it. means simply to be a young child who s learning to write and a teacher. who s learning every day what it means to teach that child We hope. that readers of this book will find as we have found in the process of. writing it that none of us will think about the authors in quite the same. P 04 4176 a 12 11 03 11 32 AM Page 58,How Our Youngest. Writers Use the Writing,Process to Help Them,Make Books. One morning before writing workshop begins we overhear. Cauley explaining to one of his classmates an idea he has for the book. he s working on at the time The book is about snakes and Cauley says. I was thinking last night that in my book if the snake makes a mistake. I could call it a missnake Get it a missnake We smile both at Cauley s. wonderful way with language and at the evidence that he s using the. writing process just as a much more experienced writer would use it. he s thinking about what he s working on when he s not actually at his. desk engaged in writing it, Ever since Donald Graves and his colleagues first pushed many of. us in the early eighties to look closely at what experienced writers do. when they write the study of writing as a process has been informing. the teaching of writing in significant ways Over the years we ve contin. ued to look to experienced writers as we ve explored what it means to. choose ideas prewrite draft revise edit and publish writing and we ve. deepened our understandings about this very complex recursive process. in so many ways And as teachers of our youngest writers we find our. selves constantly trying to understand what this process looks like when. these very inexperienced writers use it and perhaps even more challeng. P 04 4176 a 12 11 03 11 32 AM Page 59,How Our Youngest Writers Use.
the Writing Process to Help Them,Make Books, FIGURE 4 1 Cauley creates a spelling for the play on word he s created. ing trying to figure out what we should teach about process that makes. sense in the context of a six year old s work, In this chapter we want to share some of what we ve learned about. what the writing process looks like when our youngest writers use it. The teaching that we do during the year to help them refine this. process which we ll discuss in later chapters must begin with our. understanding how they use it Before we walk through the process. itself though a few big ideas seem worth noting, First we should make it clear that we don t teach students the. process before we have them begin writing We don t even quickly. name the steps of it before they start we probably wouldn t do this at. any grade level actually Instead we would begin a writing workshop by. handing out the paper and the writing tools and asking students just to. get started and go ahead and make something with writing We expect. them to use whatever process they are able to use to get that done Once. they are up and writing then we ll begin to watch them very closely and. teach into what we see them doing and not doing helping them refine. all the ways they go about writing from ideas to finished pieces. P 04 4176 a 12 11 03 11 32 AM Page 60, CHAPTER 4 We do this because we know that the process as we know it didn t. How Our Youngest Writers Use, the Writing Process to Help Them exist before people were writing We came to understand the process of.
Make Books writing because people were already writing We watched what they did. and named it as a process But the process existed before anyone named it. and it makes instructional sense to us that it should exist in our. classrooms before we begin teaching about it We want students to be. engaged in using some process after all you can t make a book without. using some sort of process trying their best to make a piece of writing. and then our teaching should help them refine what they are already. doing to get writing finished, Related to this while we know that all writers find ideas prewrite. draft revise edit and publish we also know that there are lots of differ. ent ways that writers go about using this process effectively There is not. some set list of steps or things to do that always works for every writer. on every piece of writing Essentially the goal again at any grade level. is for writers to find a process that helps them go from an idea to the best. piece of finished writing they can possibly produce not for them to. jump through management hoops we ve set up in the name of process. This is why we believe we need to see how they are going about getting. their writing done first then the teaching of process involves suggesting. options they might try to help them do it better, Approaching the teaching of process in this way perhaps feels a. little less organized than if we had procedures for them to follow for each. step of the process but we feel like it more closely matches what writers. actually do We believe students need to get in there and muck about. inside the process to find ways of working that are right for them. Finally it s important that we understand that the process is one. writers use for composition We use writing for lots of reasons in our lives. and especially in our learning lives to fill things out jot things down. give answers reflect on ideas We want children to use writing for a. variety of these purposes every day in school But writing used in this. way is not the same as writing used to compose It s a whole lot easier. for one thing and it doesn t involve the complex process that writing as. composition does In The Writing Workshop Working Through the Hard. Parts and They re All Hard Parts Ray with Laminack 2001 Katie. defines composition in this way, Writing as composition is writing that begins with an idea a writer. wants to communicate The idea is developed in the writer s think. ing and then at some point the move toward composition is. made This move is the beginning move toward an audience to. ward readers This move means that the writer will now have to. take this idea he or she has developed and begin to shape it with. P 04 4176 a 12 11 03 11 32 AM Page 61, genre form sound and the conventions of the language system all CHAPTER 4. How Our Youngest Writers Use, working together to produce a piece that has the desired impact on.
the Writing Process to Help Them, readers This move begins the very complex act of writing as Make Books. composition 19, Children in classrooms where writing is mixed in with everything. else often aren t getting much experience with the actual process of. composition because most of the mixed in writing doesn t require it. Writing workshop is a place where we want children learning to use a. process to compose writing for an audience reason again to start them all. out making picture books the kind of composition most familiar to. So let s look closely now at the different aspects of the process of. writing as it is used by our youngest writers As we go along we ll keep. in mind the understandings we have about process from our studies of. what professional writers say and from our own experiences with writ. ing We need these understandings because they give direction and vi. sion to our teaching We don t expect six year olds to engage in the. process as experienced writers do but we need to know where they are. headed so we can provide the teaching support to help them get there. Prewriting,Finding Ideas for Writing Projects, One morning during writing workshop we overheard Ashley saying to. the other children at her table I just don t know what I m going to. work on next While the problem she expressed is common enough. the language she chose to voice it is indicative of a very important un. derstanding Being concerned about what she ll work on next is different. than being concerned because she doesn t know what to write about The. words show that Ashley thinks of writing as projectlike work The ideas. for writing are not just things to write about they are ideas she ll use to. make something, We believe that the process of writing begins with finding ideas. for the kind of writing you are planning on doing for a writing project. so to speak so this is where we ll expect students to begin When we. start writing workshop students know what kind of writing they ll be. doing just as experienced writers know this because we ve told them. that they ll make picture books at first We believe that having this vision. of what they ll make gets them searching for bigger ideas than just. something to write about They need ideas for something they ll. make a book about The difference is subtle but it helps us get them. leaning toward that understanding that experienced writers have that the. kinds of ideas we need have a lot to do with the kind of writing we are. P 04 4176 a 12 11 03 11 32 AM Page 62, CHAPTER 4 going to do that is memoirists need different kinds of ideas than fiction.
How Our Youngest Writers Use, the Writing Process to Help Them writers who need different kinds of ideas than poets. Make Books Our youngest writers are expected from day one to make their. own decisions about ideas for writing projects and we find that they go. about choosing their ideas in many of the same ways experienced writers. do They write about things they know about from everyday life their. families pets friends play times school They write about their interests. and passions dinosaurs animals Barbies video games fishing They. write about the same things over and over in lots of different books and. sometimes they make books for specific people and occasions in their. lives Our youngest writers also get a lot of ideas from each other I m. going to make a book about snakes too just like Cauley is making. and this seems to be much more acceptable to them than it is to older. students Often we find they work side by side on these books about the. same exact topics, And of course it s important to remember that they don t need a. new idea every day Because they are making books they have an in. vestment in their ideas that is bigger than a single day s writing Follow. ing through on the guidelines for finishing a piece of writing takes most. of them several days and many of them have pieces in their folders that. they work on in starts and fits over a very long period of time before. they are finished and some pieces never get finished While we don t. want them endlessly taking paper and starting new books that they never. finish we think it s fine for there to be some books in their folders that. they work on off and on over time, So what support do we have in place for helping children with this. part of the process Some of our whole class teaching off and on during. the year will be about how writers get ideas for writing In Section 3. pp 155 231 you ll read about a unit of study devoted specifically to this. part of the writing process and of course all genre study has some teach. ing about how writers of a particular genre get their ideas. Other than this study though the biggest support comes in the. form of talk We are always talking about what the children are writing. about and where they got the ideas for the books they re making If. we re looking at something a child has written during the minislesson or. share time we talk about the idea behind it As we confer with individ. ual children we talk about where they got their ideas for the writing. When we look at published writing by professional authors we talk. about where we think the writers may have gotten the ideas for their. books As things are happening in our lives we are thinking about what. we could write about those happenings And of course the children talk. among themselves as they work on their writing and they get lots of. P 04 4176 a 12 11 03 11 32 AM Page 63,How Our Youngest Writers Use. the Writing Process to Help Them,Make Books, FIGURE 4 2 Robert and Steven talk about Robert s latest book.
ideas from each other We also see that this talk is often extended be. yond writing workshop time as they plan together out at recess and on. the bus and at lunch what they might do with writing That sort of. planful talk is only possible when they know they can count on having. writing workshop time every day, We really just don t see many students struggle for very long to. find ideas for books and we think this is related again to the project. like nature of the work they do during writing workshop When a stu. dent is struggling to get started with something we might encourage. her to walk about the room and see what other children are working on. in their books This often helps get ideas going for a writer We might. encourage the child to look through her folder and see if there is a piece. there she could revisit We might also have a conference with the child. and help her find an idea using the understandings we know profes. sional writers use to choose their ideas If we came to a place in the year. where lots of children were struggling with finding ideas for books we. would likely readdress the issue with another unit of study on finding. ideas for writing,Prewriting,Growing Ideas for Writing Projects. Most experienced writers actually live with ideas for writing projects for. some time before they begin drafts While they are in this living with. an idea part of the process they grow their thinking about the idea by. P 04 4176 a 12 11 03 11 32 AM Page 64, CHAPTER 4 collecting all sorts of related random thoughts and sometimes by writing. How Our Youngest Writers Use, the Writing Process to Help Them reflectively and extensively about the idea If the project idea demands it. Make Books writers may be doing research to get specific information they ll need to. do the writing They may be reading to get a sense of the kind of writ. ing they are planning to do And most writers talk a lot about an idea for. a writing project before they actually begin a draft of it Often with a. draft in mind they begin to organize their thinking in some way so that. it starts to take shape, Many experienced writers use a writer s notebook as a tool to col.
lect all this thinking they do while they are living with an idea The. notebook is especially handy for quickly jotting down all those thoughts. that come to writers when they are away from their desks and comput. ers Notebooks often travel with writers everywhere for just this reason. to capture that thinking The writer s notebook is kept because the. writer plans to do published writing from the material gathered in the. notebook This sense of future published writing is what sets the writer s. notebook apart from a diary or journal that is kept just for the sake of. keeping it, For our youngest writers for several reasons we don t introduce. writers notebooks as a tool for future published writing at the beginning. of the year First most of the children don t yet write fast enough to. quickly jot down their ideas or to use writing to think out an idea be. cause the idea comes so much faster than the writing If they did write as. fast as they think they probably wouldn t be able to reread it and then it. wouldn t be a very effective tool They ll need to develop some fluency. before the notebook makes sense as a tool in this way. The children also need to have a clear sense of what the notebook. would be used for published writing for it to make sense as a tool for. that It would be very difficult for them to hold some vision of future. writing they would do from the notebook writing if they d never done. anything but write in a notebook So we need them to have made lots of. books before we introduce them to a tool to help them make books. And finally developmentally our youngest writers live sort of in. the moment so we don t expect them to live with an idea for very long. before they begin the actual writing As a matter of fact most of the time. they go directly from having an idea for a writing project right to the. first page During the year we ll expect our teaching to nudge their. development in this area somewhat We ll teach them to talk a lot about. an idea before they begin to write it for example and we ll encourage. them to think about ideas when they re at home for books they are. working on in school as Cauley was doing with his missnake idea. We ll also teach them to do research for nonfiction and collect things to.

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