Sunday, May 22, 2016

Teaching Writers Side-by-Side- Already Ready Book Study Week 7

Chapter 8 and 9 focus on side-by-side teaching and building a repertoire for it. This vision here is one of teaching rather than management. The teacher doesn't just show up to make sure everything is ok and then move on. Instead she stays awhile with the child so that she can learn about them and teach them.

Chapter 8 and 9 are great reasons to purchase your own copy of Already Ready. Chapter 8 provides specific assessment questions that can be used when framing your students writing development, as well as a list of professional books that will improve your knowledge of writing. Chapter 9 offers concrete examples of how to respond to and teach young writers as you work side-by-side with them.

Nudging vs. Pushing
Teachers need to nudge development along rather than push or force it. This means a teacher needs to learn what their children already know and can do as writers. Knowing your students as writers allows you to direct their interactions more purposefully toward their zone of proximal development.

Be thoughtful in what is said
Do not ask question after question
Watch and listen
Engage the child in a small amount of talking and thinking that makes sense in the context of what he is doing
Teach into children's actions
"Fill one's fist" with understandings about writing (teachers need to be well-versed in writing development and how to teach writing in order to respond in the moment to a child's writing actions

Talk about What Books are About
- Talk about what the child already knows about the subject
(for example: dinosaurs)
- Help him image what ideas could stretch across the pages
(all of the ideas should be about dinosaurs)
- Discuss what type of book he is writing
(since the book will tell about a topic, maybe it needs a close-up)
- Urge him to consider how a book about dinosaurs may be different from other books
- Talk about revision when he adds to illustrations

Talk About How Children Are Writing
Notice what children do in their writing and name it. Ask questions to initiate talking and thinking about what they are doing.
-When a child says what they are about to draw before drawing it- praise them for thinking ahead
- If a child looks ahead at blank pages- comment on how you noticed him thinking about how the book might have
- If a child adds to his illustrations- comment on how they revised the work
- If a child adds writing to a page that is only illustrated- mention that you noticed how he illustrates before he writes the words

The Importance of Repetition
Repetition supports young writers in holding their meaning over time. It also helps them remember the language they crafted for their text.

- Repeat what children say to you about their writing
- When you ask a question and the child responds, repeat the response

Help Children Learn How to Read Their Books
- Help your students understand the difference between talking about a book and reading it
- Take all that a child shares about a page and say it again in a connected way without interruption
- Take the child's idea and enrich the language a tiny bit
Repetition is very important

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