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    Keep them Writing
    By lsire

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    1. Try to do it every day.
    2. You may dedicate mini-lessons where you model spacing and recording sounds. However, I would use shared writing (seperate from writer's workshop) throughout the year to model English Language Conventions. At the beginning of the year show students how they can use their sounds to label their pictures, and also how they can write sentences. Expect that some may have difficulty. One of the benefits of workshop is that it is multi-level. You may have students writing strings of letters. Do a lot of modeling. After workshop is underway and students know the routines and can work indepently- you can pull small groups of children to practice stretching words and writing sentences. At the very beginning focus on content and planning. A lot of students will draw a picture with flowers and rainbows and then make up a story from what they drew. Emphasize getting an idea first and then orally retelling how your story will go before you draw your picture and write your words. Also emphasize getting ideas from every day things that happen in your life and from stories that you have read that remind you of something that happened in your life.

    3. Early on do a mini-lesson showing the students what to do when they are done. Model what you want them to do. Start by saying "Boys and girls I have noticed that many of you come up to me and tell me that you are finished. I need to tell you that writers are never finished. This is what you can do when you think that you are finished. Show students an example of a story that you wrote. Show the students how you can add details to your story (i.e. to the picture or the words). Show students how your story gives you an idea for another story. So basically when students are done with one story they can (a. go back an add more details or b) get a new paper and write another story). After giving this lesson, walk around the room and praise students. "John was going to tell me that he was finished with his story . . . then he remembered what we learned today . . he thought "this story reminds me of another story I could write . . " what smart thinking . . good job John. Praise praise praise . . If a student comes and tells you that he/she is finished asked the student next to him/her to remind him/her what writers do when they think they are finished.
    4. Give the children folders with a green dot on one side and a red dot on the other side. Students put finished work under the red dot and work that is not finished under the green dot. First, you are going to want to model what finished work looks like . . .and this will change throughout the year.
    5. Most of these ideas came from Lucy Calkins.

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