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Home : 2008 : Mar : 25

    Great time to start
    By luvmycat

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    You have chosen a great time to get started! Such a perfect amount of time left in the year for you to explore the traits and to focus your students' writing on these qualities of writing. Like a pp mentioned, try to introduce all of them through quality literature, really hanging on to definition and examples of each of the traits. In one of the staff developments that I presented years ago we had an anchor or 'thing' for each one. I gave partners a bag of these things and we used metaphors to explain each of the traits. I will try to find this list.

    After you have shared some literature to present each of the traits, I would begin a poetry study! I love Georgia Heards', Awakening the Heart. Poetry is a wonderful way to allow the students a chance to explore Ideas, Voice, Word Choice, and Fluency (not necessarily sentence fluency). Remind them that while you looked at examples of Organization, Sentence Fluency, and Conventions, the beauty of poetry is that these traits are not always obvious. If you want you can introduce organization here through some of the poetry patterns (I would hold off on the temptation).

    During independent reading (or any interaction with quality text), give students post-it notes to find examples of the traits, have them share with a partner. They can write the examples down on their post-it note, siting book and page number and add to a bulletin board with each of the traits posted ( I am sure by now somebody has created an icon type graphic to enlarge and make colorful for a bboard.) If you start to have fewer examples of one, challenge them to look for more examples of the elusive trait. It is so powerful to have them share their findings by reading directly from a book!

    I have found Ralph Fletchers' books to be very helpful for mini lessons, however, these are rather dated and newer examples of literature are probably available.

    If I get out to school this week, I will try to make a list of my favorite picture books. What grade level??

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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