Just got done hanging out with Lucy Calkins at PD....

Discussion in 'General Education' started by FourSquare, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jan 25, 2013

    ......she still cannot tell me where the grammar and mechanics come in with her writer's workshop units (CAUSE THEY DON'T), but apparently this will all be fixed in the *NEW* Common Core Units of Study....Now By Grade Level! Conveniently available for sale next month! :cool: :haha:

    $hit is about to get Real with these Common Core writing standards. Some of the grade level samples she had for "expected" writing were waaaaay above what the kids at my school are doing. I'm actually really excited for it, but I think we'll be rough going for a few years. Mostly I am concerned with time. I need like a 3 hour literacy block! :dizzy:

    What do you guys do for writing? I still have kids who still don't capitalize "I" by itself. I need to get better in this area. Calkins wasn't terribly helpful.
     
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  3. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I despise Lucy Calkins style. I'm not a fan. Having said that, I don't really know what the answer is for writing. I'm doing a book study on Writer's Workshop right now.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My district cut ties with TC a few years ago but we still follow a workshop philosophy.
     
  5. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Oh, she's totally crazy.....but I like to think I can get something out of any PD. And my school paid for it. :whistle:
     
  6. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Jan 26, 2013

    I agree with you. I have to say that the district went crazy with everything Lucy in K-2 (maybe K-5)... that year, our test scores took a MASSIVE nose dive. I like the idea of small moments, but I just never really got the feeling the kids were getting much from her units of study.
     
  7. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    This is a major problem in our district. It appears that NOONE teaches grammar anymore, and only writing workshop. Thus, we have horribly written pieces that are graded for their ability to write the piece according to the workshop. (i.e. is it a personal narrative? Did they peer edit? )
    I am all for writing workshop, BUT grammar MUST be taught.
     
  8. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I think there's room for grammar in the writing workshop.
     
  9. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Jan 26, 2013

    Lucy Calkins had some good ideas, but her canned programs really leave some huge holes in the writing process. I think there are some things to learn from her, but a 100% Lucy Calkins approach, in her canned programs, isn't something I'd recommend for anyone.

    I have yet to find a writing program that is a panacea. There are 3 books that I have that have some excellent ideas that I do draw from that might help.

    1. Writing Process Activities Kit: 75 Ready-to-Use Lessons and Worksheets for Grades 7-12 (I think it should say grades 5-9)

    2. Don't Forget to Write for the Elementary Grades

    3. Literature Based Writing by Bruce Hansen

    I also use Lasting Impressions by Shelley Harwayne, but that book has more theory than the applications you might be looking for.

    Sentences on the board in the morning in DOL still help my students with items such as capitalization, punctuation, and grammar.

    Good Luck to you. :)
     
  10. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Does it though? I feel like I did this every morning last year and my kids transferred very little into their actual writing. I need to find a way to make it stick. :mad:

    Calkins was good for laying out the Common Core expectations, divided nicely between narrative, persuasive (K-5) or argumentative (6-8), and informational writing.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jan 26, 2013

    We're finding this at the high school level too. Both English teachers and myself are amazed at what the students don't know when it comes to grammar. I remember being in 4th grade and diagraming sentences. The upper level (Jr/Sr) teacher started having her students diagram sentences this year and she thinks that it has helped some.

    I know when I taught 2nd grade, the DOLs did help students transfer that knowledge to their writing. And it's a big part of the state writing tests.
     
  12. a2z

    a2z Aficionado

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    Jan 26, 2013

    IMHO, students that have consistent direct instruction in punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure along with adequately monitored practice of the application of the skills as part of language arts can also use DOL as an additional tool to help them identify mistakes. DOL requires they already know the skills and can apply them.

    I see DOL as a supplement, not the main method of teaching and learning writing skills. Unfortunately for students in my district, DOL is used as the main learning tool while a few worksheets randomly spaced throughout the year and "editing of one's" work is the main method of learning punctuation and grammar. Application practice of small skills to result in mastery is rarely done, but application in large scale tasks is the main method of practice. This overwhelms most students because there are too many things to think about at once and if they already struggle with previously presented rules, they have little chance of mastering the new skill presented.
     
  13. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Hmmm...so I guess I need to go old school with the grammar! I can do that, I'm just trying to figure out when. The schedule is already so packed. :dizzy:

    I remember learning grammar from a textbook. It would teach verb tenses and then give us 20 sentences in which we had to circle the correct verb. Boring? Yes. Effective? Yes. I may just need to do that!
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Aficionado

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    I was thinking as part of the application student produce sentences. One thing the textbook had over worksheets that did the same thing is in textbooks the student had to write the sentence. If it was required that they write it appropriately, they eventually got used to putting a capital to start and period at the end. Monitoring students reproducing what was in the textbook, then following the directions and underlining the verb, the student can have proper reinforcement to do the right thing.

    Starting simple then increasing difficulty worked for most students. Accurate practice produces accurate results.

    As people say do we have time to do this, I say do we really have time not to?
     
  15. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I am sure I can find the time, but my district does not allow for the time. Our schedules are planned for us by the curriculum and instruction director. :(
    My 5th graders cannot even tell me the two parts of a sentence, until I introduce it. With writing becoming more and more important with the common core standards, not having a solid background in grammar will hinder students' performance on standardized testing.
     
  16. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jan 28, 2013

    Please don't think it's just the "upper" grades. I am dying for time to work on writing (and more grammar) with my firsties! Most of the time, I find that I have to choose between having time for grammar and having time for writing (we have to have phonics, thus spelling gets covered :) ). We are supposed to be doing "process" writing. Most of the time, my kiddos are doing good to write a complete sentence on their own. They edit pre-existing sentences daily. I still have some kids who cannot/will not capitalize the first letter in the first word of a sentence. Of course, some of these kids have 4 capital letters in their first names, but that is a different rant. At this point, I choose to focus on having them write a single, clear, grammatically correct sentence than an illegible, incomplete story (if it even gets that far).

    Oh, and diagramming sentences? I LOVED it!
     
  17. MissD59

    MissD59 Comrade

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    Jan 28, 2013

    Nope, not just you. I'm a TA in a second grade room, and we do TC for reading and writing. Between the two workshops for those, plus our new common core aligned math program, nearly our entire day is done. Our school follows Calkins to a T, and these kids really aren't getting direct grammar instruction. I like the workshop model, but I still think that there is a place for grammar. I'm not sure that Lucy Calkins knows where that is, though.

    Don't get me wrong, I do like some of her ideas. I just think that the lack of direct grammar instruction is a weakness of TC.
     
  18. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jan 28, 2013

    I'm nervous about the entire ELA Common Core. We have a 120 minute literacy block to fit in all writing, grammar, read-alouds, guided reading-everything! Definitely not enough time!!!
     
  19. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    She doesn't! I asked her directly. She got offended. :mellow:
     

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