Lucy Calkins Writing Program Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jenglish97, May 28, 2011.

  1. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    May 28, 2011

    Our 3rd grade team is looking for a writing program to implement nest year. We have been looking in into the Lucy Calkins writing program. I would like to know what you all think about this program. What are some pros and cons?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    May 29, 2011

    I use the K-2 version and LOVE it... to me, the pros far outweigh the cons... kids learn to be AUTHORS and really how to write from their own experiences.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 29, 2011

    Do you mean the Heinemann units of study? I think they are great. I've been trained at Teachers College at Columbia University. My school was a Reading and Writingroject school for many years. All of our literacy instruction follows the workshop approach.:love:
     
  5. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    May 29, 2011

    I tried it this year and for some reason I do not like it. There is something but I can't put my finger on it. There are a lot of good ideas though to pull from but not to use the whole series.
     
  6. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    May 29, 2011

    VA-My daughter(K) feels the same way.(I have never used it.) She didn't think it was beneficial for her students, but her school requires it.
     
  7. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    I have the K-2 UoS and really, really like it. The first year I used a lot of the text and dialogs from the book. I've adapted it as the years have gone on.
     
  8. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    May 29, 2011

    I would use it more often if I had the K-2 version.
     
  9. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    May 29, 2011

    This is how I feel. I'm really not a fan, but can't quite put my finger on it. Our district used it one year, and writing marks were terrible that year on the assessment.
     
  10. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    I will say - this method does NOT really teach kids to write to a prompt... something they need to be able to do for most assessments. That being said, it DOES empower them to feel like authors... I always throw in prompts here and there to keep them on their toes. :)
     
  11. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    May 29, 2011

    czacza ~ Yes, I am talking about the Heinemann units of study. Do you have all the units or some of them? We are trying to figures out what to order. I am waiting for a catalog to look more into in.

    Everyone else ~ Thanks for all the feedback so far. Our district is trying to find different writing programs to invest in. Keep the feedback going!
     
  12. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    May 29, 2011

    My school is a TC Project school and have been for many years. We have monthly professional development from TC staff and we fly to NYC to attend the TC conferences/workshops. That being said, I love the Units of Study! But this is really the only writing program I EVER used!. Lol. I almost feel like I am a bit brainwashed to think this program is the best there is. I have taught 2nd and 3rd grade and each year, my students learn to think, plan and write beautifully, published stories, nonfiction books, poetry anthologies etc. But......I do feel that there are a couple holes in the program. One being that it doesn't really emphasize writing with voice. Yes, there are a few minilessons you can teach on it, but I think it leaves out a couple of the "writing traits" that are necessary. These traits are kinda mixed into the unit and not really "taught". It's up to the teacher to take it upon herself and emphasize these things. Other than that...I LOVE IT! Go ahead and invest in the program, it's worth it and you will see the benefits of the program in years to come.
     
  13. MrsNickerson

    MrsNickerson Rookie

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    May 30, 2011

    I am a HUGE fan of the program, but like everything else, I think to be really successful, you can't just use it in isolation. To be really responsive to your students and their needs, you can't just mindlessly go through the mini-lessons in a sequential order. You really need to tweak it and make it your own. I've spent some time creating documents to extend it or reinforce concepts in the book, but I don't view this as a weakness at all. I think that, no matter how great a program is, that's what you do as a teacher to tailor it for your class and your approach. I agree that, if there is a weakness, it's that you need to throw in prompts every now and again for writing assessments so they know how to write to a prompt. My students not only view themselves as authors, they write beautiful, meaningful, well-crafted pieces. Their voice definitely shines through. I bought this with my own money because my district didn't have a program, and I've never regretted it. In fact, based on my students' progress and writing skills, our entire county is interested in the program. I think that says a lot about the program.
     
  14. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I student taught at a school where TC was "God" and that was ALL that could ever be done. I didn't like it. I hated it. I hated it more for reading but I didn't like the writing either. (No phonics, no grammar)

    BUT...then I student taught at another school that basically did the opposite of everything we'd done in TC and I HATED that so much. I started to see the aspects I really loved about TC (and the Words Their Way program) and incorporated them into lessons I taught at the other school.

    Now where I'm teaching we use TC but we're allowed to stray from it a bit here and there and do things that aren't exactly in line with TC like writing prompts. It's definitely not a program you want to go all or nothing with because I feel like its missing important aspects. But its definitely useful.
     

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