Seventh RW/WW

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by JoCoTchr, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. JoCoTchr

    JoCoTchr Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2008

    I am planning on beginning reading/writing workshop this year in 7th grade LA, but I am not sure how to plan out my units of study. If anyone has any great materials - units of study, general information - I would really appreciate it. I am at a total loss :confused:

    Thanks!!
     
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  3. kyblue07

    kyblue07 Companion

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    Jul 20, 2008

    Here's a link that might have some helpful ideas and materials:

    http://www.bayvieweduc.ednet.ns.ca/Smoran/Reader'sworkshop/reader'sworkshopindex.htm

    I've looked into workshop ideas when I was in 7th LA. I now teach 8th History, but we all have a reading enrichment hour and I plan on incorporating some of the workshop format and ideas. That page also has resources listed to the left that you might want to check out. I would definitely put Nancie Atwell at the top of the list, but there are many others as well. I think one of the key things to keep in mind is that whatever type of workshop that you put together from others, it also has to work for you and your students. Good luck and let us know how it goes. I'd love to hear about your experiences with it.
     
  4. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    Jul 22, 2008

    I am also teaching 7th LA and using RW/WW. I would begin by reading "Notebook Know-How", "Craft Lessons", and "A Writer's Notebbok"...these are the books I have read so far. There are also a million websites that have links to RW/WW...I just googled and started reading, jotting down ideas that I wanted to use. Here are some of my favs...

    http://www.insidewritingworkshop.org/profdev/materials/bw_reading.pdf
    http://www.insidewritingworkshop.org/
    http://quest.carnegiefoundation.org/~dpointer/jennifermyers/walls/readersworkshopwall.htm
    http://www.bayvieweduc.ednet.ns.ca/Smoran/Reader'sworkshop/reader'sworkshopindex.htm
    http://www.learner.org/resources/series192.html#

    This is how my classes will be organized (I have 4 classes, 70 minutes each):

    5-10 minutes Bellringer work (grammar)
    10-15 minutes mini-lesson (mostly procedures and reading in the beginning)
    10-15 minutes Read Aloud (this may not be every day, depends on unit)
    30-40 minutes Independent Reading/Writing and Conferencing
    5-10 minutes Share/Author Chair

    I am going to begin the year with "The House on Mango Street". We will read aloud 1-2 vignettes a day and then students will write in their writer's notebook about a connection they made to the text. These entries (we will have 44 when we are finished) will then become the seeds for memoirs, personal narratives, and personal essays.

    Almost forgot...I joined the Yahoo! group "RealWritingTeachers". It is another great forum and I have received lots of ideas...it is based on RW/WW!

    I look forward to sharing info about RW/WW!!
     
  5. evil_twin2327

    evil_twin2327 Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2008

  6. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    Jul 23, 2008

    Thanks for the site...I enjoyed reading your blog! I look forward to reading future entries and sharing ideas!
     
  7. JoCoTchr

    JoCoTchr Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I love all of the websites - these are really great!! What I really need is like a schedule - I am not sure how to schedule my time with my kids. It looks like I teach my reading mini-lesson and then let them do partner or group reading. Then, bring them back for a mini-lesson in writing and let them write for a period. Is this correct? :confused:

    Also, should they all be reading the same book, or do you have them reading in partners or in groups? I am at a total loss and don't have many resources, but really need to make a go of this. :thanks:
     
  8. evil_twin2327

    evil_twin2327 Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I do a few whole-class novels each year (about 3, all higher level), but the majority of the time my kids are reading independent novels of their choice. That's what builds the love of reading.

    As far as scheduling, it depends on how long your period is. I spend about 10-15 minutes on word study, 10-15 minutes on a reading mini-lesson, then they independently read for 20-30 minutes. The writing mini-lesson is about 15 minutes, then they write for 20 minutes or so. We share and wrap up before doing a 20 minute read-aloud.

    Hope that helps!

    Sarah
    thereadingzone.wordpress.com
     
  9. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I would suggest reading In the Middle by Nancie Atwell and That Workshop Book by Samantha Bennett. They will give you some different ideas for how to structure your workshop day.
    I, personally, do Monday & Wednesday focus on reading and Tuesday & Thursday focus on writing. Friday is our vocab test and then we do our Read magazine or play Scrabble or other things like that.
    I attended the Walloon institute this week and got energized and lots of new ideas. During Sam Bennett's workshop on next generation workshops, I developed this schedule for myself. I have an 84 minute block:
    Silent Sustained Reading/Writing (depending on day) - 10 min
    Poem of the Day or DOL-type activity - 10 min
    Mini-lesson - 15-20 min
    Worktime/catch & release - 30 min
    Debrief - 10 min

    Our shared reading is short texts that serve as the basis of various minilessons. I do two whole-class novels a year, and the rest of the reading is self-chosen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  10. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    Jul 24, 2008

    OK...let's start from the beginning...how long are your classes?
     
  11. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I have an 84 minute block.
     
  12. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    Jul 25, 2008

    I meant JoCoTchr?

    I will not be doing a separate RW and WW every day. I will be fusing the two. First, I will chose a novel and read aloud one chapter a day. My first novel is "House on Mango Street" and the vignettes are very small. Then students will write for approximately 30 minutes...write about the connection they made to the story.

    When we are finished with with that novel we are all going to read "Watsons go to Birmingham - 1963". For our first novel, I like to do the same one for the whole class so we can model reading strategies and ways to respond to literature. Every day I will have a reading mini-lesson, then students will read independently...or in small groups...or as a whole group (that is one advantage of doing the same novel, you can switch it around), then students will have time to respond to what they read...author's style, connections, predictions, wonderings, etc.
     
  13. JoCoTchr

    JoCoTchr Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2008

    I have a 70 minute block. I am not sure if I want to block every other day for RW w/ opposites being WW, or splitting my day up.

    How do you get such great novels? I teach "Scorpions", and "The Cay". I would love to teach "House on Mango Street" but I don't have the resources to get them for 60 students.
     
  14. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    Jul 25, 2008

    I don't either...I only have one copy so I am using it as a read aloud. I may put the novel under the document cam so it will be on our plasma TV but that is not necessary.

    It should take no longer than 3-5 minutes to read each vignette aloud to the class...you could read more than one a day or do as I am doing and allow them the rest of the time to write, write, write!

    My suggestion is to find a book that you are really interested in teaching for the following year and work on getting copies for your class. There are federal grants and your librarian should also have money for that kind of stuff...I personally ordered "The Giver" and "Watsons Go to Birmingham" for my school. We order approximately 100 copies of each novel we want our classes to read. Over the last few years, we have built a tremendous classroom set library...over 30 novels. Each year we order 100 copies of a new novel that we want to teach.

    If you find a novel that you think your kids will love, read it aloud. If you can happen to find 5 or 6 copies, divide your kids up into 5 or 6 groups, give a copy to each group and have them read it aloud together. There are ways of getting around "not having the materials". But always be on the lookout for how you can get them.

    This year I am going to try to order "The Lightning Thief" or "Peak".

    My advice to you is to choose a novel and begin with RW. This way students' will be exposed to other author's writing style, etc. Read this novel aloud to the students and then have them respond to literature through writing. When they have various entries in their notebooks, then have them choose one to take further through the writing process and publish.

    Remember, don't stress about getting everything perfect in the beginning. There is no set plan to follow. Do your best and keep tweeking your schedule. Eventually you will find your groove. No one walks into RW/WW their first year with all the answers...you learn as you go. For the first few weeks, pick something you are comfortable with and go from there. I know you will do great because you care - if you didn't care you wouldn't be looking for the answers!
     
  15. JoCoTchr

    JoCoTchr Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2008

    I love the thought of reading aloud to my students and having them respond. Thank you for all of your great advice!!
     

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