Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Still Learning to Read: Our New Favorite Folder

This is one of a series of blog posts that continue the conversation around Still Learning to Read--teaching reading to students in grades 3-6.  This series will run on the blog on Tuesdays starting in August 2016 and continue through the school year.

I know these posts usually focus on reading but I feel like this writing tool has huge implications for readers so I decided to include it in this series.  We are all very excited about the new folder we have in Writing Workshop.  I have been struggling with the ways my kids think about writing and the need to write all three types of writing all year. We have focused units of study on narrative, information and opinion writing but we want kids to do writing in all genres across the year. I have struggled with how to make this work for kids, so that they get better and also understand the genre they are writing when we are not in a unit of study. 

So this year, I purchased these 3 pocket folders from Amazon. I am hopeful that they will make a difference at how kids look at writing and use what we've learned throughout the year.  The kids were VERY excited when I passed these new folders out, telling them we had a new awesome tool for writing workshop.

My plan for these folders is to label one pocket Narrative Writing, one pocket Information Writing and one pocket Opinion Writing. This folder will serve as a place to keep mini lessons, rubrics, pieces of writing etc.  Kids can sort things into the appropriate pocket as they work.  So when kids are working on an information piece, they can easily access texts from any mini lesson work we've done, etc.    For the past few years, I have struggled with a system for kids to have access to tools and resources they need when we are not all working on the same genre or when they are working on multiple pieces.

Kids already have these folders with them during writing time. As we fill them with more tools, I am hoping they become more useful.  In 3rd grade, one big goal is for them to think about the purpose of what they are writing. So, just the act of deciding where to put an in-process piece of writing will take some thinking on their part and I am hopeful that they will become more comfortable with these genres/purposes.

I think understanding genre and purpose as writers will help them be more thoughtful and critical readers of all types of writing.

(Our new edition of Still Learning to Read was released in August!  You can order it online at StenhouseYou can follow the conversation using the hashtag #SLTRead or you can join us for a book chat on Facebook that began this week by joining our group here.)

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