Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Improving elaboration in our writing!

If you have been following along with recent blog posts, you know that we have been working on narrative writing. We have been working on creating a good plan, adding details and then using that detailed plan to write a draft.

We are producing so much more writing than we were even a week ago!  Today my mini lesson revolved around these two words:


We learned what these words mean and talked about all the different times in life when people elaborate. I use my own son as an example . . . how he always answers "fine" when he comes home from school.  I ask him REGULARLY to elaborate--with minimal success!

So, we reviewed our planning process and how we added extra details to our plan. I told them that I was going to be coming around to look for examples of places in their writing where they truly did elaborate.  Before we began, I told them that after we wrote for 20 or 25 minutes, they would work with a partner to read their narratives aloud. Their partner would be a listening to identify which part of their writing seemed like it had the most elaboration.  Off to work!


My favorite teaching tool in writing class?


Huh?  Does this help?


No?  This is me wheeling myself around table by table "hunting" for examples of elaboration and to be looking for students who are forgetting about our writing non-negotiables so we can get them corrected right on the spot.

In 25 minutes I made two full laps around the class!  When I noticed students working off their plan and stretching their details, I would share that with students sitting close by. A few times, I stopped the whole class to listen to some really well crafted sentences.  During my journey, I also made note of mini lesson topics I want to share with the whole class . . . errors I noticed many students making. (Today I noticed errors with where/were exchanges, using "d" instead of "ed" to make past tense, and "are/our" mistakes)

After our writing time, I sent the students off in randomly chosen pairs to share and look for examples of elaboration.


The students were GREAT today and were feeling really positive about what they had done.  Stay tuned for next steps!


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