Friday, March 13, 2015

What Does Guided Writing Look Like?

Writing is one of the hardest things for students to do.  It's hard for some students to start writing, and it's even harder for them to write effectively.  Unfortunately, most teachers don't spend enough time teaching how to write. Young writers need to experience successful writing over time, and this strategy helps the students grow as young scholars.  Guided Writing allows for this to happen. 

Ask yourself- what are your students' writing needs?
How Do You Begin Guided Writing?

1. This strategy usually starts with a mini lesson, and they can be done in a small group environment or in front of the whole group. 

2.  Mini lessons can be created on the spur of the moment when you realize your students are having difficulty with something specific.  You can also follow a yearly plan of guided writing lessons.  

3. You need to create groups of students, and it would be great if the groups are divided homogeneously.  

4.  Choose when the the mini-lesson will be delivered.  When I taught kindergarten and first grade, I taught the mini-lesson right before I had Daily 5.  The Daily 5 are literacy centers, and if you want to read more about it then click here for my previous blog post. 

5.  Create a space where you can store student writing because student writing growth needs to be documented.   The parents and students love seeing the growth, and admin loves seeing effective teaching strategies in action too!

Mini lessons include shared writing, and this is an example of shared writin.

What Should be in the Mini-Lesson?

1. Shared Reading: read informational text, and prompt/question the students about the way the text is written

2. Teach one strategy of writing: As a teacher, you need to know exactly what your students are being troubled by most.  Pick that concept, and it can be anything from punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, spelling, or composing paragraphs. 

3. Independent Practice:  The students need time to practice their new writing skill. At this moment, you should be walking around and giving feedback for almost every students' writing. 

4. Share! Share Share!: This is the students' favorite time. Provide ample time for the kiddos to share their masterpieces to their peers.  Writing does have a purpose, and students should know that. :) 

What Do You Need?

1. Table to sit at with a small group of students

2. Organization to store students writing

Watch This Video for Guided Writing 

If you want to see an excellent example of guided writing in action, then click this link!  It shows what the teachers and students look like as they are in the process.  

Comment below and let me know if you currently have guided writing in your classroom. I would like to see how real teachers implement it! 

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