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Expecting and Turbo-Charging Growth in Writing: Studying Student Work and Planning for Teaching that Moves Kids Forward

Nov 6, 2024
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Date: Wednesday, November 6, 2024

Time: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM ET

Location: Online, via Zoom

Who Should Attend: Grades K-2 teachers and coaches

Cost: $150 per person

Once you have set up time and structures within which kids can develop as writers, the next challenge is to actually mobilize that growth. Growth in writing should be palpable and dramatic. In this session, we’ll show you the developmental progressions that are within reason to expect, and we’ll help you know how to check for and expedite growth in many different dimensions.   

We’ll help you look at student writing through a variety of lenses, to see where kids are in a progression of writing development, and to know ways to turbo charge their growth forward. This will include helping you to give kids clear, within-reach–yet ambitious–learning targets for their writing, and to make feedback (including small group work) actually stick. You’ll become accustomed to seeing patterns and next steps in your students’ spelling (their use of phonics and sight words). You’ll think about your students’ growing knowledge of a few key genres for writing and qualities of writing that relate to those genres. 

To ignite growth in writing, we’ll also suggest more deliberate and assessment-based use of writing materials (including paper), and we’ll suggest potent ways to use mentor texts and peer support to mobilize growth. 

You'll hear ways to empower writers to lean on each other throughout writing workshop. Kids can learn a lot from their peers. Hear how you can support partner work within your small groups, so that writers can help each other when they are not with you. For example, students can take charge of their learning by teaching each other in student-led conferences or small groups or by asking to meet with their partners when needed. 

Across this day, expect to: 

  • Clarify what growth in writing looks like for K-2 kids along a few different dimensions. Together, we will study writing to name strengths and possible next steps and use what we know about the patterns we see to anticipate support within and across units.  

  • Become more skilled at seeing patterns in your students’ work, reading that work with a lens and thinking about next steps. 

  • Hear ways to use exciting new mentor texts to help kids aspire to outgrow themselves. We will examine mentor texts through the lens of illustrations, topic generation, craft moves, and yes, even conventions. And we will think about this work as part of whole class instruction and then in our conferences and small groups.

  • Explore ways to follow up your conferences and small groups by instituting tools, habits and social structures that help make your conferences and small groups stick. We'll consider ways you can help kids use these tools to take ownership of their work, so they can speak to what they are working on when talking with you and their peers. You'll also learn ways kids can lean on each other as a scaffold and as a coach, when needed.

  • Broaden the range of ways in which you support student growth in writing, making sure that you help kids be risk takers and inventors as writers.