Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we look closely at creating opportunities for ourselves and our students to consider the power of the reading-writing connection.
What if the first step in learning a new writing skill is not taken by… writing?
Roz Linder, author of The Big Book of Details, shares her thinking in the video blog below about how we need to engage students in a skill in the real world first—then model it and transfer this knowledge over to the writing on the page. She notes that “reading and writing are about communicating” and the more we experience it before putting the pencil to the page, the more success students will have with the transfer of knowledge. Take a look.
“Reading like a writing teacher” is a term coined by Katie Wood Ray. In her book What You Know by Heart: How to Develop Curriculum for Your Writing Workshop(2002), Katie explains that teachers should be on the lookout for interesting sentences and paragraphs. She describes the world as being “full of writing that makes us slam on our brakes when we’re reading and think, Ooo… look at that, I need to show that to my students. That’s really good writing” (90).
By Rozlyn Linder
Reading like a writer is what I did as a child; reading like a writing teacher is what I do now. I cannot look at a website, commercial, article, novel, basal passage, or book jacket without eyeing a juicy sentence or detail that I feel I need to show my students. I joke with my husband that it is hard for me to read for pleasure because I have become consumed with looking at the moves that writers make: I don’t want to miss anything that could be brought back into the classroom.
If you want your writers to elaborate, you shouldn't say, "OK, now let's write" and leave it at that. Rozlyn Linder recommends separating the writing from the skill. To elaborate and have a dialogue, you need to first know how to do those acts in the real world.
In Roz's The Big Book of Details, you'll find specific moves to use with students that go beyond add more. In this video, Roz shares what she believes is the first step to successful student writing.
The Big Book of Details supports planning and on-the-go teaching for one-on-one conferences, whole-class instruction, or commercial writing programs. Its lessons are organized to help kids understand each move quickly. In this week's video from author Rozlyn Linder, she calls for the need for teacher sensitivity around students' knowledge of details and elaboration. It is one thing to tell a student to go back and add more details, but what if that hasn't been modeled properly? Watch the video below.
The Big Book of Details supports planning and on-the-go teaching for one-on-one conferences, whole-class instruction, or commercial writing programs. Its lessons are organized to help kids understand each move quickly. In this week's video from author Rozlyn Linder, she explains the book's structure. All the activities in the book center on the intentional way students can use specific moves in their writing.
How many times have you told a student, "Go back and add more details, elaborate"? How many times has a student returned to you after with what amounts to more writing, not so much detail? In Rozlyn Linder's The Big Book of Details, you'll find specific moves to use with students that go beyond add more. In today's video, Roz shares why these moves are important and how you can find them in her new book.