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Teaching Writing

By Lucy Calkins

“Writing allows each of us to live with that special wide-awakeness that comes from knowing that our lives and our ideas are worth writing about.”

—Lucy Calkins

In Teaching Writing, Lucy Calkins shares the depth and breadth of her knowledge, from the initial research that launched some of the biggest ideas still foundational to the teaching of writing today, to her newest insights gleaned from decades of work and study in thousands of classrooms across the globe.

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Teaching Writing is Lucy Calkins at her best—a distillation of the work that’s placed Lucy and her colleagues at the forefront of the teaching of writing for over thirty years. This book promises to inspire teachers to teach with renewed passion and power and to invigorate the entire school day. 

This is a book for readers who want an introduction to the writing workshop, and for those who’ve lived and breathed this work for decades. Although Lucy addresses the familiar topics—the writing process, conferring, kinds of writing, and writing assessment— she helps us see those topics with new eyes. She clears away the debris to show us the teeny details, and she shows us the majesty and meaning, too, in these simple yet powerful teaching acts. Download a sample chapter for more information.

Additional Resource Information

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Units of Study in Opinion/Argument, Information, and Narrative Writing

Built on best practices and a proven framework developed over decades of work, the writing units support explicit instruction, provide rich opportunities for practice, and help teachers use learning progressions to set students on trajectories of growth.

Contents

Acknowledgements
Chapter 1: Writing Workshop: The Backstory
Chapter 2: What Writers Need: Essentials of Writing Workshop
Chapter 3: The Writing Process
Chapter 4: The Big Picture of Writing Workshop
Chapter 5: Narrative Writing
Chapter 6: Information Writing
Chapter 7: Opinion/Argument Writing
Chapter 8: Conferring with Writers
Chapter 9: Small-Group Work in the Writing Workshop
Chapter 10: Writing across the Curriculum
Chapter 11: Assessing Writing
Chapter 12: Bringing the Writing Workshop to Your School
Works Cited
Index

In Depth

Chapter 1: Writing Workshop: The Backstory

  • The Invention of Writing Process Instruction: My Early Story
  • From Research to Practice: How the TCRWP Has Brought Writing Workshop to the Nation

Chapter 2: What Writers Need: Essentials of Writing Workshop

  • Writers need time to write.
  • Writers need clear instruction, shared writing wisdom.
  • Writers need the opportunity to learn from other writers and their texts.
  • Writers need a coherent, cumulative curriculum in writing, one that builds in depth and complexity across kinds of writing and across grades.
  • Writers need responsive feedback—from you, their teacher, and from partners who support their next steps.
  • Writers need opportunities to experience the writing process.
  • Writers need the opportunity to write for real audiences.
  • Writers need opportunities to use writing as a tool for learning.

Chapter 3: The Writing Process

  • Rehearsal
  • Drafting
  • Revision
  • Editing
  • How does the writing process differ for more and less experienced writers?

Chapter 4: The Big Picture of Writing Workshop

  • Build the Culture of Your Classroom
  • Establishing Predictable Structures that Allow for Listening
  • A Curriculum Calendar of Units of Study
  • The Predictable Structure of a Writing Workshop
  • Management

Chapter 5: Narrative Writing

  • Rehearsal and Drafting of Narrative Writing
  • Reading-Writing Connections and Revision of Narrative Writing

Chapter 6: Information Writing

  • What is information writing?
  • Rehearsal
  • Drafting and Revising Information Writing

Chapter 7: Opinion/Argument Writing

  • Understanding the Difference between Opinion Writing and Argument Writing
  • Rehearsal and Drafting of Opinion/Argument Writing
  • Revision of Opinion/Argument Writing

Chapter 8: Conferring with Writers

  • The Architecture of a Conference
  • Draw on Many Sources of Knowledge When You Confer

Chapter 9: Small-Group Work in the Writing Workshop

  • Studying an Example of a Small Group
  • The Architecture of a Small Group
  • The Mechanics of Small-Group Work
  • A Final Word about Small Groups: They Are Not Miniature Minilessons

Chapter 10: Writing across the Curriculum

  • The Importance of Transferring Writing Skills across the Curriculum
  • Ways to Transfer Writing Skills across the Curriculum
  • Ways to Bring the Power of Writing-to-Think across the Curriculum

Chapter 11: Assessing Writing

  • Learn to see more in student writing.
  • What do you do with the information your assessments produce?
  • What are the characteristics of a strong writing assessment system?
  • Using Assessment for Report Cards and Grading

Chapter 12: Bringing the Writing Workshop to Your School

 

Samples