More on Guided Writing...

Following up on yesterday's post, I wanted to share a few more examples of the "form" guided writing often takes when I'm reading with our fragile readers.  My dilemma is that, often, we don't have gobs of time to write lengthy entries in our guided writing booklet, so I look for ways to support phonics instruction through smaller, more manageable chunks of time that are really more developmentally appropriate.  I can target a specific skill (or skills) in a brief instructional segment and I know the children will have time later in the day to craft amazing stories during their writing workshop time.  {These samples don't replace their rich writing workshops... they're simply the guided writing extension that follows their guided reading instruction.  Most often, this brief writing is focused on some aspect of spelling, phonics, language structures, sight words, and/or conventions, not "craft."}

(1)
Even though I plan for alternatives to the "cut-up sentence" I learned so many years ago, I still like doing it because it offers so many benefits to the learner.  In these two samples, I wrote the sentences, but it's typically more powerful to have the children verbally form and physically write the sentences with your guidance.  What I love about the cut-up sentences is that the child has to rebuild it in a way that makes logical sense, so there's a lot of problem solving that takes place during this mental process.  Once the sentence is built, the child rereads it to check for meaning.  I love to play a "game" where I ask the child to close his eyes while I take away one word.  When he opens his eyes and rereads to figure out the missing word, he's often using multiple cueing strategies... What would make sense?  What would sound right?  Does this word look right?

In Joshua's sample below, I've decided to chunk his cut-up sentence into phrases to help him develop a smoother, more fluent reading voice.  I want him to see that these words can be said together and I'm hopeful that by grouping them on the same piece of paper it will be a visual cue to him to try reading it that way.  He's still a little robotic, but at least now it sounds like, "This log... is a home... for a fox."  I'll take whatever progress I can get at this point.  :)


(2)
These "Shark Facts" are samples of cut-up sentences Matthew and I worked on today after reading his nonfiction book All About Sharks.  This is a pretty typical example, but Matthew often forgets the conventions when writing, so sometimes I'll literally cut his period off the sentence to make him aware that it's there and to be cognizant of where it goes.  I also like to cut apart a word now and then that matches a particular spelling pattern we've been working on just to see if he can stretch out the sounds and rebuild the word in a way that looks right.


(3)
These are the magnet letters from Lakeshore Learning I wrote about yesterday.  I love how all the vowels are red and all the consonants are blue.  It's a very visual cue to children that there are vowels in every word we build and write.


Sometimes, I use similarly colored paper to build words that I want to glue into their guided writing notebooks.  These are kids who are easily confused when processing reading and writing, so my goal is to keep my prompts, my strategies, and my tools as consistent as possible.

{Construction Paper Squares}

(4)
In a book we read about bats the other day, Matthew worked hard to figure out the word dreamed.  He and I have been working on word endings, like -s, -ed, and -ing, so this chart grew out of his reading of that text.  


One of my goals for guided writing work is that it's conventional text when we're done. This is important because the guided writing notebook is a collection of writing that should be read and reread.  We reread our notebooks often and you can hear the students use it as a tool when they say things like, "Oh, that's like the page we did the other day when we made all the /sh/ words.  This word must be ship!"

If you're looking for your next "professional read," you might like Fountas & Pinnell's When Readers Struggle.  It might even work for your next professional book study. It's chock full of great ideas for teachers of primary readers, especially those who just don't seem to "get it" yet.



Your turn:  What are your ideas?

21 comments:

  1. I love all of your ideas for guided writing! Thank you for sharing. I had not thought to do a notebook for this...can you give me some more information for how to get started with guided writing notebooks? Is there a professional book you used as a resource or a product you have that could get me started in terms of formatting the book? (Obviously pages will vary depending on groups, but any type of skeleton would help :)

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  2. Hi Jessica,

    The notebooks we use for guided writing were actually part of the Fountas & Pinnell "Leveled Literacy Intervention" system (from Heinemann), but they're really just books of plain white unlined paper. We ordered the intervention systems two years ago and love them! They're set up for guided reading and guided writing and include many suggestions for phonics, word study, phonological awareness, comprehension, and fluency. Many of the components are very similar to a "Reading Recovery" model. I don't have a product specifically for guided writing, but I'm happy to continue sharing examples. A good professional book to help you get started in this work is Fountas & Pinnell's "When Readers Struggle." (It's pictured in the post.) It's a HUGE book, but it doesn't have to be read cover-to-cover. You can flip to different sections as you need ideas or resources. What grade(s) do you teach? :)

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    1. Thanks for the book suggestion. I teacher first and have students reading at several different levels. I will definitely check out this book. I just got done reading The Next Step in Guided Reading by Jan Richardson which gave me some great ideas, but the writing component is still an area I would like to work on. :)

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  3. I love your ideas for using colored paper for vowels and consonants. And that they can be manipulated and used the next day for review.

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  4. P.S. I have this book too. I agree. It is EXCELLENT!

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  5. You have wonderful ideas! I especially like your magnet letters. Could you please invite me to your collaborative boards on Pinterest? http://pinterest.com/prosuccess

    Thank you!

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    1. Hi Shelly,

      Do you have specific grade levels you're interested in joining? We have PreK - 5th grade, including ESE.

      Thanks,
      Andrea :)

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  6. We don't have any struggling readers here, but as I look over your ideas, I'm seeing how they could nicely support second-language reading. You've given me some great strategies for teaching reading in a new language! Merci!!!

    Julie
    OpenWideTheWorld

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    1. Thanks, Julie. We, too, often use these same strategies with our Spanish-speaking children who are learning English. We find that a lot of the primary reading strategies we use with the K/1 children are also very beneficial for helping second-language learners acquire an additional language. Do you teach abroad?

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  7. I love how you have combined cut apart words with cut up sentences. I have done each of them separately, but never both at the same time. That is a great way to bridge reading and writing skills.

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    1. Hi Crystal,

      In the past, I've done them separately, too. It came to me one day during a guided reading session where the energy was kind of low among the kids. Sometimes, things have to be changed up, right? :)

      The neat thing I realized after doing it was that we were focusing on one type of thinking by rebuilding the sentence {"Does it make sense?"} and another kind of thinking by rebuilding the word {"Does it look right?"}.

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  8. I love cut up sentences. We do that as a follow up to predictable charts. I have never thought of chunking words together. What a great idea.
    Thank you,
    Kathy
    The Fun Factory

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  9. I use the LLI system with my readers too.. Love it, however, I sometimes struggle to find the time to fit it all in... This post was a nice way to show some ideas on how to almost "chunk" the portions of the LLI lesson into manageable pieces. Can you post more please.. I am loving it!!!

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  10. The LLI lessons are packed, that's for sure. We can't do all the ideas suggested, but we try to get the main components in each day {phonics, reading, writing}. For us, if we get a little crunched on time, we prioritize and make sure reading takes center stage. We figure the more time spent on task reading will be the greatest benefit. Which system are you using... orange, green, blue? Have you tried their Benchmark Assessment System for your progress monitoring? We finally bought it last year because the DRA and other assessments we were using just didn't seem to match the level of the Fountas & Pinnell books. We like that assessment much better.

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  11. I use the green and the blue kits as I work with grades 1 and 2. At times, I find when some of my groups aren't "moving" I will switch colors and redo a level (if that makes sense). I am not sure if you are supposed to do it that way but.. We also use the F&P benchmark assessment kits too:) What a coincidence. I am really going to make a huge effort to prioritize the lessons. I love your ideas with pictures and I will keep visiting your blog!!

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  12. Thanks Beth! Have a great week! :)

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  13. I teach kindergarten and love this concept for a notebook! I am looking to make my guided writing better. I have the 2 big Fountas and Pinnell books --they are great. The collaborative boards are something I am interested in. I am already on a couple. If there is a seperate one for kindergarten reading or math, I'd love to be included! Thanks for the constant flow of great ideas!!!!! It always helps me spark a new concept in my classroom!

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