Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Teaching the Writing Process...With Interactive Notebooks

I found a fun Powerpoint presentation on a slide share website called The Writing Process: Five Important Steps. I tweaked it a little to create my own presentation, and we've spent the past several days practicing the writing process in my class. The activity began with a play dough animal that the kids created:
Then we took notes about prewriting on the teacher side of the notebook (right side). The student side response (left side) was to choose any of the prewriting techniques and record ideas for stories about the play dough animal. Students who didn't bring play dough simply drew an animal on the student side - like the girl did in the example below. She chose mapping for her prewriting response:

The second step is drafting. We took notes about that, always beginning with the S.W.B.A.T. (Students Will Be Able To) objective statement at the beginning of the notes. The students then chose one of their story ideas to develop. The result is below:

The third step is revising, which proved to be very difficult for sixth graders. We took revising notes on the same page as the drafting notes. Then I put the students in critique groups to write suggestions for improvement on post-it notes. Their suggestions were often about capitalization, punctuation or spelling mistakes - which are actually editing suggestion rather than revising. We stopped to share ideas for revising their stories to make them more interesting, but I think many of them still don't get it. We'll just have to spend extra time on that step in each of our writing projects this year...maybe it'll sink in eventually.

Editing and publishing notes in class tomorrow...

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