Teacher assisting student

SCOPE AND SEQUENCE (Week Four): Collaborative Writing

Now, you are ready to WRITE WITH THE STUDENTS. You are going to lead this dynamic endeavor. Rest up, because this is hard but rewarding work. Decide which prompt you would like to use. Last week, I divided the S&S into the four modes of discourse. This week, however, you are going to stay with that mode and determine the prompt you will use. Some ideas — if you were using one of our models, simply work through the second half of the passage with a collaborative approach. If you used one of your own models, try to stay with the same article or issue. Write a different paragraph, but if you can stay with the same subject of the first piece, you will have an easier and more expeditious time of it, because the students will be familiar with the subject at hand.

Some ideas to consider:

  • Do not let one or two students manipulate the conversation. If you have technology that randomly selects students, use it. Call on volunteers and non-volunteers. If you do not have the technology, give the students tickets and have drawings for offering their thoughts. Make sure you know which students have which numbers.
  • Reward the students. I always rewarded my students with beads. 
  • I went to a craft store and purchased cords, cutting them about 8-10 inches in length. I then went to old antique shops (e.g., LynnArts in Arlington, Texas) and purchased boxes of beads: glass beads, wooden beads (for the boys); all differently shaped beads.
  • I gave each student two glass beads and showed them how to create a bracelet.
  • Take the end of one cord and slide it into both beads. Then, take the other end of the cord and slide it through the opposite end of both beads.
  • Tie the ends. Then, untie one end when you are adding beads.
  • Slide both ends of the cord into the beads. Tie knots at the end.
  • When students volunteered answers or said something astounding or asked a particularly wonderful question, I would tell them to go to the beads and select 1, 2, or 3. They would add them to their bracelets. When their bracelet was full, they would create another bracelet or necklace or ankle bracelet or ring. They loved it!
Day 1: Decode the prompt. Work through the Gathering CDs, calling on volunteers and non-volunteers.
Day 2 -3: Tchart and Commentary
Day 4-5: Shaping Sheet. You notice that this is a two-day writing workshop. Here, I would like to see your class dialogue about diction, and I would like you to work on types of sentences: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. For ESL students, one of the areas of focus should be checking on words that need “ed” at the end. I’m finding that the past tense verb is problematic.
Type up their final draft and give it to them to place in their notebooks. Now they have two models!


Dr. Deborah E. Louis

Ph.D. in Humanities

Dr. Deborah E. Louis' passion for educational excellence began as a classroom teacher. For sixteen years, Deborah taught On-level, Pre-AP®, and Advanced Placement® English Language Arts to secondary students of diverse ethnicities and learning styles. In 2010, Deborah purchased the Jane Schaffer Writing Program®, and along with her non-profit organization, Center for Educational ReVision (CerV®), her goal and that of her national team of experts is to provide the highest quality professional learning and mentoring to teachers in the areas of writing, advanced academics, high-stakes testing, and educational technology. Through webinars, workshops, job-embedded training, and teaching materials, Deborah strives to ReVision the educational system, combining traditional and flipped approaches to professional learning for teachers of grades K-12; and differentiating for Special Education, English Language Learners, and Gifted and Talented. Although her mission takes her all over the United States and abroad, Deborah lives in Dallas, Texas USA. She loves music, dancing, archetypal psychology, and continuous learning opportunities.

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