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manyhats manyhats is offline
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 46
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manyhats
 
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Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 46
Junior Member
Lucy Calkins' Units of Study
Old 02-02-2008, 09:26 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #16

I have been teaching first grade for 15 years. I taught Donald Graves writing workshop for many years to my firsties... I taught in a Houston, TX elementary school where many of the children were those struggling or middle readers of whom the poster speaks. I loved it, and they loved it. Now I am back in New England and have been teaching with Lucy Calkins' UOS for 4 years...

In the first years, and now, I did not run around "correcting" the feelings they were encouraged to share. I conferenced, I shared mini-lessons, I modeled, I nudged, and I embraced them and their feelings and their growth as writers. Along with them, (and on their level) I shared my feelings and my life stories as I modeled the stories I hoped they would attempt to write. I think this is Lucy's message...

When I went on to apply for other jobs and get closer to my New England home, I always brought with me, a copy of one of my first year student's writing folder. When someone at an interview would ask me, "Why do you want to be a teacher," or "Why first grade?" ... I would pull out that folder and show how - at the beginning of the year, this little girl's writing was string of random shapes and letters, only decipherable by her... and at the end of the year, she was able to share a readable, story that conveyed her feelings, and her message to the reader.

And you know what? Any mark on any of those pages, for "corrections" were made by her... not me... because she wanted the readers to know what she wrote...

On the otherhand... I think UOS is an approach that needs to be embraced by the teacher in order for it to be successful... I pour through those books each year as I plan for lessons... and I learn more and process more each time... because I love it... If you don't believe in the approach yourself... I can see how it would be much more difficult. It would be hard to teach children to love writing, if
I didn't love the writing process or teaching the writing process myself...

Check out the Units of Study yahoo group for more support with this program... I love reading and sharing ideas there....
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