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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
...another comment on Calkins
Old 02-02-2008, 01:42 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #18

I totally agree... Writers' Workshop is completely magical at moments... the celebrations, the mid-workshop points... the kids just flourish with this program... I always say it is like a rollercoaster. Some days seem crazy when they are exploring new ideas and trying new things out, and then the other days when their ideas are sparkling like magic - it's a thrill ride!

However, in response to the "be all, end all" comment above... I have been thinking about that sentiment a lot lately. Currently at my school, we are allowed to teach writing in our own styles... however, the administration is now looking for that "be all end all" answer to teaching writing to implement district-wide, and I am so scared about that... because it may mean that I am forced to stop using Calkins' approach...

I am going to remind my Language Arts Committee, when I join them on Monday for a discussion... that even with the best writing program out there, can there really be a "be all, end all" approach? Even though I love UOS, I still modify for my kids who are struggling/ like every teacher should feel they can. My strugglers meet with me in smaller groups more often. (Just like at reading time) I just modified a framed out booklet using Story Grammar Marker ideas for them with a story frame built into it, to help them be successful, independent writers... And they are making great progress. With my soaring writers, I modify for them, to take them to higher places with other approaches,... it is all about differentiating.

Even in Reading, when my school recently adopted Open Court and blew all of us (Reader's Workshop, Guided Reading teachers) all away with a scripted, systematic approach to whole group reading that is the "be all end all" to teaching kids to read... the school still adopted programs for the kids for whom Open Court does not work... Reading for Mastery, START, Read Naturally, etc... In the classroom, if they are not "getting it" I meet with them in small groups to reinforce what I am teaching... (just like I do in writing!) So I really think it is about finding a program that works for the large majority and then differentiating for the kids who don't quite succeed with that main approach... for me, having UOS as the heartbeat of my writing instruction is what works.

Last edited by manyhats; 02-02-2008 at 01:45 PM.. Reason: (clarify my point)
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