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Empowering Writers
Old 03-15-2009, 08:20 AM
 
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What do you think? Who uses it? What grade levels? Thanks in advance!


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Old 03-16-2009, 04:07 AM
 
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We use it (grades 1-5). It seems to work for us. I went to one of the conferences explaining the book and how to teach the ideas and found it very helpful.
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I like it too.........
Old 03-16-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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Lots of good ideas to pull from.
I think it has helped my fourth graders a lot.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:54 AM
 
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I see that you are from Connecticut....famous for empowering writers. I am from NJ and we are going to do speculative prompts for the first time this year. We always did picture prompts. Anyhoo...Do you have any suggestions on what I should be teaching or looking for when grading? Also, I went to a empowering workshop and bought the book. We are trying to get our district to purchase it for third and fourth grade. How do you like it? Are the students coming to you more prepared? I am weak at modeling and generating questions. I am going to do a leprechaun paragraph today generating questions from walking through a forest, coming across a leprechaun and describing him. Wish me luck. I will post one for you to see. I don't know if I am doing this correct or not and feel it is late in the year but our state test isn't until May. Do you have any suggestions or successful lessons I could possibly borrow from? Does your grade level make up new ones like I am doing today? I am having the most difficult time with my lower students and am trying to develop something to keep them more focused. They participate but dont apply what is on whiteboard or use sentence starters...ahhhh any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I really want to do well this year on speculative writing..Help
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:09 AM
 
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hmm, where should I start. I find that simply starting out teaching interesting beginnings is beneficial. We have a technique we use called "The Wave." It combines all the beginnings taught in Empowering Writers. You are teaching Narrative writing, right? That's what we teach in 4th and lower. In 5th grade, they learn Expository.

I am including a writing packet that I've put together. At the beginning of the year, I assigned a prompt for the whole class. I find it easier to have everyone writing about the same thing in the beginning, so I can keep track and direct them to ideas. Day by day we go through the packet together as a class. When we all finish the plan, we share them and it sparks ideas for the ones who are strugglers. When we finish the beginnings, we share those and so on. The packet isn't complete because the part for endings and suspense was photo copied, but at least this will give you some ideas. After we created a story, breaking it down part by part, most students didn't need these resources. For the strugglers, I had them available for help.

I hope this makes sense, I am typing this quick on my lunch break! Let me know if the packet makes sense or if you have any questions.

Oh ya, we just published a main event for a leprechaun chase. They came out awesome. Empowering Writers has another book called Easy Art Activities That Spark Super Writing, it is great. I would recommend it because it gives you activities like "The Leprechaun Chase" for practice on main event, or "Who's Gobbling" for help with suspense. The activities all have sentence starts and questions to ask the students to generate ideas and thinking. We have done a number of activities and all turned out awesome. Next, we are going to write about flying on a magic carpet and in Art they are creating the magic carpets.


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Great program
Old 03-17-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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I was trained many years ago and used it when I taught grades 2 and 3. My own kids school started it in first grade. I thought it was great!
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:15 PM
 
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Awesome packet! Thanks!
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:15 PM
 
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Sorry, should have read firefleye7!
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:49 AM
 
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Thanks for responding so quickly....I bought all of her books at the workshop and saw the leprechaun one. We did it yesterday however mimicked "The Wild Thing"

Old sentence:
I was walking home from school and out popped a leprechaun.

New sentence we brainstormed together what a leprechaun looks like,sounds like, moves like etc. Then in pairs I had them review the sentence starters from the wild thing as well as the posters with the senses and had each of them think of different ways to start a sentence.

Together we wrote a story. I will type it later its at school. Then they did one on their own.

I wish someone who has done the program could be my mentor..

I had a graphic organizer that I made however never ever used.
Not sure about event, event, event...???

And my students will say the problem was.....the solution was.....very flip flop with no details..

I forgot it was picture day and my hair was a mess. I borrowed my friends brush and fixed my hair for picture day.

Could you send me a few speculative writing prompts for either fourth or third grade. I teach third and would like to practice a few without trying to make them up. OUr njask website does not offer any they still have picture prompt examples up

Thank you so much for caring.....I would love to see a few of your flying carpet writings ....You seem like you are very together with writing. I hope to feel that way for September....
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:14 AM
 
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The event, event, event is for the students to write events that lead up to the solution/conclusion of their story. I make sure they know it cannot be the same as the problem or the actual event.

Problem: Meg walks up to a "welcome" mat in front of a house and falls through the mat into a dungeon.

Event 1: Meg lights a lamp and tip toes around the dungeon.

Event 2: She finds a chest and when she opens it she discovers a ghost inside.

Event 3: Meg finds out the ghost is friendly and can talk.

Solution: The ghost helps her by leading her out of the dungeon.


(That is an actual students plan to this haunted house prompt below)

There is a house on your street that no one lived in for years. Some people say it's haunted. You go in and explore it. Write a story about what you see and what happens next.

Here are a few prompts the students can choose from that have worked out great!

Imagine you are exploring a tropical island. You find something amazing on the island. Write a story about what you find there and what happens next.

You are camping out in the wilderness in a tent. One night you hear a strange noise outside the tent and go to investigate. Write a story about what you find outside the tent and what happens next.

You find a time machine in the basement of your school. You go inside it and it takes you to a time long ago. Tell what it is like, a problem you encounter, an how you get back.

Imagine you become an animal for a day. Describe how you turned into an animal, tell about the problem or adventure you had while you were an animal, and how you felt when you became human again.

Imagine you are walking through the hallway in school and discover a door you've never seen before. You go through the door and find yourself in a magical place. Write a story about your adventure.



Pictures of my leprechaun chase coming today

Your lesson sounds fun too. We didn't do the wild thing this year, but maybe I will try it next year.

Let me know if this helps, or if you need anything else!


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P.s.
Old 03-18-2009, 04:16 AM
 
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You're Welcome CindyK I am happy you can use it!
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:08 AM
 
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Here are a few pictures of my march project. I hope they come out ok, they are from my cell phone!
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:08 AM
 
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My Classroom door...
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:08 AM
 
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Up close first page ...

I hope these help!
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Thank you
Old 03-18-2009, 12:00 PM
 
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I really appreciate the pictures. Do all of your teachers get together and decide what to do? We have 16 third grades and 16 fourth grades in our school. Our district has two schools k-2 that eventually come to us. Its large and many of us are doing something different. Today we glued in our blue books the before and after's They are doing the before for homework tonight. Hope they do well. I am going to give them a writing prompt tomorrow and see how they do on their events. Do you always model on chart paper before lessons. I am getting used to modeling with student responses. I feel like I am a better writer now than I was a few years ago.
Thanks...four oclock time for my haircut Thanks so much!
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:06 AM
 
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Wow! 16 classes of 3rd & 4th grade!! Our school is just 4th and 5th grade and there are 5 Reading/Writing 4th grade teachers (we teach our lessons 2 times a day because we switch w/ a partner who teaches Math/Science/SS). No, all the teachers do not do the same projects or even units at the same time. We are trying to get on the same page, but it is hard at this point of the year. I am happy the pictures helped. We do Reader's and Writer's Workshop here, so I tend to do a full lesson the carpet and model everything. The students have shown tons of growth in writing this year!

Have you taught "show and not tell" ?? My students love using that skill in their writing. I will post a picture of a chart another teacher gave me to hang up. It is very helpful. (again from my cell phone, so not the best pic)
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:46 AM
 
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Goodmorning,
Its saturday morning and I layed awake thinking of writing....ahhhh I think I am going crazy....
Question:
I am going to model a prompt next week. Its about a girl who wants to go with her best friend and her parents to a well known New Jersey State park for the weekend camping. (someone gave it to me) anyway..The teacher said the problem she gave as an example was "her parents were not too sure and she needed to convince them or the weather looked like rain and her parents were not sure) whatever...If I have a hard time thinking of a problem and solution how will my students do this? The problem could be ....um.....she couldn't sleep listening to the night sounds?? Solution??? listen to music??? I dont know and do I have my students think about a story critical object, setting or character before they begin to write. This story could be maybe an animal she comes across...would that be a problem and they can stretch it out ...how they ran away what they were thinking etc. I find all of this too confusing and just want them to write but then I get back too much garbage or not enough garbage from them. I looked at your graphic organizer. would it be possible to see one filled out? You probably don't need all this extra hassle....sorry....just want them to like writing and enjoy writing....as well as be confident with their story for njask which we only have 25 minutes to write. Thanks in advance!!!!
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:15 AM
 
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I am confused by your prompt. You could try to be less specific and use this one...

You are camping out in the wilderness in a tent. One night you hear a strange noise outside the tent and go to investigate. Write a story about what you find outside the tent and what happens next.

The students might have more to write about!

What would you like to see filled out? The plan? I will take a picture of a students plan & wave and attach it later
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me too...
Old 03-24-2009, 02:26 AM
 
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I was very confused too..yesterday after really taking a look someone said it was really a persuasive writing...I am going back to use the ones in the back of her book (Narrative Writing) Do you have her writing prompt book.. I bought the arts and craft one and I had for a few years another book she had out from scholastic. Most wonderful writing lessons ever. That is how the ball began rolling Thank you for being so generous and kind. I will try again today and hopefully do better.
Thanks
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yes the wave graphic organizer
Old 03-24-2009, 02:27 AM
 
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Thank you so much!
Have a wonderful day....
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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Thanks - this is awesome and easy to follow esp for chn. I will definitely use it next week.
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Neat pictures
Old 05-27-2009, 10:59 PM
 
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thanks for sharing
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Empowering Writers WORKS!!!!
Old 07-05-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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I recently finished up a long term sub job in First grade and Kindergarten. I used some of what I learned in an Empowering Writers workshop with the students in my first grade class. I was amazed at what the students were able to write after just one lesson! I am starting work this year as a Kindergarten teacher and will definitely use Empowering Writers in my classroom. The website is super user-friendly and they will answer any questions you may have. Give it a try!! You will be glad you did!
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