Lucy Caulkins - ProTeacher Community




Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      BusyBoard

Lucy Caulkins

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
rachelmpd's Avatar
rachelmpd rachelmpd is offline
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 8,754
Senior Member

rachelmpd
 
rachelmpd's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 8,754
Senior Member
Lucy Caulkins
Old 12-10-2015, 05:41 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

We are supposed to be following Lucy Caulkins. No supplementing, no veering. This is 3rd grade. I worked with my students on their personal narrative. They were crap, even after revision. I then moved on to their "Expert" writing. We have been doing this for a month or so. It is torture for me and them. They did their table of contents, but then they are supposed to write multiple chapters on it. One boy wrote the same thing on how you should buy a certain video game because it is fun. Said it three times, without ever backing it up. They don't know how to indent, what a topic sentence, or what a conclusion is. For that matter what a basic paragraph is. I keep "mentioning"it to them, showing them examples based on my writing, to no avail. I am trying to conference with almost all of them after each chapter.

I had this issue with the 4th graders last year, but they got a little better because we kept doing explicit lessons and practiced a lot. When does Lucy Caulkins teach what a paragraph is? When I did third last time, we spent time reviewing the paragraph, explicitly teaching it, practiced it a lot, then transitioned to multiple paragraphs. I don't see this.

My co-worker spent this week explicitly teaching/reviewing a basic paragraph. I am thinking of doing the same, but nervous as we are supposed to follow Caulkins.


rachelmpd is offline   Reply With Quote

GreyhoundGirl's Avatar
GreyhoundGirl GreyhoundGirl is offline
 
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 18,584
Senior Member

GreyhoundGirl
 
GreyhoundGirl's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 18,584
Senior Member

Old 12-10-2015, 05:51 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

I teach 3rd grade and this is my 1st year with Calkins. I hate it, I hate everything about it, it's wordy, it's hard to follow, I'm seeing no growth in my kids. My team and I just abandoned narrative because we hadn't finished bend 1 yet and we felt like we needed to move on for everyone's sake.

That said, our Literacy Leader (reading coach, whatever you want to call her) who's supposed to be a Calkins expert said that it was just a guide and we should add in things as we feel our kids need it. So, if they need a minilesson on paragraphs do it. I'm thinking we're going to need to do that.

I know there are people out there that do it and love and see huge growth. Maybe I'll be one of those people once I've used it and gotten more comfortable with it. Right now I just hate it and it makes me crabby.
GreyhoundGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
rana712 rana712 is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,429
Senior Member

rana712
 
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,429
Senior Member
I tried when I taught 4th
Old 12-10-2015, 05:54 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

and called it eight wasted weeks. I followed the program, but the kids were not able to implement or edit enough to have their finished products make sense. I had many kids who could not write a sentence that made sense, much less a paragraph, much less a story.

The next year, we went back to teaching explicitly using the Consume, Critique, Produce method we had used before.
rana712 is offline   Reply With Quote
PEPteach's Avatar
PEPteach PEPteach is offline
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 10,230
Senior Member

PEPteach
 
PEPteach's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 10,230
Senior Member

Old 12-10-2015, 06:05 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

Funny you bring this up. I'm having the exact same experience. I started the year with personal narratives and followed Lucy Calkins. Their writing was atrocious and didn't improve much at all. I do feel like I wasted 2-3 months of the school year writing-wise. Just this past week or two I've ditched Lucy and went for a more direct approach. Their writing has already made big gains!

I am sure Lucy is very good at what she does. I just don't seem to get the results she does. Kudos to her for doing it! It just wasn't working for me. It was way too loosey-goosey and "organic".

I'm glad I'm not the only one. I wonder if it works better with higher students. My class this year needs more direct instruction.
PEPteach is offline   Reply With Quote
Teacherbee_4 Teacherbee_4 is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 6,157
Senior Member

Teacherbee_4
 
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 6,157
Senior Member
I supplement
Old 12-10-2015, 08:27 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

I supplement a lot, but overall, I do think the program has made me a better writing teacher. It's given me a lot more ideas on what to teach in terms of writing skills because it breaks it down in a way that I couldn't on my own and in a way I haven't see other curriculum's do. I supplement a lot, though. I do my own mini-lessons now, based on the unit of study we are on, the rubric, my kids needs, etc. Sometimes I use her lessons, other times I use another.

In terms of your question about paragraphs, I know I teach 5th grade and there is a paragraph mini-lesson in the Small Moment, Book 1 (first unit) of 5th grade. I can't remember about the other books. I know your school doesn't allow it, but to me, if that is what your kids need, then I would do a mini-lesson on that.


Teacherbee_4 is offline   Reply With Quote
rachelmpd's Avatar
rachelmpd rachelmpd is offline
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 8,754
Senior Member

rachelmpd
 
rachelmpd's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 8,754
Senior Member
Thanks
Old 12-11-2015, 06:26 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

If I expect my students to write 5 paragraphs at the end of the year (and the P expects that especially since I have only 15 students, since I have so few students everything should be super easy!). I will just make sure to look at the monday memo carefully and do the reviews when the P is at meetings or observing other teachers. I will also fall back on my, "Oh well S suggested it" (since we are supposed to be working collaboratively, even though the other teacher doesn't share).

The K teacher said that it wasn't meant for elementary, that maybe by 5th grade it is good, but not for the lower grades. I liked Step up to Writing.

Greyhound-I am with you. I hope I grow to like it since I hope to be in this district the rest of my career.
rachelmpd is offline   Reply With Quote
grammam's Avatar
grammam grammam is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,172
Senior Member

grammam
 
grammam's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,172
Senior Member

Old 12-11-2015, 09:03 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

We have used Step Up for years and were just given Lucy Caulkins as well. Fortunately for us, it is just for support. We are free to use the program for guiding our lessons or full-throttle. I am actually so relieved to hear that I am not the only one who feels like the worst writing teacher ever when I try her program. My students just aren't ready for it, and neither am I. So thankful my P lets us do what is best for us.
I think I would do what pp said and supplement anyway. In the end, we just have to do what's right for our students, right? They can't fault you for that, can they?
Good luck!
grammam is offline   Reply With Quote
NJ Teacher's Avatar
NJ Teacher NJ Teacher is online now
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 7,155
Senior Member

NJ Teacher
 
NJ Teacher's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 7,155
Senior Member
Not a fan, either...
Old 12-11-2015, 09:23 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

Our former principal bought the earlier edition of the writing books for us. They were for grades 3-5 and way, way up there in expectations. We wound up spending way too much time on personal narrative, and a lot of the lessons were not things the kids seemed to grab or understand. When we had an interim principal, he let us order a book called Benchmark Writing Workshop. This book had smaller, shorter texts to go with each of the genres and specific lessons using them. It worked much better. Now, we are spending so much time on "balanced literacy" and Common Core math, that writing time is impacted. We do a lot of writing in reading and across the content areas. We use some ideas from Caulkins, but a lot of my writing consists of units and minilessons I have found on the internet from other schools that have taken Caulkins and done it better. That being said, it is December, and only a few of my kids have a published personal narrative. We are doing informational writing to go with our reading unit and another personal narrative based on a gift from the heart that links to a couple of read alouds and our school's character theme of generosity. If you can justify how writing paragraphs fits into Caulkins if asked, I'd say do whatever you feel your kids need.
NJ Teacher is online now   Reply With Quote
wildflowerz's Avatar
wildflowerz wildflowerz is offline
 
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 4,918
Senior Member

wildflowerz
 
wildflowerz's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 4,918
Senior Member

Old 12-11-2015, 02:49 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #9

People in my district cringe when they here her name! We tried her Units of Study for a while. It was not for everyone.

The first year I loved it and the kids were really successful. Then each year after that they were more lack luster. We found that they desperately needed the explicit instruction.

Everyone likes our new program much better. I feel like we are actually teaching kids how to write.

Next year I hope to be able to use some of what I learned from Units of Study to enhance what we are doing this year.

Good luck to you, I know it can be a challenge.
wildflowerz is offline   Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
BusyBoard
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:20 PM.

Copyright © 2017 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net