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Getting Started with Six traits
Old 03-20-2008, 02:07 AM
 
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Okay. I am getting the posters and the book. Whats next? Will anyone share their lesson plans for the first trait or week, with examples of books and lessons they used. I am looking to see how, when, and where to fit this into my lessons for writing for next year. I would like to introduce it this year before my students leave me in June. What should I do when I come back from break (all next week) Thanks in advance.
P.S.
Do the children have folders or bookmarks? Anything I can prepare?
Are their books that explain each trait that you would say is easy to find, lets say in the local library so that I would not have to purchase on my own?


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Start by
Old 03-20-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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explaining that all good writing has six "traits". Explain each trait--go on line, get definitions if you need to or if you don't have your book yet. I use an ice cream sundae to illustrate the traits...we learn the words---the names of the traits-----that's what you need to do the first few weeks. Don't get too specific about "one".

Spend a few weeks that way. As you are reading anything---even a science book---you can stop and say, "wow, listen to that word choice!" Keep a list of "strong verbs" on your wall. Kids can watch for words that they think illustrate word choice....so much fun. Keep it simple-----just familiarize yourself and the kids with the traits and what they are called. It all flows from there. Before you know it you'll be reading a Roald Dahl books and stopping to say, "Can you believe that VOICE"? Or, "The word choice is amazing, let's write it on our favorite words chart".

Read the book---it is a very easy read and you'll have an "ahaa". Then grow and grow and grow.
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:03 AM
 
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Okay! I will try to have an "ahaa"
I do stop and say "wow" listen to that simile or onomatopoeia etc. I guess I am sort of doing it on my own. I just want to be able to grade accordingly and not so subjective. Do you know what I mean? I really want the students to know what I expect in their writing. Do you feel they are ready for the state test and write a well balanced story. We had our state test and it consisted of an oriental family. I didn't even study Chinese New Year and they did not have a clue about the red envelope. Some didn't even mention it. They had stories of school, graduation, and the like. I just hope that their stories were interesting. They said they had no problem or solution in this picture prompt and had no similes, or show don't tell etc....I don't know how they did. I would like to prepare my students better for next year. Thanks for your advice and taking out the time to reply.
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SIx Traits
Old 03-24-2008, 05:08 AM
 
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TONS of ideas at this site:
writing fix (dot) org

You need to sit and explore this site carefully since there is SO MUCH! You'll see lesson plans for the books that highlight the traits as well. I've been using the site for four years and have seen it grow with ideas. You'll need the week off just to grasp the goodies listed on the site!
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Writing site
Old 03-24-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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I LOVE THIS SITE!!!! THERE IS SOOOO MUCH INFORMATION! I really do think you need a week at least to see the goodies. Thank you, thank you, CageyBee!!!!!


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Writing Fix Site
Old 03-25-2008, 05:24 AM
 
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Isn't it a great site?! Wait until you see how much you start printing..at least that is the problem I have! I print out the info on a particular book, then keep that lesson inside the book jacket for easier planning.

My class LOVES when I go to the tech lab and let them write from the prompts that allow just a "click" to make choices. Some of the stories they create are just fabulous!
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Great time to start
Old 03-25-2008, 09:58 AM
 
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You have chosen a great time to get started! Such a perfect amount of time left in the year for you to explore the traits and to focus your students' writing on these qualities of writing. Like a pp mentioned, try to introduce all of them through quality literature, really hanging on to definition and examples of each of the traits. In one of the staff developments that I presented years ago we had an anchor or 'thing' for each one. I gave partners a bag of these things and we used metaphors to explain each of the traits. I will try to find this list.

After you have shared some literature to present each of the traits, I would begin a poetry study! I love Georgia Heards', Awakening the Heart. Poetry is a wonderful way to allow the students a chance to explore Ideas, Voice, Word Choice, and Fluency (not necessarily sentence fluency). Remind them that while you looked at examples of Organization, Sentence Fluency, and Conventions, the beauty of poetry is that these traits are not always obvious. If you want you can introduce organization here through some of the poetry patterns (I would hold off on the temptation).

During independent reading (or any interaction with quality text), give students post-it notes to find examples of the traits, have them share with a partner. They can write the examples down on their post-it note, siting book and page number and add to a bulletin board with each of the traits posted ( I am sure by now somebody has created an icon type graphic to enlarge and make colorful for a bboard.) If you start to have fewer examples of one, challenge them to look for more examples of the elusive trait. It is so powerful to have them share their findings by reading directly from a book!

I have found Ralph Fletchers' books to be very helpful for mini lessons, however, these are rather dated and newer examples of literature are probably available.

If I get out to school this week, I will try to make a list of my favorite picture books. What grade level??
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Getting started (luvmycat)
Old 03-27-2008, 03:12 AM
 
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I teach third. I have printed out the posters and will try to pick up books that teach each trait. Any favorites?
Georgia Heards, I will look her up too
How are you organized in the classroom? Do you have a binder? I am sure you know what you are teaching week to week month to month correct? I want to be organized up until the NJASK for next year and cover all of my bases. Thanks for your wonderful advice. Have a great day!
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I just remembered
Old 03-27-2008, 03:33 PM
 
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You know Beachmom I remember getting a book that really helped me get started with more concrete lessons. I started to gain confidence and don't use it much anymore. I should have suggested in before, I am sorry!

I can't remember the title though. I'll post it tomorrow when I am at school and find the book. It goes trait by trait and I think it may help you. I took all the lessons I could find on ideas and put them in a section in a binder, same with each trait. I even put a thin picture book in with each section. You might want to try some of the websites we've suggested for favorite picture books.

There are so many to choose from, I don't know where to start. I do love to begin by reading My Side of the Mountain. Jean Craighead George is amazing for ideas (her imagined trip to the mountain), her voice, word choice is incredible. The kids really pick up on all traits when you read something like that.
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:33 AM
 
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Thanks, Maybe I can purchase the book cheap on ebay. I printed out some lessons from ##########.org and will probably have more time over the summer to collect books and examples. I would like to start showing this year the traits to my students. What do you do for the month of September? and October? I am hoping to almost piggy back with someone until I can walk on my own with this program. I use Rebecca Sitton for spelling,however, the students do not have any workbooks or anything. I just introduce five words each week and give poetry words with a poem to practice for fluency. I put together my own writers binder for each student with ,for example, savvy said words, tired words, etc. Thanks for all your helpI really appreciate it!


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Here are two books that may help you NOW
Old 03-28-2008, 01:02 PM
 
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Beachmom (and others trying to start) here is a book that is very simple to use for teaching traits....

Time for Kids 6 + 1 Traits of Good Writing
Publisher: Teacher Created Materials

You can get it for grades 1-2, or 3-4

It is kind of a easy way to do traits but it will get you started until you can branch off and be more creative!!


ALso, someone was asking what books are good for each traits. Try
Scholastics (actually written by Ruth Culham), Using Picture Books to Teach Writing--with the Traits. It is a bibliography of over 200 books and which traits they are best suited for.
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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Thank you!!!
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