To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.
Mini-Lessons Cycle 1: Meaningful Mini-Lessons
Day 8: Concrete images for support
Challenge: Make a list of all of the concrete tools you use to support your students as writers. Ask one or more of your colleagues to do the same. Discuss the tools you use and ascertain whether you can implement any of your colleague’s tools into your teaching practice.
The only thing I use with any measure of regularity is the Boxes and Bullets form from Lucy Calkins that we use in our persuasive essays. I honestly haven’t taught more writing than that.
What is useful about using concrete tools to help your students in writing workshop?
It helps them wrap their brains around a nebulous project. It takes away the fear of staring at a blank piece of paper.
How do you decide when to introduce a new concrete tool to help the writers you teach?
I haven’t sought out many in the past. I assume that as I find more (I’ve already e-mailed my coworkers and the folks I’m doing this book study with), I’ll introduce them as an optional tool during a mini-lesson, then reinforce its use with students who could really benefit from it during a small group or one-on-one conference.