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Making Balanced Literacy Work for YOU Part 3

Hi! Thanks for joining me for the third session on how to make balanced literacy work for you!
Today I want to dive into shared and interactive writing. This can be SUCH a power component to model skills for your readers and writers.

So I’ll jump right in with Shared Writing.  I’ve heard it said that if you want to teach effective writing, you must model effective writing- regardless of the grade.

Shared Writing is your biggest and most effective chance to model writing in front of your students! Generally this lasts around 10 minutes per lesson and the students are gathered around your chart paper.  A few notes about Shared Writing:

*YOU keep the pen the whole time.
*Ask the students what they would like to compose. Prompt them with ideas like a list, letter, short narrative on a shared experience, responding to literature, etc…
*This is a chance for students to negotiate vocabulary, sequencing, and allows a chance for students to respond to texts.
•Shows students that writing is AUTHENTIC and ORGANIC by selecting real reasons to write. Maybe the lunch workers aren’t putting out enough napkins and your students would like to write them a friendly letter to ask for more.
*When you plan, think: “What’s coming up in our class, school, or world that we could write about?” 

I’ve written things like the Pledge of Allegiance, (because I noticed my students were saying it incorrectly in the morning) thank you notes to parents that sent in treats, or holiday song lyrics that my students were humming in class. Other ideas might include: 

•Thank-you note
•Persuasive letters
•Journal entries
•Creative Writing

Simple Shared Writing text on the last week of school. We were reorganizing our library and needed to make a list of the book baskets that we had. This was an extremely authentic reason to make a list and we used it in real life. 
Interactive Writing: 
*Very similar to shared writing only this time you, the teacher, will SHARE THE PEN. 
*I try to keep the reasons for writing just as authentic. 
*You can have the students write the majority of the text, or they can join in on a specific skill that you’d like to work on. 
*While one child is called up to add to the interactive writing piece, the rest of the children are going to be actively engaged by doing the same skill in a few creative ways. For example, if I am working on the spelling of sight words, I might call students up to add all of the sight words in the text that we are writing. While little Johnny comes up to write the word, I might ask the rest o the class to write the word in the air, on their neighbor’s back, on the carpet, etc… so that the lesson keeps everyone engaged. 
*Consider your colors. I tend to use two colors when I do an interactive writing lesson. One for me, and one for the student writers that add to the text. 
Below is an example of an interactive writing text where my students were working on long vowel patterns. Within the context of a real reason to write, I am specifically practicing certain skills that I know the class needs as a whole. 
Here is a list that I co-constructed with my class I wrote everything but the long vowel patterns, controlled R sounds, and endings. All things I knew we needed to brush up on as a class.  
So, I’ve been harping on the idea that we need to allow these components to work for us in regard to independent work time. I generally use the writing components to teach basic grammar and punctation skills. This allows me to spend more time focusing on the work of the unit instead of taking time to teach my students basic skills during workshop time.



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