Now that writers know what they need to prove, it’s time to draft. I approached this work by inviting students to notice, much like the work of Jeff Anderson.
While students turned and talked with their writing partners, I listened in for what they noticed about the structure of the introduction that I wrote for “Feathers”
These invitations to notice were very brief so over the course of a couple days, we were able to use the minilesson time as well as the midworkshop interrupt to look at the different parts of an essay that students could use as a mentor text for their own writing.
While students worked independently, they were able to confer with their writing partner when needed so that I could pull small groups. To determine small group instruction, I looked in their writing folders for patterns of needs. For example, on this particular day, I noticed four big patterns.
- Two students who used the introduction to retell the story
- Three students with unnecessary details and one with no background information in the introduction
- Two students who need to explain the evidence in the body paragraphs
- Five students who were struggling with writing a claim.
I was able to meet with all four groups and begin conferencing with individuals. For small groups I pull on the fly I like to use a giant post-it to quickly write out the strategy. If it’s one I know I’m going to do ahead of time, I might do the same thing or take the extra minute to create the strategy tool in slides so I can print it or use it electronically.
By having strong writing partnerships, students have support from their peer so that my time is free to pull groups.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the writing so far!