Tools to Support Your Teaching
We have prepared this page as a way to assist all teachers in their classrooms as they’re progressing through units of study. However, there’s A LOT more, resource-wise, over at our website! (Click here to visit the Two Writing Teachers Website.) There are rubrics, strategy chart ideas, lists of touchstone texts, etc. on this page. However, if you haven’t found what you’re looking for here, then please visit Ruth’s Wiki for more forms you can use in your Writing Workshop.
Rubric for a short fiction/picture book study.
Mentor Texts for this unit of study:
- Fly Away, Home by Eve Bunting
- “Josie’s First Allowance Day” by Rosie Perez
- Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems
- Leaves by David Ezra Stein
- Mutt Dog by Stephen Michael King
PERSONAL ESSAY UNIT OF STUDY:
- Rubric/Checklist for Students and Teachers to Use at the End of the Unit of Study
- Touchstone texts for this unit of study: Create them on your own. The “personal essay genre,” otherwise known as a five-paragraph essay structure, isn’t that hot for published writers! Therefore, you’ll have to write your own essay(s) to use with your students during this unit of study.
- Charts to create for this unit:
(1) Phrases we can use to push our thinking
(2) Transition Words
(3) Strategies for generating non-narrative entries in your writer’s notebook
(4) Asking questions of our thesis statements
(5) Essay writing guidelines
(6) Structure of a five-paragraph essay (This will be a LONG chart so find a grand place in your classroom where you can post this while students are drafting and revising.)
(7) Guidelines for writing small moment stories to support your point in an essay
- Labels for Tri-Fold Collecting Folders: Click here to view or download these labels, which can be printed on Avery 5160 and 8160 Labels.
- Advice: Obtain permission(s) from your students and their parents. to photocopy their essays so you can use them as touchstone texts with your future classes.
PERSONAL NARRATIVE UNIT OF STUDY:
Touchstone Texts for Personal Narratives
- A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson
- Shortcut by Donald Crews
- Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding by Lenore Look
- Woman Hollering Creek (“Eleven”) by Sandra Cisneros
Other things you might need:
Charts you’ll want to create:
- How to Use Paragraphs in Narrative Writing
- Qualities of Strong Personal Narrative Writing
- Strategies for Generating Personal Narrative Writing (i.e., a chart with the teaching points from your first few lessons)
- Things We Learn From Studying Touchstone Texts
FIRST MONTH OF SCHOOL:
Use these resources to help you get started during the first months of school.
Materials students will need:
- Writer’s notebook
- Two-pocket folder
- Pencils or pens
- Yellow legal pads (for drafting)
- Scotch tape (for revision)
- Scissors (for revision)
- Red pen (for editing)
- OPTIONAL: Small memo pad to be used as an “Idea Notebook,” which kids can use to collect ideas, observations, noticings, etc. on-the-go.
If your classroom has tables, not desks, then consider purchasing seat baggies so that the kids can keep their notebooks and folders in them. Be sure to purge them each week or their chairs will topple over!
Touchstone Texts for Launching Writing Workshop/Small Moment Stories
Fireflies by Julie Brinkloe
I’m in Charge of Celebrations by Byrd Baylor
Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter
The Other Way to Listen by Byrd Baylor
The Paper Boy by Dav Pilkey
Woman Hollering Creek (“Eleven”) by Sandra Cisneros
PHOTO of Stacey’s Classroom in September 2004 (before the kids arrived). Everything looks neat and organized, right? Well, four rugs later, a helpful meeting area tip would be NOT to purchase a cream colored rug. It shows WAY too much dirt!
The photograph below is Stacey’s meeting area set up for her second year of teaching. As you can see, the overhead screen is right in the meeting area. The carpet seats 30 children; each child has his/her own spot.