Young Authors Emerge at GEMS

Target 1 – Student-Centered Learning. FWSU students will engage in personalize learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creative learning opportunities.

Action Step –  Highlight, create and model innovative learning opportunities that promote collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creativity for students and staff.

Indicator of Success – Students and staff will apply existing knowledge to create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

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Children at the Georgia Elementary school have been participating in “writer’s workshop” to hone their literacy skills through daily writing. After a year of attending Lucy Calkins workshops, K-4 teachers have implemented their learning and have seen great success from students.

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One teacher shared: “It works because it is based on the idea that students learn to write best when they write frequently, for extended periods of time, on topics of their own choosing”

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The most common way of delivering explicit writing instruction is via a mini-lesson. A mini-lesson is a short, teacher-led discussion of a single writing concept which incorporates three guiding principles:

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  • Brevity: Mini-lessons are short, usually 10-15 minutes, rarely more than 20. They are intentionally kept short so that the majority of each writing period will be available to the students for writing.
  • Focus: Each mini-lesson covers a single, narrowly defined topic. If the teacher is introducing serial commas, for example, other uses of commas will probably be introduced in a separate lesson.
  • Authenticity: The best mini-lessons are based on real things that real writers really need to know. They are practical and immediately useful. They are targeted to address, in a timely way, the specific challenges writers face as they explore new writing tasks and genres.

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Some students have co-authored their books, while others have chosen to create a series based on their interests. Most importantly, children are excited about their writing, sharing, and illustrating!

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