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.
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.
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”
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:
- 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.
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!