Nonfiction Research Wonder Writing

Thoughts from our discussion on 8/5

- we have typically written a text as a class in its entirety and then students write their own - the authors discuss writing it in pieces together and students writing their own pieces as it progresses - what are the benefits and drawbacks to each?
- discussed the idea that it depends on the group of kids
- kids are often at different points in a piece of writing which can also impact how well either option works

- much of this book reminds us to slow down

- we need to save examples of student writing from year to year to use as models - often published books can seem too far out of reach for students, work by peers is more achievable

- upper grade mentor texts (and probably most primary ones as well) are full of facts - the idea of heart wonderings stretches our idea of nonfiction by including opinions, persuasive texts are another example as well as Socratic Seminars
- TouchPebbles is similar to Socratic Seminars focused around texts - it encourages discussion

- discussed kids organizing the library (3rd chapter in part 3)
- the book discusses separating fiction and nonfiction books - many of us have had kids organize libraries but mixed fiction and nonfiction
- positives to separating them: helps students build clear understanding of fiction and nonfiction books, mirrors school and public libraries
- positives to mixing them: students looking for books on topics they enjoy may find both types, if separated some students may avoid one type or the other

- the important piece of reading is making meaning from text
- wordless picture books are a great way to help students with this
- for books students are not yet able to read they can use the same skills as with wordless picture books
- fiction wordless picture books help with sequencing (or any fiction picture books)
- nonfiction wordless picture books support learning about topics (or any nonfiction picture books)

- when kids write a class book about a topic and learn something new about it later they can add to the books
- write 2nd edition on books when you change them

- tie to Patterns of Thinking
- looking for parts of things builds vocabulary about a topic
- help writers take the perspective of a reader to improve their writing - make sure it makes sense, flows well, is readable
- Making writing make sense to readers also ties reading and writing together
- Tables of Contents are a way to explore how books flow

- Are we teaching writers or writing skills?

- look at p. 118 for a great model for guided writing in primary grades - different groups working in a variety of ways

- ask kids why they did something as a writer - ask it all the time
- this is a great strategy across the board, in all subject areas
- ask why writers made certain choices in read alouds, guided reading

- look at p. 100, the second paragraph for the power of this regarding student engagement

- use of a writer's notebook in primary grades
- kids can include lists, tape mementos in it, add their wonderings
- the idea of journals at various places in the room for all students to write in is intriguing
- group notebook adds element of audience
- students can use both the group notebooks and their writer's notebook for their thoughts
- keep a class diary - each day a student adds a date and at least one sentence, also can illustrate

- take time on Fridays for kids to share a wonder of the week

- "If in sight, spell it right." - hold students accountable for word wall words

- the importance of share time for kids - gives an audience
- stop in the middle of writing workshop to highlight something great a kid did, especially linked to the focus lesson
- build in partner share some - requires modeling and practicing

- p. 130 - book shows teacher sharing and labeling leads - why not have students look at leads and determine labels on their own, would that increase sense of ownership


Exploring Nonfiction Books: Sorting and Cataloguing


Exploring Nonfiction Books: Structures and Features


Getting Started: Choosing Research Wonder Topics


Nonfiction Writing: Trying on Topics


Nonfiction Writing: Creating a Table of Contents


Nonfiction Writing: Designing Chapters


Exploring and Researching Questions


Exploring and Researching Questions: Inferring


Exploring and Researching Questions: Ask an Expert


Nonfiction Writing: Leads/Beginnings


Nonfiction Writing: Wow Words


Nonfiction Writings: Other Craft Lessons


Nonfiction Writing: Elaboration


Nonfiction Writings: Diagrams


Writing Partner Revision


Editing: Using Word Wall Words


Partner Editing: Capitals and Periods


Publishing and Celebrating