Writing Gallery~ sharing student writing in a new way!

5 01 2010

WrItInG GaLlErY!

Just before break, I had my students finish a choice piece. I decided to have the students share in a new way. We moved the desks into one big circle. I had the students take a few minutes and pick out the Golden Lines they wanted to share with the class. We then went around and each of us shared what genre we wrote in,  a very brief explanation of the piece, and then read our Golden Lines ( for example: I wrote a poem about being at the beach). I wrote a piece to share with them to show them that I am a write too!

Then we had a Writing Gallery (this was the new way to share). The students placed their writing on their desk, or somewhere around the room. I then had the students grab a handful of post it notes (that I cut up into strips). I had them walk around our “Writing Gallery” and read each other’s writing. With their post it notes they wrote positive comments about the writing they were reading and stuck them in the margins of that paper. Before we walked around ( I also walked around and commented on their work), we talked about types of comments and I told them that Golden Lines are good things to comment on, or they could Hold their Thinking.

I also printed some writing from Teen Ink and other sources and placed them around the room so that the students could read some published pieces and have something to strive for.

The students LOVED reading each other’s writing! Sharing our Golden Lines at the beginning gave us a taste of what was to come. At the end of the period, the students left with a paper that was loaded with post it notes of positive comments about their writing! They felt so proud.  I will definitely do this type of share again.


Hold Your Thinking

15 11 2009


At the beginning of the year, I teach my kids how to “hold your thinking.” This is a strategy that I use to get students into the text that they are reading, and to help improve their comprehension of a passage.  While students are reading, I have them either write in the margin of the piece they are reading, or use post it notes if it is in a textbook or other book they can’t write in ( kids love colored post-it notes, shaped post it notes- anything that is different and cool pulls them in!).

I have them: Ask a question, connect to something that is familiar to them, give their opinion, predict, create a picture of what they see while reading, or make a statement (see the picture of the poster that I made in our room above). I start the  year out, and I model for them how to hold their thinking. Then we practice in class and students show their examples on my Elmo.  We also hold our thinking on almost all the short stories that we read in class together. Students are required to hold their thinking each week with their literature circle book. I also have students hold their thinking with their history textbooks since that can be difficult text to understand and it helps them to stay focused on their reading.  I find that now my students are doing this on their own as a strategy to understand and get through difficult text. I find that hold your thinking  is especially helpful for non-fiction articles and literature circle books.

I also give each student a bookmark that they keep in their textbooks, literature circle  or independent reading book with the hold your thinking statements on them. That way they always have it with them.

I really feel that this is a strategy that students can use to carry over to other subjects and to future years of reading!

%d bloggers like this: