Hi Beth! Everything you do is so inspiring and I truly value your ideas, so I'm going to tap into them. I teach 4th grade in Michigan and we are in our second year teaching the Calkins units. We spent a few years teaching our own workshop prior to this. One thing we have found is that we feel like students are not producing as much writing as they used to. Do you find that? They seem to spend the entire unit working on one, maybe two pieces of writing. We also have a few students every unit who are not finished with their published piece by the Publication Celebration. Any tips for that? Also, what do you do about students who don't try the strategies such as the timeline, story arc, 2-3 different leads, etc. Do you penalize them? Our writing notebook rubric penalizes them for not trying these things. I noticed your post about not having rules about writing in the Calkins unit. I wonder if I am enforcing too many rules... Finally, as students progress through the units, they end up in different stages of the writing process. So my mini-lesson may be on bringing out the heart of the story, but during independent writing that day, some are still planning, others are already revising, etc. It becomes difficult to have them practice it that day. Most tend to forget about it and not do it if they don't do it right then, that day. Just some kinks I'm trying to work out!!!
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