Do you ever find that your kids don't know the difference between elaboration and revision? Sometimes it's like that movie Memento in my classroom--we go to write a new piece, begin a new unit, etc., and it's as if we are starting from ground zero. Like nothing ever happened before. This week, it was time to stop and take stock of some of the elaboration techniques we've worked on, and for a little reminder that we don't just wait for the revision stage in our process to utilize these strategies--we always have them in our toolbox. Here's what we came up with yesterday (Note--these are specifically for expository writing since that has been our focus this year.):
The degree to which internal thoughts and feelings are flowing varies with the child--those who tend to be less introverted tend to be the ones who use these techniques naturally, so it has been important to zoom in on those introverts to get them to talk/write about their thinking and feelings to enhance their work. Anecdotes are grooving along, and this group is doing much better than I'm used to when it comes to using dialogue as a condiment, not a meal.
All in all, I'm happier with where I am with writing this year than I was last year at this time. Research writing will be next, so, in anticipation, we've started thinking about ways to choose topics:
So, lots going on with reading and writing. That said, the most important work right now is the work of making Christmas super awesome for my family. Kristine called it the December Blitz. I concur.