Thursday, November 29, 2012

Writing With Lucy

I have a few important people to thank for inspiring me to become a better writing teacher.  First, there's Regie Routman.  I love to sing her praises.  It's safe to say I want to be like her when I grow up.  Lucy Calkins is right up there as well.  I'd been using a writing workshop format in my classroom before I found her, but her Units of Study for Primary Writing: A Yearlong Curriculum K-2 tightened things up and lifted the level of writing in my class several notches.  Thank you Lucy.  (Click on the orange words to read more about her Units of Study.)

Come to find out, she's just like you and me.  Her way of thinking about teaching and learning is in a constant mode of change and improvement too.  Over the summer I came across her downloadable curricular plan for 1st grade writing workshop.  (She's written them for K-8).  She updates her units annually to reflect latest research and best teaching practices.  How did I not know about this before?  

(Click on the picture for more info.)

Thanks to a teacher friend, I have my own copy now.  Here's an overview of the units Lucy's curricular plan recommends for 1st grade.  Those of you familiar with Lucy's units will see some changes.  I can definitely see the Common Core's influence:

  • Launching with Small Moments
  • Writing for Readers
  • Realistic Fiction
  • Procedural Writing: How-To Books
  • Opinion Writing: Persuasive Letters and Speeches
  • Authors as Mentors: Craftsmanship and Revision
  • Informational Books
  • Cross-Genre Writing Projects
  • Informational Writing about Science
  • Poetry: Powerful Thoughts in Tiny Packages

I'm not about programs, but I do agree with Lucy's pedagogy and way of teaching writing.  If you're looking to become a better writing teacher and see the level of writing lifted a few notches in your room, which the Common Core expects, I'd recommend looking into Lucy's Units of Study as well as her yearly updated curricular plans.  She knows what she's talking about.

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  1. I love Lucy, too! I have her writing units of study kit as well. I also love Regie Routman. I have most of the books she's written. I want to be like them when I grow up, too!!!
    Connie Anderson:)

    1. Connie, I'm not surprised that you are good friends with Lucy and Regie. Talk about great pedagogy!

  2. I feel the same way about Lucy and Regie! I shy away from "programs" but this looks like a wonderful teaching strategy for keeping me accountable! I'm going to check this out. Thanks for sharing!
    Owl Things First!

    1. Jenny, I'm pretty much anti-program, but Lucy's curriculum is right on. As with anything, you modify and make it your own but what a great foundation. Let me know if you check it out.

  3. I have been wanting to take a look at her Units of Study! Need to put that on my list to get for my room!
    Conversations in Literacy

    1. Lori, it's really really good. Your teachers might take a liking to it as well.