Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sweet Writing! SRSD/Writer's Workshop Awesomeness!

Oh boy! Apparently I took a blogging hiatus and didn't mean to! Oops! I don't know what I've been doing, but summer is already almost over. I got my class list for the new year yesterday. That means it's real. I am so excited for my new class though! There will be lots of changes this year, but I can't wait to see what fun and surprises these changes will bring.

One reason this old blog has been put to the wayside has been this fabulous pack I'm bringing to you today. I am soooo excited about it! It was a TON of work, but I love it!

Let me tell you a bit about why I created it. This summer I was asked to go to a new training. I am going to be a Math and Literacy Trainer for our school this year. I was surprised to find out that most of the training was about writing! Hurray! I LOVE teaching writing! Even better, is that my team has really been struggling with writing. I have been hearing over and over how they would like a writing plan. Well, that day has come! We had been doing Write From the Beginning in the past and weren't in love with it. We felt it was too limiting. I struggled with that myself when I first came to this new school. I love Writer's Workshop, and WftB did not "fit" like I would like it too. Well, I am here to say that I now love SRSD even more because it melds the two programs together. It's the best of both worlds.

SRSD? What in the world is that? SRSD stands for Self-Regulated Strategy Development. Basically, all that to say it is a framework or guide to getting students to be independent writers. Here is a more formal way of expressing that. :) Self-Regulated Strategy Development is an evidence-based pedagogy that helps students improve their writing through strategy and self-regulation. It is a framework that can be used with your existing writing plan to gradually release students to independent writing.

I love it because we can tweak it with what we've been doing and what we'd like to do to make our own program. So, my training partner and I made the program work for us.

SRSD is big on mnemonics, graphic organizers, self-talk, and using texts in writing. Well, we did just that! The only problem was that we didn't love the mnemonics that came with the program. We thought they would be difficult for our 1st graders and where was the cuteness?! So, we fixed that as well. We came up with this!

P.O.W is what they gave us as a mnemonic for the writing process. We liked that and kept that, but changed the other mnemonics to fit first graders. P is for Pull Apart the Prompt or Pick a topic. O is for Organize Your Thoughts and W is for Write It Out.

Then they put that together with the different modes of writing. For example, the mnemonic we were given for Informative writing was POW+TIDE. OK, I get it, but would a first grader? What is a Tide? How does it relate to 6 year olds? The TIDE part was to help them remember the pieces or order of an informative writing piece. So what could we use to help them remember and be something they understood and could relate to? How about POW+PIE! Everyone loves pie! So we chose PIE- P for Purpose, I for Important Details, and E for Ending. All the parts you need for an informative writing piece and it's cute and easy to remember. Once we had pie, we knew we needed to stick to the"sweet" theme. So that's just what we did. We now have PIE for informative, OREO for opinion, and Smore for Narrative. I love it and know the kids will love it even more.

This is a 55 page pack full of everything you will need to introduce and teach the different modes of writing. Look at some of the cute pages!

This is a mini poster (yes, you can blow it up to a regular size poster) for the OREO or Opinion writing.

Here is another poster for Self-talk. Every writer struggles with writer's block, ideas, etc. This poster shows them how to talk themselves through it! 

Here is the Graphic Organizer for the Smore/Narrative writing. 

SRSD is big on giving a pre-assessment and post-assessment to make sure the kiddos are getting all the pieces. This pack includes texts that the student's can read and study to give them the information they need to write an informative piece. The source texts also do double duty because they are written as an example to them of how informative writing should look. Each text also has a prompt so the kiddos know exactly what they should be writing about. Here is an example of the Narrative prompt. For this one, I would use a picture and they would make up a story based on that picture.  

 SRSD emphasizes revision more than editing. Yes, we want them to have capital letters and periods, but to become good writers they need to revise and make better. This page will help them get there. They would write sentences from their graphic organizer onto this page. Then they would go back and revise to make "super-duper" sentences on the yellow line. Then they can easily copy that over to their final draft page.

I am so excited about writing this year. If you are struggling, want a change, or just want to add to your writing time, then please check this out. For those teachers in Tennessee who will be incorporating SRSD into writing, this gives you a good start.

This pack is on sale until school starts for me, so go get it now at a discounted price!

Happy writing!

Be fun and fabulous!

~Mrs. Sweeney

P.S. I plan to add a supplement pack to this with writing activities later, but this will get you started with what you already do.

P.S.S. I hope to get 2 or 3 more different packets on TpT before school starts. Be on the lookout!

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