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When Lucy Calkins wrote the first edition of The Art of Teaching Writing, the writing workshop was a fledgling idea, piloted by a few brave innovators. Now, as she brings us this new edition, the writing workshop is at the foundation of language arts education throughout the English-speaking world. This new edition, then, could easily have been a restatement, in grander, more confident tones, of the original classic. Instead, it is an almost entirely new book.
Clearly, during the time in which Calkins's original ideas have spread like wildfire, her focus has not been on articulating and defending those ideas, but on developing and rethinking them. Respecting and responding to the questions which have arisen as thousands of teachers establish writing workshops in their classrooms, and drawing upon the latest knowledge in the field and her own intimate understanding of classroom life, Calkins has re-thought every line and every facet of her original text.
In this new edition, Lucy has major new chapters on assessment, thematic studies, writing throughout the day, reading/writing relationships, publication, curriculum development, nonfiction writing and home/school connections. More than this, she has deepened her understanding of the writing process itself:
"When I wrote the first edition, I saw writing as a process of choosing a topic, turning the topic into the best possible draft, sharing the draft with friends, then revising it. But I've come to think that it's very important that writing is a process not only of recording, but also of developing a story or an idea. Now, in this new edition, I describe writing episodes that do not begin with a topic and a draft but instead with something noticed or something wondered about. When writing begins with something that has not yet found its significance, it is more apt to become a process of growing meaning."
Making Meaning on the Page and in Our Lives
Tap the Energy for Writing
Rehearsal: Living the Writerly Life
Drafting and Revision: Letting Our Worlds Instruct and Surprise Us
Let Children Show Us How to Teach
Lessons from Children
The Foundation of Literacy: Writing in the Home, the Nursery School, and the Kindergarten
Growing Up Writing: Grades K, l, and 2
In the Middle: Second and Third Grades
Adolescence: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times
Ongoing Structures in the Writing Workshop
Establish a Predictable Workshop Environment
Don't Be Afraid to Teach: Tools to Help Us Create Mini-Lessons
Conferring: Writing Becomes a Tool for Thought
Learning to Confer
Peer Conferring, Response Groups, Share Sessions
Writing Literature Under the Influence of Literature
Publication: The Beginning of the Writerly Life
Apprenticeships in the Writing Workshop: Learning from Authors
Editing: Learning the Conventions of Written Language
Assessment: A Minds-On Approach to Teaching
The Changing Curriculum in a Writing Workshop
A Curriculum Within the Writing Workshop
Poetry: It Begins in Delight and Ends in Wisdom
Making Memoir out of the Pieces of Our Lives
Thematic Studies: Reading the World, Reading the Word
Writing Workshop Teaching in a Larger Context
Writing to Learn Throughout the Day
Workshop Teaching Throughout the Day
The Home/School Connection: Composing Literate Lives in Homes and Neighborhoods
Posted April 24, 2007
Lucy McCormick Calkins¿ The Art of Teaching Writing is an excellent book for any teacher of writing. Not only does she offer insightful ideas to enhance student¿s writing and encourage them to write with confidence, but she also uses real examples she has used in her classroom through lesson plans, strategies, and dialogue. Her tone delivers a fun and relaxed atmosphere that allows the reader to enjoy the book and want to continue. Calkins relates writing to jogging: it should be done every day to be effective. She also stresses very important factors in the writing classroom, such as how crucial it is to make younger students feel special and like real writers, and how the writing workshop should be predictable so children learn to anticipate¿and become better prepared for¿their writing schedules. Her approaches to children build their confidence and self-esteem, and she encourages them to see how fun and creative writing can be. She has a knack for inspiring students suffering from writer¿s block by offering larger audiences for their work, showing students her own writing and creating a tight environment where students can gather and share each others ideas and creations. Also, the most important factor to Calkins regarding writing involves the writer¿s notebook and what it does to open doors for writers of all ages. Students jot down ideas, observations, and thoughts this brainstorming allows them to see many possibilities for future writing projects. Calkins¿ The Art of Teaching Writing inevitably gets 5 out of 5 stars. It is a fun and easy read that offers many insightful ideas that are valuable tools to anyone¿teacher or parent¿who wants to enhance children¿s writing and inspire them to write with skill and confidence.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 7, 2002
Posted December 2, 2000
Lucy McCormick Calkins book provides a fresh approach to teaching writing and includes many basic guidelines that inform the teacher just exactly how writing objectives can best be met. She emphasizes that teaching writing should be practiced as an art rather than as a skill. Her detailed use of a writing workshop is strategic to the overall goal of teaching writing and she gives specific guidlines to teachers on how to set up and develop a curriculum for the writing workshop. Any teacher using this book will find it easily readable and empowering with numerous examples and anecdotes to back up the developments of the writing process. It is a refreshing change from the usual formulated textbook writing style exemplified by authors of today and many teachers and students will constantly grow and learn as a result of Ms. Calkins book. I will definitely use it in my own classroom!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2008
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