Projecting Possibilities for Writers: The How, What, and Why of Designing Units of Study, K-5


"When you create a unit of study, it's tempting to think you know exactly what will happen on day 5, 13, or 18. But you can't know. As soon as a unit starts, we begin making adjustments. This book shares a process for projecting a unit of study so you can make decisions as you respond to students each day."
-Matt Glover and Mary Alice Berry

As a teacher, you value instructional flexibility because, after all, nearly anything can happen-and ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $14.05   
  • New (6) from $20.19   
  • Used (2) from $14.05   
Sending request ...


"When you create a unit of study, it's tempting to think you know exactly what will happen on day 5, 13, or 18. But you can't know. As soon as a unit starts, we begin making adjustments. This book shares a process for projecting a unit of study so you can make decisions as you respond to students each day."
-Matt Glover and Mary Alice Berry

As a teacher, you value instructional flexibility because, after all, nearly anything can happen-and does! Yet you still have to plan instruction that helps your writers meet curricular objectives. Helping you solve this dilemma is what Projecting Possibilities for Writers is all about.

You can't know exactly when in a unit of study students will need extra support or be ready for a particular minilesson. That's why Matt Glover and Mary Alice Berry show how to project rather than plan-to design a sequence of instruction that not only supports deep understanding but gives you the agency to respond to individual needs and meet key writing standards.

Projecting Possibilities for Writers shares how to determine what to teach during a unit, how to teach it, and why to teach it-as well as when to make the crucial adjustments that this flexible approach makes possible. You'll look over Mary Alice's shoulder as she plans a unit for her writing workshop, while "Try It Out" suggestions lead you to project your own units.

Solve the flexibility vs. planning dilemma! Trust Projecting Possibilities for Writers and learn to teach with a roadmap rather than a rigid set of directions as you create learning experiences for classes of individual students with individual needs.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325041926
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 483,683
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Matt Glover is a full time educational consultant and coauthor with Mary Alice Berry of the Heinemann title Projecting Possibilities for Writers. He is the author of the Heinemann title Engaging Young Writers and coauthor with Katie Wood Ray of Already Ready and Watch Katie and Matt…Sit Down and Teach Up, a video enhanced ebook that combines video and text to examine conferring with young writers. A nationally known literacy consultant, Matt is a frequent presenter at conferences and in school districts on topics related to nurturing writers and supporting children's intellectual growth and development. Matt has been an educator for over 20 years, including 12 years as the principal and instructional leader of Creekside Early Childhood School. Matt lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with his wife and four children.

Mary Alice Berry is coauthor with Matt Glover of the new Heinemann title Projecting Possibilities for Writers. She is an experienced early childhood educator with thirty-four years experience. She has worked as a literacy specialist, media specialist, and instructional leader. Currently she is a first grade teacher at Shawnee Early Childhood School in West Chester, Ohio. Inside the classroom, Mary Alice's work focuses on developmentally appropriate practices that foster the intellectual as well as the academic growth of students. Outside, she conducts many literacy workshops and lives in Trenton, Ohio with her husband and two dogs.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

Chapter 1 Responsive Teaching in the Writing Workshop 1

Why Make Adjustments Within a Unit of Study? 2

Chapter 2 Organizing Your Teaching into Units of Study 7

Why Units of Study Matter 8

Types of Units: Genre-Specific and Non-Genre-Specific 9

Why Project Units of Study? 12

Balancing Teacher Direction with Student Inquiry 13

Building Opportunities for Incremental, Individualized Learning Throughout Unit Projection 14

Chapter 3 Projecting a Unit of Study: A Process Overview 16

The Importance of Having a Process 17

Projecting a Unit of Study: The Steps of the Process 17

Working with the Projection Template 21

Chapter 4 What Should I Teach? Choosing Units of Study 24

Critical and Possible Units 24

The Big Picture: What Influences Unit Choice? 27

Making Decisions: Choosing Which Units You'll Teach Across the Year 33

Flexibility is Key 37

Naming Units 40

Chapter 5 Studying Mentor Texts and Projecting Teaching Possibilities 45

Why Study a Stack of Texts? 46

Gathering a Stack 48

Studying Your Texts and Noticing Teaching Possibilities 56

Chapter 6 Determining Primary and Secondary Goals 70

Primary Goals 71

Secondary Goals 74

Determining the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Goals 80

Goals Evolve Throughout the Projecting Process 81

Using Primary and Secondary Goals as the Foundation for Assessment 81

Chapter 7 Projecting Minilessons and Anticipating Issues 89

Projecting Minilesson Topics 90

Writing Conferences 97

Anticipated Issues 98

What's Next? 100

Chapter 8 Responding and Reflecting During and After a Unit of Study 100

Making Responsive Changes Throughout the Unit 110

Reflecting on the Unit 113

Conclusion 128

Appendix A Possible Units of Study 130

Appendix B Unit of Study Projection Template 135

Appendix C Critical and Possible Units of Study 137

Appendix D Resources for Understanding the Qualities of Good Writing 138

Appendix E Resources for Reading Like a Writer 139

Appendix F Celebrations 140

Children's Books Cited 141

Bibliography 142

About the Authors 145

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)