Writing Essentials: Raising Expectations and Results While Simplifying Teaching / Edition 1

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What does great writing instruction look like and sound like?
How do successful teachers of writing get great writers who enjoy writing?
Where do they find the time for instruction, assessment, and test prep?

In Writing Essentials Regie Routman demystifies the process of teaching writing well and gives you the knowledge, research, precise instructional language, and confidence you need to succeed. With Regie's help, you'll transform your classroom into an organized, joyful writing environment where students connect reading with writing every day across the curriculum, learn essential skills like grammar and spelling, and achieve higher scores on high-stakes tests through sensible, writing-based test preparation and daily classroom-based assessment.

Writing Essentials specifically and explicitly demonstrates practical, easy-to-do strategies that turn your writing instruction practices into best practices. Follow Routman's path for successfully leading all students-including English language learners, writers who struggle, and students coping with learning disabilities-from first draft to publication. You'll find expert advice and specific demonstrations on a wide variety of techniques, including:

  • demonstrating your own writing process for students
  • organizing and managing the writing classroom
  • conducting effective, efficient writing conferences
  • creating meaningful rubrics for better assessment
  • teaching various forms of narrative and informational writing-and poetry
  • applying shared writing across the grades and across the curriculum
  • teaching editing and revision
  • mapping out your writing instruction with Regie's own flexible, five-day lesson-planning model.
In addition, Writing Essentials includes a DVD with eight three-to-four-minute video clips from primary and intermediate classrooms that show Regie conferring with writers and celebrating their work as she teaches and assesses. These invaluable clips, and the detailed notes that accompany them, take you inside the writing conference to see its structures and procedures while the sample classroom publications also on the DVD reveal the exciting possibilities of working with student writers.

Writing Essentials is conversational, upbeat, practical, eminently readable, illustrated with a wealth of children's writing, and filled with proven techniques for teaching writing well and managing your instructional time more effectively. With Routman in hand, you'll not only have the inspiration to say "I can do that too," but you'll have first-rate resources and strategies to answer your questions and help make great writing instruction happen in your classroom immediately.

For more information on using the DVD, please click here.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325006017
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 10/26/2004
  • Edition description: BK & DVD
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 97,661
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Regie Routman's intimate knowledge of teaching and learning, down-to-earth style, and dedication to children's success have made her one of the most vibrant and respected names in literacy education. Her books, Teaching Essentials; Writing Essentials; Reading Essentials; Conversations; Literacy at the Crossroads; Invitations; The Blue Pages; and Transitions, all published by Heinemann, have encouraged hundreds of thousands of teachers to take charge of their professional learning and create efficient, joyful practices. Currently she is dedicating herself to a new, dynamic framework to support teachers' professional development. The DVD-based Regie Routman in Residence supports in-depth, yearlong literacy staff development that replicates the demonstration teaching she conducts in weeklong residencies and brings to life the practices she advocates in Teaching Essentials. Regie continues to inform and inspire teachers as a language arts coach in schools across the country, as a speaker at national conferences, and as a presenter of one-day workshops through Heinemann Professional Development.
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Table of Contents

One: The Essential Writing Life Simplify the Teaching of Writing

Why Writing Essentials?

Teach What's Essential

12 Writing Essentials for All Grades

Start with Celebration

Change the Status of Kids in the Classroom

Start with a Story

See What Writers Do Well

Make Enjoyment Central to Teaching Writing-Let the Fun Begin

Share Your Writing Life

Bond as a Staff by Writing Together

Examine Your Life as a Writer

Find Your Own Voice

Two: Teaching Essentials Raise Your Expectations

Change the School Culture of Low Expectations

Nurture and Nudge

Rely on an Optimal Learning Model

Focus on the Writer First

Do More Shared Writing

Apply Principles of Instruction and Learning

Implement Shared Writing

A Framework for a Shared Writing Lesson

Teaching Tips to Go Along with Shared Writing

Use Shared Writing to Do Important Word Work

Observe Shared Writing in Action

Tried and True Ideas for Shared Writing

Capitalize on the Reading-Writing Connection

Link Writing with Reading

Ensure Students Read Quality Materials

Examine Written Responses to Reading

Use Writing to Improve Comprehension

Lesson Snapshot: Summary Writing

Three: The Essential Writing Day Be Efficient and Integrate Basic Skills

Start with Meaning and Keep It Whole

Include Audience in All Writing

Teach Explicitly and Tell Students Why

Take Advantage of the "Efficiency of Context"


Teach Useful Minilessons

A Sampling of Common Minilessons

Teach Students to Care About Revision

Focus on Editing After Students Can Produce Quality Writing

Teach Spelling Well

Use Word Walls and Other Resources Effectively

Provide High-Quality Instruction to Writers Who Struggle

Proven Strategies for Writers Who Struggle-and All Writers

Organize for Daily Writing

Broaden Your Definition ofWriting Workshop

Find Time for Daily Writing

Set Up the Environment for Success

Provide More Choice Within Meaningful Structure

Teach Sensible Planning Strategies

Make Excellent Management a Priority

Put Genre Study in Perspective

A Framework for Teaching Writing Genres

Write and Publish More Short Pieces

Do More Publishing

Conference with Students

Know What a Writing Conference Is

Depend on Whole-Class Share

Tips for Successful Whole-Class Shares and Conferences

Use a Variety of Other Conferences

Simplify Writing Conferences

Put the Writer First

Begin with Content Conferences

What to Focus on in a Content Conference

End with Editing Conferences

What to Focus on in an Editing Conference

Hand Over More Responsibility to Students

Use Language that Signals Students to Take More Responsibility

Make Assessment Count

Become More Knowledgeable About Assessment

Put Rubrics in Perspective

Put High-Stakes Testing in Perspective

Put a Schoolwide Assessment Policy into Practice

Work Toward Student Self-Assessment

Four: Advocacy is Also Essential Build on Best Practice and Research

Advocate for Excellence

Be Knowledgeable About Relevant Research

Some Key Research Findings

Take Responsibility for Becoming an Effective Writing Teacher

Adopt Practices of Highly Effective Teachers

Develop a Schoolwide Vision

Teach Kids to Be Courageous as Writers

Use High Achievement to Promote Best Practice Teaching

Make Every Minute Count

Connect Your Home and School Lives

Secrets of Good Writers

Conserve Your Energy

Important Timesavers

My Best Advice

Live Your Life

Conclusion: Write Your Own Ending

Five: Teaching in Action: Lesson Essentials Five-Day Lesson Plans

Secrets of Second Graders-Narrative Writing Lesson

Heart Poems-Poetry Writing Lesson

Procedural Writing-Informational Writing Lesson

Hero Writing-Lesson

Persuasive Writing-Lesson

Teaching Points: Conference Video Clips

Appendices Examining Beliefs AboutWriting

Communications to Parents Letter to Parents About Raising Expectations (Grade 1) Suggestions for Parents

Writing Forms Understanding Nonfiction Writing History Poetry Writing Rubric Word Work Sentence Worksheet Writing Strengths/Next Steps Writing Rubric

Editing Expectations Grade 2, Editing Expectations Grade 4, Editing Expectations

Genre Characteristics Favorite Poetry Books Weekly Professional Conversation Guidelines

Brief Definitions of Terms




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