Friday, April 8, 2016

Writing in Response to Reading

During our 3rd grade common planning time this week, our focus was on writing in response to reading. I had great resources to share with the staff and then Maggie and Kate posted their DIY series second video on this topic and I had to adjust. It was just too good not to share.

DIY Series

Image result for DIY literacy image
This was this group's first experience listening to Maggie (@maggiebroberts) and Kate (@kateteach) speak, and I heard many comments on how engaging the teachers thought Maggie and Kate were and how their explanations were clear and concise. We brainstormed ways we could use their teachings to improve instruction about writing about reading in the classroom. 

My go-to book for my entire teaching career has been:
Image result for guiding readers and writers

Fountas and Pinnell have amassed such fantastic information in this text, and it is always one I return to again and again. 

They say, "Writing about reading is a tool for reflection and as a way to share and explain one’s personal reactions, questions, and interpretations of texts. The writing may range from very brief notes to longer more polished essays. The goal is not to summarize or retell the story in a way to prove they’ve read it but to uncover the meaning of the text and their response to that meaning."

When children write, they can discover more about what they think and feel about a text. It is a tool for reflection and sharing. The primary use is to help individuals become better readers by:
·         Engaging in critical thinking and learning about how to interpret text
·         Connecting reading and writing
·         Developing flexibility in responding and going beyond simple retelling or answering questions
·         Using the notebook to promote and support discussion
·         Formulating thoughtful and personal responses to what they read
·         Responding and reflecting continually during the reading of a text
·         Engaging in meaningful independent work while the teacher works with groups of students
·         Collecting, examining, and using interesting words and language patterns
·         Examining the writer’s craft and recording the techniques they notice for later discussion and use in their own writing
·         Sketching or drawing to express their understanding in images as a support for discussion or writing

Another resource I enjoy using is The Two Writing Teachers blog. It is always relevant to the workshop model, and you can sense the workings of Fountas and Pinnell and also Lucy Calkins in their work.
Writing About Reading (choice)

I feel so fortunate to have these wonderful resources to share with staff to help us all grow professional to improve student achievement.


  1. Thanks for introducing me to Maggie and Kate! Hope you are well!

    1. Hi Amber! Things are well here. I love Maggie and Kate and I preordered their new book, DIY Literacy, that comes out at the end of this month. They are so on point and genuine. See you soon!