#sol20- March 10, 2020
Today’s writing lesson was on setting goals. We are in a genre-free unit and the students are busily making plans for their own writing.
“Today we are going to talk about setting new goals in writing,” I began.
“As you know, I am in the midst of two writing challenges- the #100daysofnotebooking and the SOL, so I have some goals that I am working on as I participate.”
“One thing I know I always need to remember is to add small details. I also need to make sure I share not tell. My writing for slices would be better if I added more dialogue.”
“Now something I know is that goals are great, but like most people I find it had to reach my goals if I do not identify steps to make progress.”
We then spoke briefly about goals the third grade writers might have connected to the writing they were planning to do in this unit.
“Now, three goals might feel like a lot, so I want to start with the goal that I think will improve my writing the most and think about steps I can take to make progress,” I said as I quickly wrote my goals on the board.
“I am going to star the goal I think will help me the most. In this case, I think it is to add more small details. Now I need to think of some strategies. One way I can get better at this is to look at mentor texts and keep them nearby when I write to give me great examples. Something else that I can do is make a word bank of words and ideas that I want to include so that I do not forget any of my details. I can do this before I start writing and add on as I go. I also want to make use of my writing partner. I can ask her to help me check for places where she sees that I need to add more small details- especially of action and dialogue.”
As I quickly jotted these notes on the board I saw many heads nodding. We spoke about the reason we should write down goals and plan for steps to achieve them. Then they went off to write their own goals and plans to achieve one first.
Students then went off to write. We ended the session by “shopping” for a new writing partner. I invited students to think about their own strengths and needs in writing and “interview” at least five classmates to see if they would be a good writing partner for them. After a few minutes, they jotted their “matches” on a sticky and I was able to make partnerships based on their input.
Being able to speak about my own goals and how I set steps helped the writers to feel like we are all in this together (because we are!). I was reminded once again of the value of being a teacher who writes (and reminded also that I have to write with my own goals in mind).