A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - Growing Young Writers
What makes teaching writing so important for our K-3 students? In our first lesson, we'll discuss the relevance of writing instruction in early elementary school, and we'll look at some practical ways to grow writers in our classrooms. We'll talk about providing role models and celebration and meeting students at their developmental and skill levels. We'll also visit some classrooms to see how teachers apply these strategies with their students!
Lesson 02 - Growing Talkers
Today we'll look carefully at the connections between oral language and writing. We'll discuss young children's varying literacy experiences at home and how this affects their work when they first enter elementary school; we'll look at specific ways oral language affects writing; and we'll examine strategies for helping students move from oral language to writing. We'll also pop into some K-3 classrooms to visit teachers in action!
Lesson 03 - Growing Scribblers
In this lesson, we'll begin to explore the developmental stages of writing, starting with the scribbling stage and moving on to the letter-like symbols stage. Then we'll visit a kindergarten classroom and a resource room to get some great tips for working with these young writers.
Lesson 04 - Growing Explorers
We'll continue our investigation of the developmental stages of writing today. In this lesson, we'll focus on the strings of letter stage and the beginning sounds stage. This is where students begin to explore writing with confidence, which is why we call these students explorers! And as we did in the last lesson, we'll pop into our kindergarten class and resource room to see how our teachers work with students in these two stages.
Lesson 05 - Growing Risk-takers
What does it mean to be a risk-taker? When it comes to writing, our young risk-takers are ready to make bold choices when they put their pens to the paper. Today we'll look at these two developmental stages: consonants represent words and initial, middle, and final sounds. We'll continue to see students increase their knowledge of sound to letters, learn how to incorporate vowels, and expand the details in their writing. And we'll discuss strategies you can use to help your students achieve this success!
Lesson 06 - Growing Butterflies
Today we'll explore the final two stages of developmental writing: transitional and standard spelling. The standard spelling stage is our goal for all students, although they'll always be works in progress as they move toward this goal. We'll learn ways to grow these budding butterflies, and we'll visit some classrooms to see teachers in action.
Lesson 07 - Writer's Workshop
There are many different ways to hold successful writer's workshops! And this will be our focus for this lesson: examining the writer's workshop as a tool to meet the diverse needs of all of our writers. We'll investigate the three components of a successful writer's workshop: the mini-lesson, writing time, and sharing time. And we'll visit with some of our teachers to see how they implement a writer's workshop and incorporate it into their curriculum!
Lesson 08 - The Six Traits of Writing
What does great writing look like? There's no easy answer to this question, of course. And that's just what we're going to discuss in today's lesson—how to define and teach the traits of great writing. The method we'll review in this lesson is called the six traits of writing. These traits consist of ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. We'll talk about how to teach these skills to writers at every developmental stage—and as usual, we'll visit some classrooms to see our teachers working with this method in action!
Lesson 09 - Conferencing With Students
In this lesson, we'll be discussing writing conferences. We'll talk about the different types of conferences and how to conduct effective conferences with students at varying developmental levels. We'll also examine rubrics and how to use them to assess student writing. And as always, we'll visit some of our writing coaches to see them working with students in action.
Lesson 10 - Navigating Roadblocks
So far, we've talked about the traits of good writing and helping students at different developmental stages. But what do we do to help those students who struggle with some of the physical aspects of writing? In this lesson, we'll talk about navigating roadblocks such as trouble with fine motor skills, posture, and stamina. We'll also discuss specific tactics for reversing letter reversals!
Lesson 11 - Getting Into Genres
Today's lesson is all about genres! We'll look at narrative, expository, procedural, persuasive, and transactional writing. First, we'll discuss how genre study motivates students and increases their writing and reading comprehension skills. Next, we'll carefully examine the components of each genre and how to support our young writers as they write in each of them. And finally, we'll see how our teachers incorporate these genres into their classroom instruction.
Lesson 12 - Teamwork Gets It "Write": Building the Home-School Connection
We're going to spend our final lesson discussing how to work with parents to support their young writers at home. We'll talk about how to have productive conferences with parents about their children's writing, and we'll examine answers to some common (and often tough!) parent questions. We'll also discuss a great activity you can organize for your students and their parents: Family Writing Night!