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

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

by Matt Glover, Mary Alice BerryMatt Glover
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"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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780325041926
Publisher: Heinemann
Publication date: 08/28/2012
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 7.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 5 - 10 Years

About the Author

Matt Glover has been a teacher, principal, and consultant for over 30 years. He is the author and co-author of many Heinemann titles including I Am Reading, Engaging Young Writers, Projecting Possibilities for Writers, Already Ready, and Watch Katie and Matt…Sit Down and Teach Up, a video- enhanced ebook. Matt was also co-editor with Ellin Oliver Keene of a best-selling collection of essays, The Teacher You Want to Be. An international literacy consultant, Matt frequently speaks on topics related to nurturing writers of all ages, early reading, and supporting children's intellectual development.

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.

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

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