Interactive Writing Book Study Ch 1 & 2

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Interactive Writing Book Study Ch 1 & 2! Let's look at the book Interactive Writing Across the Grades as part of our blog book study. See how to engage young writers through explicit writing instruction.

Interactive Writing Book Study Ch 1 & 2

July 2 Deedee 3 min read

Interactive Writing Book Study Ch 1 & 2! Let's look at the book Interactive Writing Across the Grades as part of our blog book study. See how to engage young writers through explicit writing instruction.

Interactive Writing Book Study Ch 1 & 2! Let’s look at the book Interactive Writing Across the Grades as part of our blog book study. See how to engage young writers through explicit writing instruction.  You can view this professional read on Amazon by clicking HERE (affiliate link).

What is interactive writing?

Interactive writing is a method of teaching writing that was originally deployed in primary classrooms to support emergent writers.  The authors of this book have written this brilliant book to certainly address this approach in the primary grades, but they have also introduced us to the power of interactive writing with upper elementary students.  I love what they say in the introduction, “a small practice with big results.”

On page 3, the authors go on to say, “The ‘interactive piece’ involves group collaboration in planning and composing the writing through guided conversations and a unique ‘sharing the pen’ technique where students do the actual writing.”

Here are some of the components the book highlights:

  • Students write about the experiences they all have shared in.   It might be a book, a field trip, a subject of study (like science or social studies), or fun classroom activity.
  • The teacher teaches about craft and conventions with every piece.
  • The writing that is done is well structured from beginning to end.
  • A variety of writing forms is produced.
  • The teacher selects words that will improve meaning and strengthen vocabulary.
  • Sentence variation is introduced so the complexity of the writing is developed.
  • Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are conventional.
  • Layout issues are reinforced:   neat handwriting,  concepts around print (spacing), editing and corrections occur immediately, and illustrations elevate the writing.
  • The text is written at a level that is grade level appropriate.

Here is an example of the interactive writing we did in my classroom in response to the book The Snowy Day.  This is part of our Guiding Readers units.  These daily interactive writing opportunities are perfect since they center around a shared experience.  In this case, our close reading!

Interactive Writing Book Study Ch 1 & 2! Let's look at the book Interactive Writing Across the Grades as part of our blog book study. See how to engage young writers through explicit writing instruction.

I loved all the grade level examples that were shared on pages 6-13!  I am always asking myself, “What does this look like in kindergarten?”  The authors must know me well because the examples and analysis are so helpful!

Why we teach interactive writing?

The authors share their feelings on the importance of writing instruction in the introduction.  WRITING IS IMPORTANT.  Unfortunately, many schools and classrooms are not dedicating instructional time to explicit instruction.   They continue on to say, “Interactive writing is an instructionally rich teaching practice linked to stronger independent writing.  It is systematic (though not scripted!) and follows a predictable routine.”

The components of interactive writing.

Chapter 2 walks us through the various components of interactive writing.  Page 16 has a fantastic table that is a quick reference.

Interactive Writing Book Study Ch 1 & 2! Let's look at the book Interactive Writing Across the Grades as part of our blog book study. See how to engage young writers through explicit writing instruction.

Besides this table, the authors go into greater detail on each of these components:

  • Experience
  • Prewrite
  • Compose
  • Share the pen
  • Review
  • Extend

You can read more about these ideas on pages 17-18.

Interactive writing within a literacy framework

Interactive writing sits in between the gradual release of responsibility model. 

Modeled Writing:  Teacher does

Interactive Writing:  Teacher and student do

Independent Writing:  Students do.

The authors go on to say,  “Although it yields big results in students’ independent writing, interactive writing is no meant to be the sole form of writing instruction.  Ideally, it works best when nested between and among other modeled, shared and independent writing experience.” p. 23

You can read a post about Balanced Literacy by clicking HERE.

Interactive Writing Book Study Ch 1 & 2! Let's look at the book Interactive Writing Across the Grades as part of our blog book study. See how to engage young writers through explicit writing instruction.

Next week, we will look at chapters 3-5!  Please feel free to share your thoughts on chapters 1-2.  If you have created a blog post with your reflections, I would love to read it, so feel free to add a link to your post in the comments.  Talk to you next week!

Catch up on this book study!

If you are just getting started on this book study… no fear.  You can catch up on all of the chapters by clicking on the links below

You can find this book on Amazon by clicking HERE. (affiliate)

Interactive Writing Book Study Chapters 1 & 2

Interactive Writing Book Study Chapters 3 to 5

Interactive Writing Book Study Chapters 6 to 8

Interactive Writing Book Study Chapters 9 & 10

 

 

 

4 Comments

  • Sandi July 5 at 5:51 am

    I am sad that I still have no shipping date from Amazon. Ugh! They are usually so good.

  • Amy Renick July 7 at 10:00 am

    This is a wonderful book! I love the concrete examples of using interactive writing across subjects. I teach First Grade and am excited about using Interactive Writing in a variety of ways this coming school year.

  • Sandi July 18 at 9:18 am

    As a K teacher I am not a stranger to interactive writing (share the pen), but as I read through the Intro and Chapters 1 & 2, I realized I could be much more purposeful and explicit in this practice. I love that the authors provide a framework to follow (without a script) and stress that interactive writing is one piece of a balanced literacy program.

    For my kinders I can see that interactive writing provides a safe environment to take risks as a young writer. Everyone can successfully engage by sharing their thoughts and the pen. Everyone’s part of a bigger whole. That’s powerful for littles who may feel isolated and lost as they work independently on their writing, facing that “blank page”.(Katie Wood Ray) The authors reference the “safe environment” at the end of ch. 2 when speaking of ESL students. K’s face similar issues.

    On page 19 a teacher shares- “I like that my students experience writing from the beginning to the end of the process.” I agree. I can see that interactive writing could allow K’s to participate in editing for content, conventions, word choice, spelling, etc. in a real piece of writing, but in that “safe environment”. For K’s it’s not a matter of teaching these skills to mastery, but a daily exposure to this editing and thinking would begin to build a foundation of awareness of these writing skills and expectations. Students will take from it what they can according to where they are developmentally.

    My last thought is- how great are these interactive writing pieces displayed in the classroom going to be for encouraging and empowering young readers/writers!?! I can see my kids “reading the room” with great confidence and a wonderful sense of ownership.

    • Deedee July 18 at 10:42 pm

      I totally agree, Sandi!!! AND Yay! You got your book!

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    My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching to different age groups and in different classroom environments. My heart belongs to early childhood education and I love working with other teachers who share this same love as me. Read More

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