Pawsitively Perfect Writing

By on July 9, 2012 in Uncategorized with 15 Comments

I think Writing is almost every teacher’s least favorite subjects to teach.  It seems that no one seems to think that they are a great writer.  Plus, I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to teaching writing.  At my school we use the 6+1 traits to teach writing.  I found, however, that some teachers were struggling with how the traits fit in with the different genres they needed to teach, and the writing process itself.  The teachers knew they needed to be teaching all of those things, but weren’t sure how it all fits together.

I always recommend starting with the genre you need to be teaching and making a plan based on that.  If your ultimate goal is to get students to understand what that genre is, and how to write in that genre, then that needs to be your starting focus.  Then I recommend defining what exactly is going to be written.  For example, you might be working on non-fiction, but it’s important to identify if you’re going to do all non-fiction or just a sub-genre.  For narratives, you would identify if you’re going to do personal narratives, third-person narratives, small moment stories, etc.  Then, you’re ready to plan out your trait minilessons as you work through the process.  For example, you might do voice minilessons while talking about writing a rough draft, and when you’re talking about revising.  You might talk about organization while you’re talking about pre-writing, writing, and revising.

No matter how you teach writing, I think one constant must be there.  The writing process.  Students need to know the stages.  They need to know that rough drafts aren’t supposed to be perfect.  They need to know that real writers write, erase, move, erase, rewrite, erase, over and over again.

I always liked having a board that students used to move through the process.  This gave me a visual of where everyone was at, and it allowed the students to feel like they were moving to the next step.  I created a Pawsitively Perfect Writing set that you can use as a bulletin board to track your students’ progress through the writing process.  You can print the posters and put them on a bulletin board or somewhere along the room.  You can laminate them and have students write their name on which stage they are at.  I also created little bones.  You can glue these to clothespins or attach them to magnet tape and write the students names on them.  The students can clip their pin or move their magnet on the appropriate poster.  You can download the file for FREE by clicking on either of the pictures below.

What is your biggest struggle with writing?  What do you wish you had more guidance on?  

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About the Author

About the Author: Tessa Maguire has blogged for over 3 years. She began blogging about her experiences outside the classroom in instructional coaching and intervention positions. She now shares ideas from both within and outside of her 3rd grade class. .


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There Are 15 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Mom says:

    Thanks for the freebie! My biggest problem in writing is editing. My first graders don't have much success with this step in the writing process. Any tips?

    • Tessa says:

      I usually tried to focus on sentences with my first graders. I had them put the pointer finger of their left hand on the capital and their pointer finger on the right hand on the punctuation. I then had them read the whole thing out loud. This usually helped them decide what was a sentence. I hope this helps!

  2. Lisa R. says:

    This is adorable Tessa! My students have the hardest time with editing also. They don't understand that it's okay to go back and make changes and add to their writing. It's often a tedious process. Thanks for the freebie!
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  3. Nicki says:

    I awarded you with The Versatile Blogger Award! Check it out here:

  4. Thank you! I absolutely love the "Pawtastic" idea! What a fun way to make teaching the writing process fun and cute!
    I agree, it is all about a great foundation of teaching the process of writing. It is amazing the difference in writing I see when I walk through classrooms of teachers who have vs have not made this a priority.
    Thank you for this great resource. My team will love this!


    I do, We Do, You Do!

  5. April Walker says:

    I had a similar board in the past, but this is a super cute way to do it. I agree that even older students struggle with editing or even getting started.
    The Idea Backpack

  6. A M Smith says:

    Love this, Tessa!!! Wow, pretty darn generous of you to share for free!!!!! Thanks so much. The Dog LOVER in me will definitely ENJOY using this!!!

    Ann Smith @ Innovative Connections

  7. A M Smith says:

    p.s. My struggle? Getting students to give each other GOOD, Valuable REVISION suggestions!

    • Tessa says:

      Yeah, I think that's hard for kids. I think it's even hard for adults. Most of my minilessons about it have focused on sentence fluency and word choice.

  8. I look forward to having my own classroom where I can use these. I'm currently student teaching. Thanks so much for sharing!

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