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The Best-Kept Teaching Secret

The Best-Kept Teaching Secret
How Written Conversations Engage Kids, Activate Learning, Grow Fluent Writers . . . K-12

November 2013 | 248 pages | Corwin
Your fast-track to student engagement

Everywhere Smokey Daniels speaks, there's one teaching strategy that teachers embrace above all others. That single method for transforming students from passive spectators into active learners . . . for evoking curiosity, inspiring critical thinking, and building powerful writers along the way. Now, that best-kept teaching secret is revealed: Written Conversations. Smokey and coauthor Elaine Daniels describe how to leverage these "silent writing-to-learn discussions" structure by structure

- Mini-memos

- Dialogue journals

- Write-arounds

- Digital discussions

. . . with detailed descriptions, lessons, and annotated student samples—making this the most practical teaching book in recent memory.

Chapter 1. Letters Leverage Learning
A New Old Idea  
Those Letters Are Cute, But . . .  
Kid-to-Kid Letters About the Curriculum  
Meeting the Common Core State Standards With Letters  
Engagement, Best Practice, and Written Conversations  
How the Book Is Organized  
Let the Student Samples Teach You  
Chapter 2. A Community of Correspondents
We've Got Mail  
Back-to-School Letters  
Parent and Kid Letters  
Message Boards  
Classroom Stationery  
Topic Journals  
Classroom and School Mail Systems  
Teacher-Student Friendly Letters  
Student-Student Friendly Letters  
Kid-to-Kid Friendly Letters  
Multi-Age Friendly Letters  
INTERCHAPTER: Prompts and Stems for Written Conversations
Chapter 3. Mini Memos
Quick Look: Exit Notes  
Launching Lesson: Admit Notes  
Morning Message  
General Instructions for Mini Memos  
Start-Up Notes  
Admit Notes  
Writing Breaks  
Exit Notes  
INTERCHAPTER: Is There Time for This?
Chapter 4. Dialogue Journals
Quick Look  
Launching Lesson  
General Instructions for "Live" Dialogue Journals  
Adjustments for "Takeaway" Dialogue Journals  
Teacher-Student Dialogues  
Student-Student Dialogues  
Dialogue Journals Across the Curriculum  
Feedback Loops  
Teacher Response to Student Writing  
Multi-Age Dialogue Journals  
Management Tips for Dialogue Journals  
INTERCHAPTER: The Assessment of Written Conversations
Chapter 5. Write-Arounds
Quick Look  
Launching Lesson  
Drawn Conversations  
General Instructions for a Write-Around  
Silent Literature Circles  
Content-Area Write-Arounds  
Text on Text  
Management Tips for Write-Arounds  
Chapter 6. Digital Discussions
Quick Look: Texted Discussions  
Launching Lesson: Photo Journals  
General Instructions for Digital Discussions  
Lab Letters  
Online Partnerships  
Email and Farewell  
Management Tips for Digital Discussions  
Works Cited

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1. Letters Leverage Learning

Chapter 4. Dialogue Journals

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ISBN: 9781452268637

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