Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Book Study! {Chapter 5, Chapter 6, & Chapter 7}

If y'all follow me on Facebook or Instagram {which I hope you do- go  check them out!} you know that I've been in the process of moving from Spain back to the States.  Before this, my good teacher friend from Colorado was visiting me in Spain.   Sooo, life has been fairly busy.  BUT- I've been following along and reading 100 Minutes.  Even if my activity on this lil ol blog has been next to nothing. And tomorrow is the start of Catherine's book club, reading Reading in the Wild.  So much reading and love for this teacher's soul.

Are you reading 100 Minutes?  It's been a great experience for me; challenging me to think differently.  Chapters 5, 6 symbolize the start of Part III:  Writing, Reflecting, and Feedback.  Whoa-  three hugely important tasks of any writing class.  Chapter 5 and 6 focus on "how do we help our students develop a repertoire of approaches to writing that are comparable to reading strategies?"  (p74).  Writing and Reading go hand in hand but I had never thought about teaching strategies for tackling writing.  I am anti-gimicks in writing.  What does that mean, exactly?  Well, I am not a fan of teaching abbreviations or "tricks".  They get confusing {especially for kids who move around} and I don't think they can beat just good ol' writing lessons spent studying what great writers do.  That's my method.  The "secret" to teaching reading and writing.  I learn best.  Am I an expert writer- absolutely NOT- but for all intended purposes, I can serve as one for my little writers.  And THAT'S how we can teach these great strategies... by serving as the model.  Writing and struggling and editing and thinking right there in front of our writers.  It's not perfect, but neither are they and they should know writing isn't perfect.  It's an experience.  An art form.  And something to be treated very very specially.
And in all honesty, that's how

Last year I was lucky enough to travel to Denver to hear THE Lucy Calkins speak.  It was amazing, thought provoking, and encouraging.  I may have sat in the front row and everything.  But she mentioned that in order for students to become real writers, they must be writing daily and for extended periods of time.  They must be producing multiple writing pieces every WEEK.  Not every month or year, but every WEEK.  And Lisa speaks to this as well, stating "In order for students to become good writers, they need frequent opportunities to write for various purposes and audiences.  Through these writing experiences, they learn how to vary their writing style, organization, and voice to suit the purpose and audience for their writing." (79)  Frequent.  The key word.  Sure, I can tell me students 45,613,639 times that they need to write to a specific audience, but that won't teach them how to do it.  I love that Lisa provides many ideas and techniques for drawing out passionate writing in chapter 6.  It touches on what Catherine for Brown Bag Teacher did to motivate her students.  LOVE

Chapter 7 kind of switches gears and moves on to the foundation of independence.  I love how Lisa discusses the importance of independent time mixed with specific and purposeful {two words that I love that Lisa loves to use} instructional time.  In this chapter, Lisa shares how her AWARD time {or workshop time, in my mind} is used to benefit readers and writers.  Again, she paints this picture of peace and tranquility where students are working on different things, really being readers and writers.  Want to know more? Go grab the book!


There are a few guidelines that Lisa Donohue and her publisher have asked that people follow.
Please read through these carefully. 


  • Anything created for 100 MINUTES should be shared for free. 

  • Anything created and shared based on 100 MINUTES should include a disclosure statement  "Adapted from 100 MINUTES and not endorsed by Lisa Donohue." 

  • Please cite the complete publication information:  "100 MINUTES, (2012), Donohue Lisa, Pembroke Publishers" in order to make it easier for others to find the book.


  1. Another great post! Thanks for the link to The Brown Bag Teacher...I hadn't discovered her blog before and look forward to look through it more.
    Thinking of Teaching

  2. I just found your blog and am so excited about ordering the book!! I've ordered the 100 minutes via amazon so hopefully it will get here soon :)
    Learning with Mrs. S