Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Traits Tuesday

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Happy First Day of School! I'm linking up with Hoots N' Hollers for their Traits Tuesday Linky!   I teach with the 6 Traits of Writing and so I'm really excited to see what others have to say in this link up.

If you don't know what the 6+1 Traits are, I strongly suggest you click here to read about it.

Why do I teach with the Traits?  It works perfectly with the B.C. Curriculum.  Students get it.  It breaks the writing process down into steps we can layer up all year.  That means writing doesn't seem like such a large task.  And that means, kids will usually write more because they feel a whole lot less overwhelmed.  Sounds pretty good to me!



Here is a picture of my writing board in my classroom.  A large portion of it is taken up by my 6 Traits checklist.  You don't need to have a board dedicated to the Traits if you teach with the Traits.  I do for two reasons:
1) I have the space.
2) It serves a giant checklist students can self assess their writing on that builds through the year as we learn new elements.
You'll often hear me say "just because we are working on -----, don't forget all the other pieces we already know".  A quick scan of the back board and students know exactly what I'm looking for in their writing.


Why does it say "Use your writing VOICES?".  Well, VOICES is an acronym for the Traits.
V- Voice
O- Organization
I - Ideas
C- Conventions
E- Excellent Word Choice
S- Sentence Fluency

They are now promoting 6+1 Traits and the +1 is Presentation.  That didn't make it to my board.... but we do discuss it often.

Okay, the point of this Linky was to talk about Must Have Resources. So, here goes:
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"Using Picture Books to Teach Writing With the Traits" is an excellent resource.  Even though I teach grade 4, I still use it.  They give you a scripted lesson plan for every trait as well as several other picture books that fit the trait and how you could use them to inspire writing.  I use their examples and then extend on it for my bigger kids.

Here is my favourite picture book for for each trait:
Voice

The story of the 3 Little Pigs told through the Wolf's perspective.  Gives students a chance to think about the other side of things, and, it's funny.
Organization
Or any of the "If you Give a..." books.  I love how they are cyclic.  You really have to think ahead to write one of these stories.  Good cause and effect too.
Organization
Okay, I picked two for organization.  Scaredy books are organized in a different way.  I love all the charts and diagrams. 
Ideas
This book is a favourite for many reasons.  It is so touching.  The boy in this story is searching for the answer to what a memory is.  So many beautiful answers are given to him. 
Conventions
This book uses two words.  Yo! and Yes?  You can talk about how the punctuation helps imply more language than is given.  I also like to teach inferring with this book.
Excellent Word Choice
Max collects words.  Although some of his words are basic, he collects some powerful ones as well.  The author uses descriptive language throughout this book.
Sentence Fluency
I like to teach sentence fluency with poetry, because Jack's poems have such a good flow.  They just roll off your tongue when you read them.  And, they are hilarious. 

Okay, there you go.  Hope you were inspired! Follow my blog with Bloglovin

2 comments:

  1. Hello, Hello, Fellow 4th Grade Teacher!!

    I'm eagerly awaiting the new September Currently and have been checking out other 4th grade teachaz from Farley's August Currently! Your blog looks so cute and I LOVE Jon Scieszka's True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! Must-have!! Come check out my blog when you have a chance - so glad I found your blog and best wishes on a FAB school year!
    :)
    Your newest follower-
    Antonia @ <a href="http://msrivas.blogspot.com>forkin4th</a>

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  2. This is a great resource! Courtney and I both have this one. Thanks so much for sharing it and some great mentor texts as well. It's a pleasure to have you as part of the linky!

    Smiles,
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

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