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The story of the bookInteractive Writing Across the Grades: A Small Practice with Big Results, PreK-5begins over twenty years ago when Kate Roth was a new teacher. She was trying different methods of instruction to help her first graders learn to read and write. At that time, Irene Fountas was the literacy coordinator in her school. She was advocating that teachers incorporate a relatively new method called interactive writing. Together Irene and Kate taught interactive writing lessons in Kate’s classroom, and Kate was hooked from the beginning. “I loved the energy of the lessons, the way I was pulling together my entire literacy curriculum in every interactive writing session, the opportunity to reach so many students at different levels while creating a community of writers, and the rich and authentic products we created.”
Throughout the next several years, Kate implemented interactive writing on a daily basis with her primary grade students in both urban and suburban classrooms. It became one of the core teaching practices in her class. During this time she also trained as a Reading Recovery teacher. “The more I learned about students’ literacy development and how assessment informs good instruction, the more I was convinced of the power of this practice to help improve students’ independent writing.”
When Kate pursued her Doctorate in Language and Literacy at Harvard University, her research focused on interactive writing in the primary grades. She was thrilled, although not surprised, that her research findings confirmed her classroom experience: interactive writing is a powerful method for improving children’s independent writing.
These results fueled Kate’s decision to refine and expand her understanding of interactive writing through additional action-research and coaching both in the United States and China, where she lived for over five years with her family. During this time she wrote articles for professional journals, presented on interactive writing at conferences, and published twenty books for children on how to write as part of the Language Arts Explorer Junior series. Her passion, however, was and continues to be supporting teachers in all elementary grades as they take on this practice in their own classrooms.
Kate now lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children.
When done on a regular basis, interactive writing has the potential to improve independent writing. Authors Kate Roth and Joan Dabrowski detail how this systemic approach can be applied in Interactive Writing Across Grades: A Small Practice with Big Results, PreK-5. Interactive writing harnesses the natural interactions teachers have with their students as they compose a writing piece. It allows for real-time differentiation and tailored scaffolding. This method fits within any basal writing curriculum and can be adapted to your classroom’s technology levels.
This book acts as a how-to guide that unpacks this powerful method, going step-by-step and grade-by-grade to figure out where and how interactive writing fits within your literacy framework. Inside you’ll find:
A complete overview of the interactive writing method and how it fits into your balanced literacy program
Concrete ways to launch interactive writing in your classroom to support both process and craft instruction
Step-by-step guidance to implement the method with students of all ages
Student examples of writing from grades Pre-K through 5 to show what to expect at each phase of the process
“Listen in on a Lesson” vignettes that demonstrate the type of scaffolding you can offer during interactive writing lessons
Discover what makes interactive writing a particularly effective teaching practice that can support both emergent and fluent writers. Interactive Writing Across Grades can help put this method to work in the classroom immediately.
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion