Red and Green Markers, Webcast #531

This evening, I went straight to my computer and the WBT website. I started Webcast #531 and there was Coach B with his straightforward advice, “We need to teach each of the tiny skills of writing – isolated.”  Being a fourth grade writing teacher, this simple quote made a great deal of sense to me.  I wrote down all the micro skills on the video and I now can’t wait to start breaking my writing lessons down into micro skills.

I plan to use the red and green markers today in my class. Although Coach B demonstrated red and green markers mostly with writing, I’ll start with context clues in reading, since that is our word work topic today. I also have shared the red and green marker procedure with my grade level colleagues and my principal during a planning session, giving credit, of course, to Coach B and WBT.  We plan to use it with respect to writing complete sentences and topic sentences  on our next Wednesday Writing Day.  We all loved the idea of releasing control of the red and green markers to the students to help them become better self and peer editors.

The paragraph sketching also has me intrigued. As an adult, it’s the way I pre-write, yet I’ve always had my students draw a graphic organizer before actually beginning to organize ideas on paper. I think I’ll simplify this process for my students, and I think they’ll love me for it.

Finally, I love the WBT Super Improvers Wall! For me, it answers the question “How do I get gifted and high achievers to strive for excellence instead of mediocrity?”  Yet it also motivates lower achievers to improve. It will most assuredly increase the level of critical thinking among my students.  As soon as possible, I will get my wall set up. Oh goodness! I wish I had known about WBT this summer. Then I’d have my room all set up by now! I have so much to learn and do with my students!  Thank you WBT and Coach B for adding to my passion for teaching.
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