Interactive Writing Explained

**Disclaimer–I am SO excited to share this post and have been thinking about the right way to write it for a LONG time!  My kiddos worked SO hard on the writing in this story and are rockstars in my book.  THANKS FOR READING!!**

If you have been here for a while then you know that this year is my first year in first grade in a LONG, LONG time!  I got my start there more than a decade ago, then moved on to work with “big” kids for a while and am back to my roots.  Much has changed, but I’m finding that many things have stayed the same–some things are just good teaching.  Best practice.  Good stuff for kids.  Interactive writing is one of those things.  I learned how to do it back then and am being reminded of it’s importance and power with kids today.  Let me explain. 🙂

First of all a definition: interactive writing is a writing experience (often whole group) where teacher and students “share the pen” to create meaningful text together.  The teacher, using what she knows about students and their current understandings about letters, sounds, words, etc., purposefully chooses kids to add certain parts to the composition, building on their knowledge and helping them make connections to new skills and concepts.  This is not done haphazardly, and is best done with planning ahead of time–although I have had some amazing experiences with IW that happens “on the fly.”  Ideally, the texts you compose together because touchstones for future learning; revising and revisiting are part of the process. Continue reading