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The Importance of Modeling: Teachers as Writers Presented by Stacie Noisey. July 28, 2011 IWP Summer Leadership Institute. Inspiring…. continuous learners. responsible, caring citizens. In a global community. Enduring Understanding.

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The Importance of Modeling: Teachers as Writers Presented by Stacie Noisey

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The Importance of Modeling: Teachers as WritersPresented by Stacie Noisey

July 28, 2011

IWP Summer Leadership Institute


continuous learners

responsible, caring citizens

In a global community

Enduring Understanding

  • The act of modeling sends powerful messages about a teacher’s beliefs and practices.

Essential Questions

How does modeling the writing process help students as writers?



Today’s TargetsParticipants will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of modeling the writing process

  • Describe key aspects of model the writing process

  • Identify ways to increase modeling their classrooms


  • Six word memoir: In six words introduce yourself to the group. Include as much information as you can.

Ties to the Common Core

  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing

    • Production and Distribution of Writing

      • 5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

        ALL K-5 strand 5 standards begin with the stem:

        • With guidance and support from adults…

Practice What You Preach

  • “In regular practice and behavior, the teacher is a model of thoroughness, or self-evaluation, or courtesy, or whatever else is expected of students.”

    ( Saphier, Haley-Speca, Gower,2008)


  • Think, Pair, Share

    • How do you use modeling think alouds in the writing class?

Who Says Modeling Is a Good Idea?

  • Beth Davey, is credited in 1983, for an article in Journal of Reading which shows how the think aloud technique of modeling can be used to teach reading comprehension strategies.

  • Other researchers published similar work on using the think aloud model for reading instruction e.g. Clark, 1984; Meichenbaum, 1985.

  • In 1983, Donald H. Graves writes about modeling in Writing: Teachers and children at work.

  • In 1986, Lucy Calkins includes modeling as a protocol during the mini-lesson in her text, The Art of Writing.

  • Nancy Atwell joined the ranks in 1987 with In the Middle, in which the idea of modeling is integral throughout the writing process.

The Importance of Modeling

  • Writing instruction has to come during the writing process, not after.

  • You must show students your process

  • Make your thinking visible

  • You don’t need to be perfect

  • (Kittle, 2008)

Gradual Release of Responsibility

  • Instruction should be scaffolded to meet the students’ needs.

  • GRR allows students multiple attempts before they go solo.

  • Good instruction takes time.

    *See rubric on purpose and modeling.


“I do it”

Focus Lesson

Guided Instruction

“We do it”

“You do it



“You do it




A Structure for Instruction that Works

(c) Fisher & Frey, 2006

Modeling and Purpose

  • Purpose is intentional and based on formative assessments

  • Lessons contain guided, collaborative, and independent tasks

  • Students can explain the purpose in their own words (student friendly targets)

  • Teacher provides an authentic model

  • Students use strategies that were modeled

Modeling Think Aloud

  • Internal dialogue made external

  • Asking yourself questions

  • Weighing alternatives and using criteria to choose

  • False starts and self-correcting

  • Persistence

    *See handout for step-by-step directions.

    ( Saphier, Haley-Speca, Gower,2008)

Model All Phases of the Writing Process

  • During the pre-writing process teachers can use think aloud to model the strategies writers use to get the process started by brainstorming ideas or demonstrating use of a writer’s notebook.

Model All Phases of the Writing Process

  • During the drafting process, teachers can model by drafting in front of the students

Model All Phases of the Writing Process

  • During the revision process, teachers can model how to ask questions and think about audience, purpose and craft.

Model All Phases of the Writing Process

  • During the editing process, teachers can model how to use mechanics and conventions to help readers understand the message


  • Give One, Get One, Move On

    • On a sheet of paper write ideas from today’s presentation that you learned, inspired you, or validated your practice.

    • Stand up and move around.

    • Compare notes with other participants.

    • Add one of their ideas to your paper and share one of your ideas with them.

    • Move on to the next person and do the same thing.

Professional Literature:Modeled Writing

  • Atwell, N. (1987). In the Middle. New Hampshire: Heinemann.

  • Calkins, L. (1986). The Art of Teaching Writing. New Hampshire: Heinemann.

  • Davey, B. (1983). Think-aloud: Modeling the cognitive processes of reading comprehension. Journal of Reading, 27(1), 44-47.

  • Fisher,D. & Frey, N. (2007). Scaffolded Writing Instruction: Teaching with a gradual-release framework. New York: Scholastic.

  • Graves, D. (1983). Writing: Teachers and children at work. New Hampshire: Heinemann.

  • McCarrier, A., Pinnell, G. S., & Fountas,I. (2000). Interactive Writing. New Hampshire: Heinemann.

  • Routman, R. (2005). Writing Essentials. New Hampshire: Heinemann.

  • Saphier, J. Haley-Speca, M.A., & Gower, R. (2008). The Skillful Teacher, 6th ed. Massachusetts: Research for Better Teaching.

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