Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Writer's Workshop: The Writing Cross Check

I love this quote about writing from Maya Angelou.
Third grade is an exciting year to teach writing.  Kids are just starting to get a sense of how powerful their writing can be. If we allow them the opportunity,  their deepest thoughts, feelings, dreams and fears will come spilling out onto the paper. I  remember standing behind a student writer whose mother had died a few years earlier.  Students were given the task of writing about their most prized possessions. Kids around him were writing about stuffed animals, video games and footballs. This little boy wrote about a box his mother had given him before she died. Oh my goodness, I still hurt for him and the tears still well up in my eyes today. Powerful stuff for the writer and the reader.  I don't think there is any part of our school day that allows students to be as expressive and as creative as time devoted to writing.
If we set up the right atmosphere for writing, students will very willingly write VOLUMES.
So early in the first weeks of school we set up and go over how to use our writing office.
We create a special folder to store our writing.
We go through the traits of writing and what a writing rubric is.

We also go over the writing cross check.  We do many shared writing pieces during the early weeks of school.  After each one I will model the cross check and we will analyze the writing together using this approach.  I want to get them to the point where I will just say or ask....Cross Check  and they will know what that entails. I wanted to add this to my writing folder so I made up a document and am offering it free at my TPT store. 
Click the link below if you are interested in a free download:

How do you foster independence in the writing process?  I would love to hear!  Please share!


  1. I foster independence by modeling, modeling, modeling and then gradual release of responsibility! THANKS FOR SHARING your strategies :-) Smiles and stop by anytime!

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  4. I love the idea of calling it a writing office. It makes their independent writing work sound all the more important that it already is. What all do you include on the "walls" of the writing office? Do you have pictures of your posters for the other traits of writing anywhere in your blog? I would love to see them.


  5. I just downloaded the Writer's Cross Check on TpT - thanks so much! I wanted to ask about the writing traits and rubrics you referred to in your post. Are these available anywhere? The picture you have on Sentence Fluency has such kid friendly language. Would love to know where I could find it. Please email me at JWtchr@comcast.net with any info you might have. Thanks!

  6. Haven't downloaded your package yet. But I will say this is very good. Thanks for sharing! 5 bow ties!

  7. If all of this sounds intensive for the instructor and the student, that’s because it is.online proofreading