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New Zealand

Do Volume and Stamina Matter?

Which is more important-quality versus quantity?

Well, the answer is both. Quality certainly matters, and that’s why we explicitly teach writing skills and strategies, however quantity is important too.

Lucy Calkins writes, “Success in writing, like success in reading or tennis or swimming, directly relates to the amount of writing and rewriting a person does. This means that day after day, children need to write. They need to write for long stretches of time—for something like thirty or forty minutes of each day’s writing workshop. And it means that volume, stamina and self-sufficiency matter.”

And School learning walks matter too! Learning walks help to create learning communities. Together we look at common learning expectations to create school wide visions and goals.  Learning walks help us see outside of our classroom, and outside of our teams to look at the bigger journey of where our students have come from, and where they are going.

During one of our early faculty meetings, we did our first learning walk of the year, looking at volume and stamina in writing spiraling through the grades. We saw some great celebrations and were left with some interesting wonderings.

As a faculty we walked through the building looking at a slice of writing samples taken from one day. We were looking to see what we do well as a school, and what our next steps were, specifically in the area of Volume and Stamina.

A Slice of Writing-From PreK to Grade Five

A Slice of Writing-From PreK to Grade Five

Here’s what we celebrated:

  • At SAS we value writing. Everyone writes from PK to Grade 5.
  • There was an obvious progression across the grade levels. We notice many craft moves and writing strategies across grade levels.
  • The volume increased through the grades, however each grade level had a wide variety of volume and spread of abilities.

Here’s what we noticed:

  • This is the first time that we have studied student data around Volume. We need to raise our expectations.
  • If we are expecting our students in the upper grades to write more, we need to increase volume expectations beginning in the lower grades as well.

Of course, Volume and Stamina is just a part of the writing process, not to mention the CRAFT of writing! However, what we do know, is that along with generating ideas, revising, and editing, VOLUME AND STAMINA MATTER!

How are you focusing on the WRITING PROCESS in your mini lessons?

3 comments to Do Volume and Stamina Matter?

  • Celia

    Hi there my name is Celia and I am a year 8 student from Our Lady of Fatima school in Christchurch, New Zealand.
    Wow what an amazing blog you have, we would really appreciate it if you could have a look at our blog and write a comment because this week our class goal is to have everyone in the classroom to at least get two people to write a comment on our blog. Here is a link to it
    http://notsuperman.edublogs.org/
    I hope you can have the time to have a look.
    From Celia.

  • stoa

    Thanks for your comment Celia
    1000 views is fantastic…keep up the good work. It’s just the beginning
    Mrs. Toa

  • Caity B

    Dear Literacy Links,

    I did not know kids in PreK wrote because I could only spell my name.I am from Mr. Avery’s class and I can’t believe people write at such a small age.

    From,
    Caitlyn ( from Mr.Avery’s class )

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