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Citation: Calkins, Lucy. (2005). Big Lessons from Small Writers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. (DVD).

Title: Big Lessons from Small Writers
Year: 2005
Publisher: Heinemann
City: Portsmouth, NH
Medium: DVD
Author(s): Calkins, Lucy
Grades: Kindergarten to Second Grade
Category: Responding to and Publishing Writing Teaching the Writing Process Minilessons Writing Conferences Units of Study for Writing
Annotation: This tool is a “must” for every school and every primary writing teacher as valuable modeling for you in your professional learning as you learn “big lessons from small writers.” Teachers deserve to see what solid writing mini lessons and conferences look and sound like in order to develop their own. Lucy Calkins and her colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project developed this DVD that can provide the perfect resource for primary teachers who are using the Units of Study for Primary Writing. Coaches will find this DVD is an invaluable professional development tool for use in small study groups for analyzing lessons and conferences, and for supporting teachers in evaluating their own practice. Even those of you who do not use the Lucy Calkins units will love viewing this DVD and learning alongside the master teachers. The DVD includes 13 conferences, one small group lesson, one share session, two examinations of student writing, and five minilessons. There are two formats for viewing the DVD. You can watch the video clip by itself, or you can watch and listen to a commentary by Lucy in which she coaches you through the rationale for the instruction, names the specific teaching moves, and reflects on her reasoning for those moves. Even if you have read about the “architecture” of a minilesson (connection, explicit teaching, active involvement and link to independent work), the power of effective minilessons will come alive for you and your colleagues as you watch a few of these video segments. Lucy’s predictable conference structure of “research, decide, and teach” is clearly evident in each of her conference clips.