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Bonnie Campbell Hill Award Recipients

2015 WA State Literacy Leader Award
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2015 National Teacher Leader Award
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to download the application form.

Citation: Cruz, Colleen M. (2008). A Quick Guide to Reaching Struggling Writers, K-5. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Title: A Quick Guide to Reaching Struggling Writers, K-5
ISBN:
ISBN-13:
Edition:
Year: 2008
Publisher: Heinemann
City: Portsmouth, NH
Medium: Book
Author(s): Cruz, Colleen M
Calkins, Lucy
Grades: Kindergarten to Fifth Grade
Categories: Struggling Writers
Annotation: Colleen Cruz begins her book, stating, “This book is not about those temporary sputters and stalls that happen to all of us. This book is about those students who are stuck all the time” (p. xi). As part of Lucy Calkins’ “Quick Guide” series by Heinemann, this tiny book (the size of a big index card) only took me an hour to read, but I picked up lots of helpful information. Colleen provides six chapters on the most common reasons that writers struggle:

“I’m not a good writer.”
“My hand hurts.”
“I don’t know how to spell.”
“I never have anything to write about.”
“I never get to write anything I want to write.”
“I’m done.”

Colleen writes with the assumption that readers already have writing workshop in place in their classrooms. In each of the chapters, she includes concrete suggestions for what we can do to help those students. You will love her idea of creating a “Help Wanted – Help Offered” bulletin board where students could post both their strengths (“I’m good at punctuation”) and needs (“I need help with a lead”). She urges teachers to use students’ writing as exemplars and to teach students about the struggles and successes of published writers.