Second Grade Writers (Parsons)

I enjoyed this book – a fresh voice, more influenced by KW Ray than Ms. Calkins (whose work I cherish). Her focus here is on purpose and audience. She is attentive to differentiation and scaffolding expectations. She expects students to be accountable for mechanics and spelling in a way that is organic to each unit. And she has some original units – humor, research, social justice. I applaud her support of mentor texts (and the examples she provides) as well as the Predictable Problems section that come with each unit. If you adopt her approaches, expect to invest a LOT in post-it notes. I will certainly adopt her notion that a piece has to be good enough to be revised (rather than in such a state of disrepair that revision is needed to salvage the piece).

My main quibble is how much she expects from peer group, but I’d defer to those more experienced with the age group to let me know.

I also will adopt one of my favorite lines from her book – “obstacles are part of the work, not an impediment to it” (9).


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