During shared writing, the teacher transcribes the entire text while engaging students in a rich discussion about how the text should be composed.
Shared writing is taught to small groups or a whole class in briskly paced, 5- to 20-minute lessons.
Plan lessons for types of writing that present particular challenges to your students.
First, develop and extend children's background and language knowledge on a topic or experience of interest.
Establish a purpose for the writing and an intellectually engaging opportunity for students to apply new learning. Students might write a letter to a local newspaper or write directions for a new game they have developed.
Write the entire text yourself in front of students (using chart paper or document viewer) while requesting input from students regarding aspects of the writing where they most need to expand their expertise. Consider, for example, whether your students need to focus attention on paragraph structure, word choice, or sentence expansion.
During the writing, model processes needed by your students. Have a small whiteboard available, for example, to demonstrate to students how to say a word slowly and write sounds heard into "sound boxes" (Clay, 2006) before writing a phonetically regular word into the text for them. For older students, begin with a root word and demonstrate how to add prefixes or suffixes to a new word.
Demonstrate in-the-moment revision during shared writing as necessary to construct a strong draft. Reread the text to students from time to time to discuss what needs to be written next or to monitor whether or not the text conveys information clearly. Add a word using a caret, for example, or delete unneeded text.
Do not deliberately make errors during shared writing. Model the immediate construction of a high-quality draft.
Read the completed text to students. Take a few minutes to have students orally summarize what has been learned about writing during this session.
Post the text in an accessible spot in the classroom, and provide opportunities for students to read or use the text multiple times over the next several days or weeks.