Jeff Anderson spends his days writing and sharing strategies from his books Mechanically Inclined, Everyday Editing, 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know, Revision Decisions, and Patterns of Power with teachers across the U.S. His new joy is talking to students about his middle-grades fiction, including Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth, recently selected for Pennsylvania’s Keystone Reading List. Whitney La Rocca, a K-5 literacy coach in Katy, Texas, connected with Jeff at one of his staff developments. They immediately began refining the invitation process for younger writers. Working in tandem for three years, they collaborated to create the work you hold in your hands.
Jeff Anderson and literacy coach Whitney La Rocca take you into primary and intermediate classrooms where students are curious about language, engage with the world around them, and notice and experiment with the conventions all writers use. Instead of chanting grammar rules or completing countless convention worksheets, we invite young writers to explore conventions as special effects devices that activate meaning. Our students study authentic texts and come to recognize these “patterns of power”-the essential grammar conventions that readers and writers require to make meaning. The first part of the book introduces a vibrant approach to grammar instruction and sets up what you need to immerse yourself in the Patterns of Power process, inviting students to experiment and play with language. The second part of the book offers over seventy practical, ready-to-use lessons, including: Extensive support materials Over 100 mentor sentences, curated for grades 1-5 Student work samples Tips and power notes to facilitate your own knowledge and learning Examples for application In Patterns of Power Jeff and Whitney suggest that taking just five minutes from your reading workshop and five minutes from your writing workshop to focus on how the conventions connect reading and writing will miraculously affect your students’ understanding of how language works for readers and writers.