When we create a safe space full of play and curiosity for our emergent writers, we capitalize on their natural desire to communicate and make meaning through language. This is the foundation of Patterns of Wonder, a thoughtfully designed extension of the highly praised Patterns of Power series. Through a lens of playful inquiry and possibility, authors Whitney La Rocca and Jeff Anderson show you how to use their invitational process to invite your PreK, kindergarten, and first grade emergent writers into an engaging world of excitement, energy, and―most of all―wonder.
Instead of chanting grammar rules or completing countless convention worksheets, Jeff Anderson and literacy coach Whitney La Rocca invite young writers to explore conventions as special effects devices that activate meaning.
When you use Spanish-language books as mentor texts in your bilingual classrooms to teach grammar and conventions, you offer your students mirrors in which they see themselves reflected in the characters, settings, and cultural representations. Student engagement and excitement increase, and they become better readers and writers.
Whitney La Rocca
As co-author with Jeff Anderson of Patterns of Power and its family of resources, Whitney shares strategies with teachers that inspire our youngest writers to explore author’s craft and purpose to create meaning for readers. Because she is a life-long learner, Whitney continues to learn from children each day.
Whitney is able to consult in a variety of ways including implementing a student-centered approach to literacy instruction with reading and writing workshop, interactive read-aloud, shared and interactive writing, small group instruction and conferring in both reading and writing, and, of course, authentic grammar instruction. She can tailor any of her work to the needs of your campus or district.
Caroline Sweet and Jeff Anderson go way back. To 1991, in fact, when Caroline was a student in Mr. Anderson’s 4th grade class in Austin, Texas. While their initial collaborations included raps about clouds, plays based on books, and science lessons on laser discs, their current collaborations focus on authentic grammar instruction in Spanish.
Caroline’s career in education has focused on multilingual learners in bilingual and dual-language settings. She is most passionate about serving culturally and linguistically diverse populations and fostering reading and writing classrooms that encourage all students to share their stories. Caroline can provide training for teachers who work to build students’ biliteracy or for teachers who are helping their students learn English.
“Is this right? Is this how it’s supposed to look?” Adolescent writers often ask these kinds of questions because traditional grammar instruction focuses too much on what’s right or what’s wrong. The fear of making a mistake hides the true power of conventions—the creation of meaning, purpose, and effect, the ultimate reading-writing connection. Let’s lift middle school writers by focusing on possibility and producing effective writing that will transfer to the classroom and beyond.
In this detailed look at how the Patterns of Power invitational process supports the specific needs of high school writers, Jeff Anderson along with veteran literacy leaders, Travis Leech and Holly Durham, show teachers how to create an environment where writers study and appreciate the beauty and meaning of grammar and conventions, rather than memorizing what is always wrong or always right. Aligned with common standards and full of use-tomorrow resources, this extension of the acclaimed Patterns of Power series, will help you tune your high school writers into the powerful patterns in language that inspire us, affect us, and makes space for growth and meaning to unfold.
Travis began his career in education as a middle school teacher and athletic coach in San Antonio, TX. This is where he discovered Jeff Anderson's work and began exploring invitational grammar practices in his classroom, finding his students thrived in a classroom filled with conversation, inquiry, and celebration. He has since gained valuable experience as a gifted and talented specialist, as a curriculum designer, and as an instructional coach. He is the co-author of two Patterns of Power books: Inviting Adolescent Writers into the Conventions of Language for Grades 6-8 and Teaching Grammar Through Reading and Writing for Grades 9-12.
Travis enjoys traveling to school districts and conferences to share his love for empowering young readers and writers and the educators who support them on their literacy journeys. You can follow Travis on Twitter @learningleech or join ongoing discussions about invitational grammar in the Patterns of Power Facebook Community.
Holly has spent the last 30 years serving students, teachers, and administrators. She has assumed numerous roles throughout her career, Middle and High School English Teacher, Advanced Placement Coordinator, Instructional Coach, Content Director, Professional Learning Coordinator as well as Director of Strategic Planning. With this variety of roles, Holly has a deep knowledge of literacy as well as leadership, federal and state policy, accountability, and coaching for both teachers and administrators.
Holly is passionate about the teaching and learning of patterns that allow students to become better writers and readers - teaching grammar in a way that sticks and builds from where students are, not where we hope they will be. She also has a passion for curriculum and lesson planning that infuses reading and writing to ensure that secondary classrooms use time effectively and efficiently in order for students to gain skills and bridge gaps in learning.
Having been a fan, and friend, of Jeff Anderson for many years, Holly was thrilled to become part of the Patterns of Power family
by co-writing the High School book. Having Middle and High School experience, she enjoys opportunities to support secondary schools with implementing effective grammar instruction. The process differentiates learning to include all learners as well as offers a different way to approach grammar, as many secondary students have experienced worksheets, Grammar Boot Camp, and a variety of online programs.
Jeff Anderson is the co-author of all Patterns of Power products.
Although he is no longer presenting, we still work with him and learn from him frequently.
For more than thirty years, Jeff has inspired writers and teachers of grades K-8 with the power and joy of the writing process. He has written over ten books and five kits for Stenhouse Publishers. He also writes middle-grade novels, including Sterling’s Zack Delacruz series: Me and My Big Mouth, Just My Luck, and Upstaged.
Jeff grew up in Austin, Texas, where he fell in love with writing while journaling and sharing stories he’d written to entertain his friends on the phone. As a staff developer and demonstration teacher, Jeff says, "I love the ability to spark curiosity and creativity and to support people in finding their voices. That's pure joy."
Jeff's first book, Mechanically Inclined, came to life when he was looking for ways to integrate grammar rather than ignore it. This book chronicles his journey to teach grammar in a way that would actually resonate with students and, most importantly, be applied to their writing. His other books come from his work in his own classrooms and those across the United States. The invitational process in Everyday Editing is built around facilitating the conversations students have around mentor sentences. 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know is Jeff's chance to share the essential things writers need. In his first collaboration, Revision Decisions, Jeff and Debbie tackle sentence-combining and its larger effects on revision and writing. Jeff’s new book is written with Whitney La Rocca. They met at a staff development and immediately began tweaking the invitational process for primary and elementary writers. Three years of their professional relationship resulted in the Patterns of Power: Inviting Young Writers into the Conventions of Language (2017). They continued their collaboration with grade-level Patterns of Power Plus kits (2019). Travis Leach and Melinda Clark joined Jeff for the middle school version of Patterns of Power (2021), and Jeff and Whitney joined forces again for Patterns of Wonder: Inviting Emergent Writers to Play with the Conventions of Language.
In his free time, Jeff walks his dog, Carl, or sits on the deck with his partner, Terry. When he's not doing that, he meditates or reads—his latest addiction is nonfiction.