inquiry · mentor texts · touchstone texts · universal theme

A Deep Dive Into One Spectacular Mentor Text

In this post, I’ll describe the ways I would use Rabbit and the Motorbike as a mentor text for instruction with writers in upper elementary grades through middle school. This is an example of the thinking work I do in advance of sharing a mentor text with students, anticipating what students might notice and planning for the questioning I will do to help them name those craft moves. My goal is always to get kids to the HOW, because that is the level of understanding they need to be able to try strategies out in their own writing.

foundational skills · phonics · spelling · writing workshop

Teaching Kids to Use the Phonics You’ve Taught

This post can be a jumping off point for learning more about how explicit phonics instruction can be connected to a joyful independent writing workshop for young children

checklists · conventions · goals · grammar · inquiry · interactive writing · minilesson · Read Aloud · shared writing · spelling

Minilesson Alternatives: Considering OTHER Ways to Kick Off Workshop

If you have ever felt that you were going through the motions of a minilesson, know that there are plenty of other ways you can choose to gather as a community and launch writing time. Here are ten alternatives for beginning a writing workshop session - - with joy, intention, and inspiration.

conferring

Enlist Students as Partners in Conferring

Conferring is a powerful tool to meet the needs of individual writers, but it often feels like students are passive participants in these conversations. Engaging students as partners in this work helps kids see themselves as authors and grow their writing abilities.

writers

When The “Help Desk” Fails: Rethinking Support for Writers

The Setup: Help Desk, Open for Business It started out like any other writing workshop time. Kids were settling into their work spots, some grabbing keyboards, others tapping away on their iPad screens. There was a certain level of productive noise as students figured out what projects they wanted to work on and how, and… Continue reading When The “Help Desk” Fails: Rethinking Support for Writers

agency · immersion · personal essay

Pre-Unit Immersion: Involving Students in Noticing, Noting, and Naming

Immersion is helpful for strong writers who need less explicit instruction in order to try out new writing concepts as well as for writers who strive to complete their written work. Sometimes seeing a completed piece is exactly what they need in order to kick their executive functioning into gear.