From Markers to Emojis in Digital Writing: It’s All About the Purpose and Voice

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My head was spinning and the next thing I knew I was wondering how the allure of emojis and marking up could lift student voice and motivation in writing

Write. Share. Give.

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What’s new in your world? Share a story and connect with a community. It’s SOL Tuesday!

ICYMI: #TWTBlog’s Homework Mini-Series

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Last week, we hosted a mini-series on homework and the role it plays in elementary and middle school writing workshops.

Ways to Involve Caregivers: Homework and the Writing Workshop

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I don’t remember sharing writing experiences at home when my daughters were in elementary school.

I wish we had.

Nightly Writing: Homework and the Writing Workshop

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Four ways to encourage students to write after the school day is finished WITHOUT assigning writing as homework.

Some Issues to Consider: Homework and the Writing Workshop

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Pushing the dance studio door open, I watched my two daughters and their two best friends bound playfully out to the parking lot.  Walking next to me was Jamie, their mother.  “Sorry,” she… Continue reading

Reimagining Homework: Homework and the Writing Workshop

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This past summer, I found myself questioning homework- why I give it, what it accomplishes and if there might be an alternative.

SOL Tuesday

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Share a story today. It’s Tuesday SOL!

Misunderstandings Within The Writing Process

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The writing process is not always linear, it is not a circle of steps, it is not something that needs to be done the same way twice. The writing process might be different everytime a writer sits down to start. It might be different for someone writing a poem one day and an essay a week later. The writing process is as unique as the writer. Embrace the process and its endless possibilities as students move forward.

What I’ve Learned about Word Study

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I recently had the good fortune of watching the wonderful Natalie Louis deliver a word study lesson at a school in Harlem. It was so cool. For a mostly upper grade person like… Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Methods for Conferring

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When I was a new teacher, I learned from Lucy Calkins that there are basically four overall methods to choose from when planning instruction: 1) demonstration, 2) coaching, 3) inquiry, and 4) telling/explaining. This four-method framework is useful for thinking about conferring.

Teaching  Digital Tools in Writing Workshop: Plan, Purpose, EXPLORE

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Digital tools add opportunities to our writing, opportunities that can motivate and inspire writers. The reach of digital tools allows writers to receive and give feedback, share beyond their classroom, publish to an authentic audience, and build a writing community.  So how do we make sure our writers are ready?

SOL Tuesday

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Write. Share. Give.
Welcome to the weekly Slice of LIfe.

ICYMI: Solving Predictable Problems

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In case you missed any pieces from our series about predictable problems, here’s a quick review of the week of posts with the links, as well.

Units of Study That Go On Forever: Solving Predictable Problems

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It’s happened to ever teacher. We start out strong, with enthusiasm. We think: This unit is going to be GREAT! This is is exactly what my kids need! This unit is our favorite!  But then, five weeks, six weeks, seven weeks (!!) later you and the kids are completely sick of the writing you’ve been doing–just like a favorite recipe that you’ve become burnt out on.

STUDENT AGENCY: SOLVING PREDICTABLE PROBLEMS BLOG SERIES

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I stepped back and put my kids in front of their learning about six years ago.  It has changed how I teach and deepened my respect for students and who they are as individuals.

Parental Intentions: Solving Predictable Problems

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Children deserve a caring adult in their corner. Sometimes good intentions can backfire. As we continue the series on Predictable Problems, today we tackle parental figures and misunderstandings related to the writing workshop.

Fitting It All In: Solving Predictable Problems

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For many of us, especially in middle school, trying to fit all the pieces of writing workshop into, say, a 41-minute schedule, can feel daunting. How can we teach a minilesson, get our kids working, confer with individuals and small groups, provide a mid-workshop interruption, and facilitate a teaching share…all in that tight time frame?

Engaging Writers: Solving Predictable Problems

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If we want engaged writers, and not simply compliant students going through the motions and counting the minutes until writing time is over, we need to find ways to capture their attention and their hearts.

Transferring skills from unit to unit: Solving Predictable Problems Blog Series

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When one of my daughters was switching from playing soccer to playing field hockey, we had several conversations about the similar skills each sport required. It didn’t take us long to figure out… Continue reading