A good biography presents an interpretation of the facts. Doreen Rappaport calls that “the hook.” Join her today as we kick off our 4th Annual Author Spotlight Series with Doreen’s guest blog post.
It’s that time of year when we start to think about all the things we didn’t get to do with our students! Here are five writing exercises I am going to make sure students don’t leave without!
Sometimes our writing workshops can begin to feel a little like a house we live in– always something to improve, always something we haven’t been able to get to, etc. But I would venture to argue that, like a house, many things are working. It’s time to notice and celebrate them!
Think about the writer and making the writer better. What are the needs of a writer? What opportunities does technology offer to make the writer better?
I found myself annotating Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers as I read in an effort to hold on to all of Ruth’s wisdom about reaching students who are hiding – physically or emotionally – in our classrooms. As a result, I asked Ruth to answer a bunch of my burning questions about her book, which you need to put on your summer reading list!
“Suddenly, the most beautiful words filled the air. Eva was rehearsing her writing aloud, in Spanish. I quickly reached for my phone and recorded her, so she’d remember her plans. But Eva didn’t need that. The words came right back, this time, on paper.”
How do you handle these moments? What does a conference look like when you’re thinking, “Oh my goodness. Should I even be letting them write about this in school?!”
Are you the writing teacher you dream to be?
Thank you for joining us for our blog series Looking Back and Moving Forward. I think we all agree on the importance of reflection in the lives of writers. In case you missed any of our posts over the past week, here’s a quick summary.
Sometimes it’s the feedback our students — rather than our administrators — give us that help us become better teachers.
In Visible Learning For Literacy, Fisher, Frey, and Hattie, explain “When feedback is delivered in such that it is timely, specific, understandable, and actionable students assimilate the language used by their teacher into their self-talk. (2016, 100)” These words stopped me. When our words become the self-talk of our students, they become the most influential tool we have as teachers.
As we approach the end of the year, it’s a great time to think about and ask children to think about the growth they’ve made since the first day of school. In the rush, it’s easy to forget about the importance of slowing down and taking the time to reflect, and yet, reflection is a cornerstone of learning.
Reflection can help foster both a writerly identity and act as a discovery process for possible future goals. This is likely true for any endeavor, whether it be coaching soccer or writing. This week, we as co-authors have been doing some thinking about the power of self-reflection. One possible lens for reflection is the writing process itself…
Revision is a process. It is also a frequently misunderstood endeavor. As a teacher, I have often revised my beliefs to re-see my goals and purpose when it comes to teaching my writers the best revision strategies.
Don’t let kids (or teachers) lose momentum for writing as summer approaches! There is no better time than now to implement independent writing projects, as we help kids prepare to lead writerly lives long after the school year ends.
By taking some time in May and June to try new writing projects, we can motivate students to stay connected and continue living the writerly life when no one is assigning them to do it. They can write (and read) because it’s part of who they are and how they live each day. Let’s not allow May and June become movie-watching, worksheet-filling, killing-time days. Let’s make each day count and keep our writers enthusiastic about all the possibilities being a writer brings.