Monthly Archive: September, 2010

Haiku Writing Station

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Earlier this month I shared an idea about a writing station (aka: center) for older students.  Another product from Chronicle Books has crossed my desk and has piqued my interest as something that… Continue reading

Minilesson Part II

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The other day I posted about minilessons being one way to plant a seed of learning. I firmly believe this is a purpose of a minilesson and then through independent practice, conferring, and… Continue reading

Have you shared your writing lately?

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Minilessons Plant a Seed

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One of the things I’m working on as a writing teacher is keeping minilessons, well, mini. As I’ve focused on this goal, I’ve realized sometimes lessons go long because I’m working toward perfection.… Continue reading

Words of Wisdom for Former Students

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Right before I went to sleep last night I checked my e-mail.  It contained a couple of useless e-mails from companies trying to get me to by their wares as well as an… Continue reading

Words that are Speaking to Me

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And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. — Sylvia… Continue reading

Draft More Than You Publish

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You know how athletes practice more than they play in games? The same is true for writers, especially our student writers. They must write more than they publish. When I first started following… Continue reading

Polacco’s Newest Book

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Patricia Polacco’s newest book, The Junkyard Wonders, can be used during the first month of the school year when you’re teaching students about the climate of respect (for differences) you expect*.  This exquisite… Continue reading

The Stir Over Superman

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I’ve been home sick with a horrendous cough and cold this week.  I’ve had to cancel everything for the past three days in an effort to get well.  Needless to say, I got… Continue reading

Planning Read Alouds that Support the Workshop Model

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lock·step noun, often attributive \ˈläk-ˌstep\ Definition of LOCKSTEP 1: a mode of marching in step by a body of persons going one after another as closely as possible 2: a standard method or… Continue reading

Time for the Weekly Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Let’s Celebrate!

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How are you planning to celebrate the authors in your classroom? The longer I’m a part of writing workshops, not to mention the more I write, the more I believe in the importance… Continue reading

Words that are Speaking to Me

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Giving characters free will, instead of outlining them in detail before writing begins, allows the story to flow naturally and allows the characters to become more real and more interesting than they could be if… Continue reading

WIP?

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The past few months I’ve been reading several authors’ blogs and I keep coming across the abbreviation W.I.P. Finally I figured out it means Work In Progress. WIP is part of the language… Continue reading

Recap: Guest Blog Posts

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Tomorrow will be the first Friday in over three months that there will not be a guest blogger posting.  Ruth and I are going back to posting on alternating Fridays.  However, I wanted… Continue reading

What is MOST important?

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This question has been tumbling around in my mind lately: What is most important when it comes to literacy instruction? It stems from state mandates, district expectations, curriculum guides, and instructional minutes being… Continue reading

Joining-in & Sharing a Slice of Life

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Welcome to our weekly Slice of Life Story Challenge. If you’re a regular participant, then go ahead and link away. However, if you’re new, or are thinking about sharing your writing with this… Continue reading

Mentor Texts in the Midst of Writing

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When we think of using mentor texts when teaching writing workshop, often our first thought is to use them at the beginning of a unit of study so students can gain a sense… Continue reading

An Education Reform Article Worth Reading

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Everywhere I turn these days, I seem to be faced with another article about education reform.  From Time Magazine to The New York Times, it seems everyone is covering education a lot more… Continue reading

Remembering: Nine Years Later

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A view of the Lower Manhattan Skyline on the evening of September 11th, 2010 (from Jersey City, NJ): From  09-11-10 I am one of the New Yorkers who did not personally lose a… Continue reading