Monthly Archive: August, 2012

Words that are Speaking to Me

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“In a perfect world everything would be either black or white, right or wrong, and everyone would know the difference. But this isn’t a perfect world. The problem is people who think it… Continue reading

Craft Tables for You — Part I of III

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Craft tables are a way to organize one’s thinking about a books teachers will be use as a mentor text.  Since a good deal of the mentor text work we do with students… Continue reading

Hearing the Sound of Opinion Writing

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Right now is the perfect time to begin sharing book reviews. Readers across the globe are making plans as they begin a new school year. Teachers are book talking. Kids are book talking.… Continue reading

SOLSC: Do You Know What Everyone Has Been Up To Lately?

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Last Tuesday was not a typical Tuesday.  I was in Manhattan spending some time with my dear friends, Stacey, who now lives overseas. Second, I had caffeinated iced tea at dinnertime so I… Continue reading

If I Didn’t Write Myself I Wouldn’t Know…

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Here’s a little list that is swirling in my mind… If I didn’t write myself I wouldn’t know how critical positive feedback is to the life of a writer. This weekend I received… Continue reading

Taking the Art of Reflection Back into the Classroom

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Joanne Toft has taught for more than 30 years and spent 6 years managing The Arts for Academic Achievementprogram for the Minneapolis Public Schools. Last year she returned to the classroom to teach… Continue reading

Writing Workshop Expectations

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The first six weeks of school is about providing structure for students.  Teachers who are too lenient never seem to gain control of their class while teachers who are too rigid risk the… Continue reading

Words that are Speaking to Me

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  “What’s the point of living if you’re going to hate the world? Guard your heart if you have to, but don’t shut it away.” —Neal Shusterman, Bruiser I’ve been fighting to get… Continue reading

Weekly Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Please link the Slice of Life Story you write today to this post by leaving a comment. Be sure to check out other bloggers’ writing by clicking through the links in the comment… Continue reading

Writers use narrative, informative, and opinion modes of writing across genres.

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  Along with this slide, I said these words in the section of my key note called, “Using narrative, informative, and persuasion to tell your Story.” One of the things unsettling to me… Continue reading

Certification

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If you’re like me, summer is a time to catch up on paperwork and things you’ve put off for months.  Last Wednesday afternoon I went into the NY State Office of Teacher Initiatives’… Continue reading

What are they hoping to get?

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At my school, today marks day four for students. We are nearing the end of the honeymoon period. You know what I’m talking about, right? The newness of starting  school is wearing off… Continue reading

Nonfiction Mentor Text + a Giveaway

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the balance of nonfiction and fiction texts in the classroom lately.  Starting today, I’m making an effort to share more nonfiction picture books you can use as… Continue reading

Starting Slowly

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One of the things I realized about myself when I went to the Choice Literacy writing retreat is how quickly I speed through the day. I like to pay attention to the world… Continue reading

The Secret Ingredient to Creating Engaged Writers

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I’ve been thinking about student engagement in writing workshop for the past couple of weeks.  I started thinking about it as I was reading Guy-Write, Ralph Fletcher’s new book.  My thoughts about engagement… Continue reading

The Weekly Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Please link the Slice of Life Story you write today to this post by leaving a comment. Be sure to check out other bloggers’ writing by clicking through the links in the comment… Continue reading

Fun with Language

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Recently someone asked me about my writing routine. As I was responding to her email, listing the times I squeeze writing into the day, I added this line: I remember I’m doing this… Continue reading

Words that are Speaking to Me

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  Always and forever at the start of a new school year… If you want to teach me to write, first you must love me. —Avi

A Few Things from the Reading Institute

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Spending a week at the TCRWP’s Reading Institute is good for my soul.  I always learn so much when I attend an institute.  It’s going to take time for me to sort through… Continue reading

Guy-Write: Chatting About Male Writers with Ralph Fletcher

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Anyone who has ever read Ralph Fletcher’s books for young writers (e.g., A Writer’s Notebook, How Writers Work, Live Writing), will find his newest book, Guy-Write: What Every Gut Writer Needs to Know… Continue reading