Monthly Archive: October, 2013

Teacher Prompt and Support Continuum—Talking to Drawing

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Prompting and support can be tricky business. Here are some tips for early writers who have moved from the verbal story and are ready to draw. These suggestions will help you support the right things at the right time in the right way.

Teaching memoir: Views from sixth and seventh grade

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Moving from personal narrative to memoir presents challenges and rewards for sixth and seventh graders – they are working with a very familiar genre (they’ve been writing personal narratives since kindergarten, after all),… Continue reading

Thankful for This Writing Community

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The weekly call for slice of life stories + a message about the power of the SOLSC writing community.

A Mentor Text You Can Use in Many Ways + a Book Giveaway

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The Invisible Boy, a new book that deals with the isolation quiet children can feel, is the kind of book that serves multiple purposes in an elementary school classroom (e.g., interactive read aloud book, teaching demonstration text, mentor text for strategy lessons). Previews of the book and giveaway information come at the bottom of the post.

Welcome to the World, Thomas!

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Please join me in celebrating with Anna and her husband as they welcome their son, Thomas Hudson Cockerille, into the world.

Ten Suggestions for Encouraging Kids to Write at Home

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Dear Parents and Caregivers, You might not realize it, but there are a zillion things you can do right at home to foster a love of writing. Even if you, yourself, are not… Continue reading

When You Just Can’t Get Started

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Always looking to share real and authentic writing tips with my students, I compiled this list of strategies for when we’re in a writing rut and just can’t get started.

It Starts With a Conversation

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A peek inside a preschool writer and picnic style workshop.

Three “just right” texts to investigate the craft of memoir.

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I love our writing workshop shift  from personal narrative to memoir.  It comes at the perfect time of year: our notebooks have filled up with writing lists and entries, our weekly slice of… Continue reading

Please share your story with our community.

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WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to (at least three) other slicers. If you’re leaving your comment early in the day, please consider returning this evening or tomorrow to read… Continue reading

Climbing out of a Writing Rut

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I’ve been writing daily for years, but lately I feel as if I haven’t written anything worthwhile. Sure – I’ve written blog posts about family and the teaching of writing.  Sure – I’ve… Continue reading

Celebrating The National Day on Writing: Bottom Lines Beliefs

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Happy National Day on Writing! One way to celebrate this day is to take a moment to reflect on your bottom line beliefs about quality writing instruction.

Pump Up the Volume!

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I recently had a dream about teaching writing. In my dream the kids wrote and wrote and wrote for hours on end as I floated effortlessly from student to student. You could hear… Continue reading

Writing the Hot Spot First

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How, she wondered, could we get them to write more focused narratives? And what types of entries could they make in their writer’s notebooks to help them with this process?

A Tiny Invitation

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Tiny hands are limitless story tellers.

Slice of Life in the classroom: How to rubric and grade our project

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Launching our yearlong Slice of Life writing challenge is an exhilarating experience for my sixth graders. None of them have done any type of digital writing, and the very idea of posting a… Continue reading

Setting Up Writing Partners for Success

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We’ve all been there. Reading your own writing to somebody else can be scary. Even when I am teaching adults in writing institutes and graduate courses I often have to say, “Please don’t… Continue reading

SOLSC + Social Media

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WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to (at least three) other slicers. If you’re leaving your comment early in the day, please consider returning this evening or tomorrow to read… Continue reading

Scoring On-Demand Assessments

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Nothing truly teaches you like rolling up your sleeves and doing something. I came away with five realizations as a result from scoring K – 8 narrative on-demand assessments by myself.

Demonstration Writing Tips: Information Writing as a Case in Point

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Most writing workshop teachers agree that using demonstration writing to teach with is crucial. However, creating it is not always easy. Here are some tips to help you get the most bang for your writing buck.