Monthly Archive: November, 2015

Writing Tweet Round-up

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Check out Stacey’s end-of-the-month curated collection of writing Tweets!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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On behalf of the co-author team, I’d like to thank you for your dedication to the writers you teach. As the eight of us know, the work of a teacher of writers is… Continue reading

In Thanks: Books That Built a Writing Teacher

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What are the books that have shaped you as a teacher of writing? Reflecting today, in thanks, for the authors and books that have influenced my life as a teacher.

Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge on #TWTBlog

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Welcome to the Slice of Life Story Challenge on this great Tuesday. We are so glad you are joining us today.

Living the Life of a Writer

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At this point of the school year, your writing workshop is probably in full swing.  You are chugging along through your writing curriculum, and you are probably using checklists and rubrics to assess… Continue reading

Drilling Down into the Writing

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Of the many ways I gain an understanding of my writers, my favorite and most valuable is gathering up all the writing and diving into reading ALL the students’ work.

Welcome to the World, Oliver!

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We’re throwing a virtual baby shower for Anna, who welcomed a new baby into the world yesterday.

A Short & Sweet Minilesson Formula

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There is a formula that I use, time and time again, to adapt my own minilessons. Yes, this formula helps me keep my minilessons to about ten minutes and makes planning more streamlined, but more importantly this formula helps me with one of my personal goals as a teacher: student engagement.

The View from Pennsylvania: A Trip to Highlights Foundation

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  A little over a year ago, Stacey posted about an “Unworkshop” at a place called the Highlights Foundation. Her experience sounded blissful and it soon became something on my bucket list. I… Continue reading

Quality Reading Instruction Leads to Better Writing: A Review of Jennifer Serravallo’s Independent Reading Assessment 

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When I tested Jennifer Serravallo’s Independent Reading Assessment (Scholastic), I was an immediate believer. Finally, here is a reading assessment that gives rich, clear information about upper grade readers, using an authentic reading… Continue reading

Where do your minilessons live?

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How do we keep these minilessons alive for our kids? What do we do to make sure our kids have these anchor charts to reference as they begin drafting, revising, editing?

Join Us! The Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge on #TWTBlog!

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No shadow No stars No moon No care November It only believes In a pile of dead leaves And a moon That’s the color of bone Tom Waits, ‘November’ Do you wish your writing… Continue reading

New Mentor Texts for Information Writing

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The books featured in this post, all of which were published in 2015, represent a variety of information writing. All of these are texts that can pull double- and even triple-duty in your classroom, thereby allowing you to use a text during read-aloud time so you can revisit it during a writing workshop minlesson and/or in a content area.

A Tale of Teachers: Collaboration, Community, Connection

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Once upon a time, there was a teacher who became a better teacher by connecting with other passionate educators…

A Closer Look

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Try typing out a mentor text to get a closer look.

Writing Workshop Feels Better with Less

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Our workshop was feeling forced, unnatural, and just rushed! We struggled to fit it all in and share time (the most valued time) was cut short with only 1 or 2 writers sharing each day. Something had to give. Writers weren’t growing, I wasn’t conferring, and it just didn’t feel calm and productive. I reflected on our workshop, the work of the writers, and the choices I was making, but I couldn’t figure out what was making me feel so unsettled.

Conferring with Writers is Like Coaching Skiers: Strength ID and Enhancement

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Many years ago, one of my first jobs was as a ski instructor at a local ski resort. During our instructor training, we were taught a technique called “strength identification and enhancement.”

Writers ARE Readers: A Review and a Giveaway

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Writers ARE Readers explores the connection between reading and writing instruction.

Come Join the Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge on #TWTBlog

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“In November, the smell of food is different. It is an orange smell. A squash and pumpkin smell. It tastes like cinnamon and can fill up a house in the morning, can pull… Continue reading

ICYMI: Diving into Information Writing Blog Series Recap

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A recap of this week’s blog series, in case you missed it.