In February, the TWT co-authors met via video conference for our quarterly team meeting. We discussed about our desire to learn more about what was happening in classrooms across the country to meet the needs of students with learning differences in elementary and middle school writing workshops. While most of us see different approaches as we walk down the halls where we teach, coach, or consult, we aren’t living in the way a learning support or ICT teacher is. Therefore, we asked our readers if they were interested in sharing classroom stories, best practices, tools, and ideas.
We had a few responses from some educators who were willing to share their expertise. Here’s a round-up of their posts, which you can read by clicking on each of the hyperlinks below:
Five Tips for Helping Hesitant Writers by Jen Greene
Jen Greene is a second grade teacher in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Her classroom is comprised of both regular and special education students who love to write. She is also a co-director at the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project (PAWLP) at West Chester University. You can find her on Twitter @greenemachine82.
Teaching Kids with IEPs to be Powerful, Joyful Writers by Ryan Scala
Ryan Scala is currently a fifth grade teacher in an iCoT classroom at a K-8 school on the eastern end of Long Island, NY. He has also taught third and fourth grade, and served as a literacy coordinator and staff developer for the TCRWP. He has presented at NCTE on topics such as goal setting and agency, and taught at summer reading and writing institutes across the country.
One School’s Journey to Write More Impactful IEP Goals by Sue Umpleby and Kristen Warren
Sue Umpleby is a literacy consultant, who is a retired teacher from a public school in Columbus, Ohio, where she was an intervention specialist for 35 years, and teacher- leader. Kristen Warren is a literacy coach in central Ohio, who studied to be a literacy specialist at Teachers College and taught middle school language arts at a public school in Brooklyn, New York for 14 years, including 7 years of inclusion as the general education teacher. You can follow Sue and Kristen on Twitter @OHLiteracyLove.
Using Technology to Support Students with Learning Differences in Writer’s Workshop by Vanessa Worrell
Vanessa Worrell has been a special education teacher in Wyoming for more than 25 years. Her experience has included working with second through ninth grade students in self-contained, pull-out, inclusive and co-teaching settings. She has a master’s in technology in education and is nationally board certified as an exceptional needs specialist (early childhood through young adult).
The TWT Co-Authors are grateful to all of the educators who submitted a blog post for this round-up. Please note: All information is published in good faith and for ideas, awareness, and educational purposes only. The viewpoints expressed in each contributor’s blog post do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the TWT Co-Author Team.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).