Monthly Archive: February, 2020

Start With Joy: Book Review and Giveaway

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Even if you don’t win the copy of Start With Joy as a giveaway from us, I hope you will consider adding it to your collection of professional books. Students face so many pressures and challenges in their daily lives, both in and out of school. Ultimately, we want them to learn, for sure, but we also want them to find joy in the process. This book not only reminds us of the importance of happiness, it also provides ways to design for joy.

Background Noise for Writing Workshop

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How quiet is too quiet, when it comes to writing workshop?

The Power of Silent Teachers: Helping Writers Increase Productivity and Build Independence Through Interdependence with Tools in the Classroom

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We give our writers a lot of stuff. Their folders are full of charts, worksheets and examples meant to be helpful for independent writing, but are students using these tools to their fullest capacity? Are writers waiting for us to say “get out ___” or “look at ____”? This post will give you some practical ideas for how to help students achieve interdependence and utilize the silent teachers in the classroom to their fullest capacity.

The Final SOL Tuesday Before Our Month-Long Writing Challenge Begins #SOL20

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March is almost here!
Please check out the announcements before you share the link to your slice of life story today.

The Immersion Phase of a Unit: Reading and Writing Collide

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The immersion phase of a unit allows us all to get to know our subject. For students, it might be ideas they have and for teachers, it is about getting to know their writers a bit better.

The New Slicer’s Survival Guide to the March SOLSC

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Have you signed up to take part in the March SOLSC for the first time? Are you on the fence about signing up and want to know a little more about how the challenge works? You are in the right place, my friend! Here is your New Slicer Survival Guide!

Planning for Independent Writing Time: A Middle School Solution

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With the volume of students most middle school writing teachers serve, how is one to plan for differentiation? Using a basketball analogy, here is one play you can run…

Hands-on Tools for Purposeful Practice with Punctuation

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Whether your writers are forgetting to use, incorrectly using, or using punctuation without much variety, these tips and tools can bring engagement and intention to conventions.

SOL Tuesday & Expanding Our Writing Community #SOL20

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Have you intentionally and effectively expanded this writing community? If you are planning to invite a friend, family member, or colleague to join you for the Slice of Life Story Challenge this March, then you’ll want to read this post closely before you leave the link to your slice of life story.

Teaching Writing: A Review and Book Giveaway

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“The most important belief is that kids need the opportunity to grow up as writers, writing a lot, just as they talk and read and do math a lot,” (Calkins, ’20).

2020 Slice of Life Prize Reveal

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This year, we are trying out some different ideas for prizes, and we are excited to share what will be happening in March with the community!

How To Name An Explicit Teaching Point for Writers

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A clear teaching point helps students understand the work, and makes your conference more memorable. A concisely stated teaching point is also is a tool for keeping your conference focused and effective.

Participant Information Form #SOL20

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Attention first-year and returning Slicers: Please fill out this year’s participant information form. Filling out the form takes less than five minutes and helps us stay organized during the Challenge.

SOL Tuesday + Slicer Swag #SOL20

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Before you leave the link to your slice of life story today, please take a moment to read the announcements and enjoy a quote about writing.

ICYMI: Expand the Possibilities of the Genres You Teach

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What lies beyond the genres you teach? Here is a round-up of our posts from our February Blog Series designed to help you explore and expand all the possibilities!

The Importance of Knowing the Standards: Expand the Possibilities of Genres You Teach

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In expanding the possibilities of our different writing units, let us not forget the important guide points the Common Core State Standards – or whatever your local iteration of those standards are –  provide us. 

How-To Writing for All Ages: Expand the Possibilities of Genres You Teach

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I was surprised to discover that some kids see How-To’s as something that is only for kindergarteners. I wonder how many teachers might also think of How-To’s as something that is too easy for older writers.

Opinion Writing: Expand the Possibilities of Genres You Teach

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When planning any genre study, we can ponder:  How can the experience children have with this genre become more like the experience they can have with it in the world? In doing so,… Continue reading

Using Technology in Informational Writing: Expand the Possibilities Blog Series

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There are times students need tools to grow, but then there are times when tools can create possibilities beyond expectations and inspire writers in new and creative ways. When I think about how… Continue reading

Moving Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay: Expand the Possibilities of the Genres You Teach

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Are students constrained when they write five-paragraph essays? If we change our working definition of essay writing, then we can teach beyond the five-paragraph essays we often see in schools.