Two months ago, our co-author team planned for this month’s blog series, which we hope you’ll find affirming and inspiring. We want to bring you back to things we love most about the workshop model… the tried and true things that can again be done this school year. Therefore, we are sharing our favorite things with you.
For the past few months, much of the national narrative has focused on “learning loss.” As educators, we know teachers showed up and instructed kids — in-person, remotely, or with a hybrid approach — during the 2020-21 school year. Students learned last year! Therefore, we are not focusing on “learning loss” in our first blog series of the 2021-22 school year.
Here is what’s on tap for this week:
TOMORROW: Betsy Hubbard has lots of experience with teaching different grade levels. After being a K/1 looping teacher for several years, she moved to third grade. Last year she returned to Kindergarten. This year, she’s transitioning to teaching middle school! Therefore, she’s the perfect person to share a post on ways to get ready to teach a new grade level,
TUESDAY: Kathleen Sokolowski has been teaching for nearly 20 years so she’s created many classroom communities. She has ideas to connect with students before they set foot in the classroom. Plus, she’ll share several ways to build a writing community that allows students to be seen, valued, and heard.
WEDNESDAY: I‘ve been a notebooker for many years. From early on in my career, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about ways to get kids writing in their writer’s notebooks as a way to help them make life’s ordinary moments extraordinary. I will share several strategies to get kids writing during the first weeks of the school year.
THURSDAY: Amy Ellerman understands that early-in-the-school-year writing conferences build a rapport between teachers and students, as well as provide a foundation for the structure of writing conferences. She’ll share several predictable writing conferences you might want to have during the first month of the school year.
FRIDAY: Beth Moore is highly organized and a guru when it comes to creating writing toolkits. She’ll share some of her favorite tools later this week. Her post will include many things you’ll be able to download and use for your own writing toolkit.
SATURDAY: Melanie Meehan has been one of my go-to people when I’m thinking about ways to teach conventions to kids. There’s nothing inspiring or exciting about soul-crushing grammar worksheets! Melanie will share some of her best thinking (and resources!) with you to make the teaching of conventions fresh for kids.
SUNDAY: As always, there’s a book giveaway that’s part of the blog series we host on TWT. Any time you leave a comment on one of “Our Favorite Things” posts this week (Including this post!), you’ll be entered into the giveaway, which is sponsored by Heinemann. Leave a comment on every post for more opportunities to win. (Unfortunately, comments left on social media cannot be entered into the giveaway.) Amy Ellerman will announce the winner of the Heinemann Classroom Essentials book on Sunday, August 8th in an ICYMI post about the blog series.
This school year will still have challenges related to COVID-19, but we hope it will also have more joyful moments. It’s our hope that this blog series helps you reconnect to what feels great about teaching writing to children.
Many thanks to Heinemann Publishers who is donating a copy of ONE of the Classroom Essentials books (i.e., winner’s choice).
For a chance to win this copy of one of these books, please leave a comment about this or any blog post in this blog series by Saturday, August 7th at 6:00 p.m. EDT. Amy Ellerman will use a random number generator to pick the winner’s commenter number. Their name will be announced in the ICYMI blog post for this series on Sunday, August 8th.
Please leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment so Amy can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win. From there, our contact at Heinemann will ship the book to you. (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.) You must have a U.S.A. mailing address—Sorry, no FPOs—to win a print copy of the book of your choosing. If you have an international mailing address, then you will receive an electronic copy.
If you are the winner of the book, Amy will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS—FAVORITE THINGS. Please respond to her e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. A new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent over a decade working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grade 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).