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Fall Flashback

Although fall officially started on September 22nd, it finally feels like fall has arrived where I am on Long Island, New York! Sweaters and sweatshirts cover summer t-shirts, doorsteps are adorned with pumpkins, the trees in my neighborhood are starting to turn red, orange and yellow, and coffee just doesn’t feel right unless it’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte! Fall is full of traditions and moments to remember. Fall is also a time for some predicatable happenings in schools: parent/teacher conferences, report cards, publishing celebrations and finally getting into a groove with writer’s workshop.

This is my 21st year of teaching (my teaching career can legally have a drink now!) and my 9th year teaching third grade. While there is always more to learn and explore, sometimes it is worth looking back on ideas and stategies from years gone by. I wanted to share with you some posts I’ve written in falls past that might be relevant or interesting to you now.

Back in October 2015, I shared Writing Workshop is Hard Work! (I still think so.) This post shares some ideas for explaining writing workshop to caregivers that could be helpful at Curriculum Night or family conferences.

Also in October 2015, I wrote a post on incorporating feelings into the brainstorming work students do when writing personal narratives.

Informational writing was on my mind in November 2015 in the post Infusing Information Writing Throughout the Day. This post includes ideas on infusing writing across the curriculum.

In September 2016, I shared some ideas about using Family Dialogue Journals, where students would write letters to their parents/caregivers and a three way written conversation could take place with the teacher, student and family member.

In October 2016, I embarked on a Passion Project to take a picture each day and write a haiku to accompany it. I shared more ideas around how to Pursue a Passion Project in this post.

In November 2016, I wrote about giving students space to write what they want, apart from writing workshop time. I remember this school year, I had students creating book series and there was a lot of excitement around being writers!

In September 2017, I shared how important it is to really get to know your student writers.

In October 2017, punctuation was on my mind (it always seems to be in third grade!) and I shared how my class did a gallery walk to explore different kinds of punctuation.

In November 2017, my son, Alex, was a first grade reluctant writer. I shared how encouraging him to write the sounds he hears in words is better than having no writing at all! This was a sentimental post for me to look back on as Alex is now a sixth grader and writes beautifully. Sometimes, it all works out!

In October 2018, I presented my Thoughtful Third Grader routine. I still do this and it is a favorite activity among my students who all look forward to their week in the spotlight!

In November 2018, I shared some strategies to help students go from writing a single paragraph to writing a personal essay.

In October 2019, I shared some ideas for the National Day on Writing, which is coming up again on October 20th!

In November 2019, I wrote a post that is still closet to my heart about helping writers who are very reluctant to write.

By September 2020, of course our world was quite different than we ever imagined it might be back in 2019 (or any year before). I wrote a post to help make mask break times more productive with writing prompts that also incorporated social/emotional character traits. While mask breaks are likely not a thing in your school anymore, I still think this work can be incorporated into a school day and is valuable.

In November 2020, I compared my exercise journey to building stamina with your writers!

In September 2021, I wrote about the importance of taking time to nourish your teacher soul!

In October 2021, I shared why you might want to use shared writing in your small group lessons.

I hope there might be some new-to-you ideas in these older posts or maybe ideas you used to use and might want to try again! I had fun flashing back to my previous fall posts and I hope you might find one idea that feels right to you in this season. Please share in the comments if any of these older posts resonated!

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