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Strengthening Writing Partnerships, Part 2

In my previous November post about partnerships, three ideas were shared: (1) Study existing partnerships to assess current and potential effectiveness; (2) Teach a replicable process for meaningful revision; and (3) Teach writers how to create process pages.  Today I will share just a few more strategies for supporting and strengthening writing partnerships…

Strengthening Writing Partnerships, Part I

A writing partner provides a sounding board and creates a social opportunity for feedback, criticism, and notions of what improvement could look like or sound like. The problem with partnerships, however, is that left to their own devices kids are not very good at being partners. How can we help kids get better? Here are a few strategies…

Partnerships Can Provide Purpose and Power

All writers seek feedback.  All writers write for an audience.  All writers question themselves. And for these reasons, writers long to bring their work to another person– another set of eyes, another pair of ears.  Hence, the writing partner in writing workshop.  When working well, partnerships can help grow the confidence of each writer in our classes by providing support, authentic peer feedback, and a sounding board for ideas.  Here are a few ingredients to consider when creating a community of writers…

Beliefs Guide Actions

Right now, we really do not know how school will look in the coming year.  Will it be virtual?  Will it be physical? Will it be a hybrid model?  Who knows?  But if we agree that our beliefs are implicit, and that they guide our intentional actions, then perhaps not only reading this post but also examining and identifying your own will help you be the best you can be… whatever the circumstances you find yourself in next year. 

Passion Projects During COVID-19

During the Teachers College Virtual Teaching Institute a few weeks ago, staff developer Natalie Friday introduced an idea for learning during the current global pandemic: Passion Projects.  With schools now closed, several of them for the remainder of the academic year, some students (and teachers!) may feel like they are actually living the movie, “Groundhog Day.”  So with this gift of time (if we can see our way to interpreting it that way), why not encourage students to pursue a passion they have or would like to grow?

A Time For Stories: Invitation to the April Classroom SOLSC

I can’t think of a more important time for sharing stories.Our students are living through a most historic moment as the world faces the Covid-19 global pandemic. Many of us are experiencing school closures and trying to navigate distance learning for the first time under challenging circumstances. If one of your goals is for your students to grow as writers, feel part of a community, and document this unique time in history, consider joining us for the 2020 April Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOLSC).

Rethinking Materials, Routines, and Collaboration: What Does Independence and Interdependence Look Like From Home?

Our teaching worlds have been turned upside down. For many of us, every system and structure we’ve had in place for planning, teaching and learning has changed over the past few days. As you find our groove in the new reality, here are some practical suggestions that will help bring the many comforts of your classroom home.

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

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.