Search Results for: small groups

Urgent Small Groups: Eating the Whole Cookie

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Recent longitudinal studies have shown that students who in early years perform as strong writers do not remain strong writers into middle school.  Rather, they slip to the middle of the pack- or worse, they become unmotivated to write.  Why is that? And what can we do about it?

Student-Led Small Groups: Beyond the Fundamentals of Writing Workshop

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Small group instruction allows for efficiency and strategy sessions with more than one student. Allowing students to lead these groups and sessions gives purpose and opportunity to not only further the understandings of the leader but impacts your community of writers as they grow.

Teaching Small Groups in the Middle School Writing Workshop

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For many middle school teachers, planning and teaching small groups in writing workshop feels a little like the Rubik’s Cube; like this famous puzzle, there is a sense that small groups are doable (somehow, maybe?), yet the orchestration of all the many parts can make them feel overwhelming and perhaps even insurmountable.  If you feel this way, know that you are not alone.

Small Groups: Writing Workshop Fundamentals

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Our blog series on writing workshop fundamentals continues through the weekend. Take a look at how you can benefit from incorporating small groups into your daily writing workshop routine.

Coaching Writers in the Small Group

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Coaches of young athletes often offer tips, reminders, and suggestions from the sidelines in hopes of eliciting the best possible performance from the team.  As teachers of writing, we can borrow this structure in our small group settings.

Reminders About Small Group Instruction

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Whenever I pull a small group for a lesson, there are some important guidelines I try to remember and follow.

Tools to have on hand for Small Group Instruction

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In a recent post about small group instruction, I wrote about ways to group students who need instruction on a similar strategy. Sometimes, we form small groups ahead of time through careful planning. However,… Continue reading

Ideas for planning Small Group Instruction

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Small group instruction is a powerful way to reach and teach more students in your classroom!

Three Quick Tips for Small Group Strategy Lessons

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Have you been super busy the past few weeks? I know I sure have been! So, I won’t take up any extra of your time. Here are three quick tips for small group… Continue reading

New Blog Series: Tailoring our Teaching / Assessment-based Strategy Groups for Expository Writing

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When I first began teaching using a workshop model, I spent forever planning my minilessons. I wanted to make sure that my language was exactly right, and that I got to each part… Continue reading

Publishing Small Moment Stories in Kindergarten

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I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours at P.S. 171, my old school, yesterday when I was in NYC taking care of some wedding planning. During the time I was… Continue reading

Fitting It All In: Solving Predictable Problems

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For many of us, especially in middle school, trying to fit all the pieces of writing workshop into, say, a 41-minute schedule, can feel daunting. How can we teach a minilesson, get our kids working, confer with individuals and small groups, provide a mid-workshop interruption, and facilitate a teaching share…all in that tight time frame?

Demonstration Texts, Part Deux

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Thinking about your demonstration texts this way can give you some inspiration for multiple ways to teach the same minilesson, to the whole class, or to small groups as follow-up.

Everyone Gets What They Need: Reaching Your Writers

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How a story about babies and bandages helped kids and families differentiate between equity and equality….and what it looks like for everyone go get what they need during writing workshop.

Conferring Notes: The Key to Unit Planning

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Crafting a system for conferring notes can be a catch-all of sorts, a strategy for ensuring that teammates engage in the highest leverage instructional conversations before the unit begins—even if they haven’t had extended time to unit plan together.

From Skin Study to Writing Workshop

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After finishing each swirl of her curly hair, Camila circled her paintbrush around and around, forming eyes. For many children, the self-portrait stops here, at the outline.  I kneeled next to the young… Continue reading

Three Ways To Increase Instructional Clarity

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Teaching is an art, and sometimes tweaks don’t work as we hope or envision. However, I hope that these three ideas do increase the clarity of instruction in ways that help all students learn to be independent confident writers.

Teaching Shares: Ending Strong

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Working within a tightly segmented middle school schedule (or any pre-planned schedule) can sometimes pose a challenge to “fit in” an opportunity for closure. With this special challenge in mind, how can we perhaps be more intentional about this important time in our workshops?

The Good-Enough Writing Workshop

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When we’re new at doing something, we try to achieve perfection too soon. Greatness isn’t something that can be achieved when we begin teaching writing using a workshop approach. It helps to extend ourselves some grace and accept being “good enough” when we start.

How do your students learn?

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The more that we understand the distinctive characteristics of the intelligences, the better we can recognize ways to differentiate for learners, honoring the spectrum of learning styles that exist in not only our classrooms, but also our world.