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Entry Points to Get Students Writing in Their Writer’s Notebook: Our Favorite Things

It takes more than a new writer’s notebook and preferred writing utensils to get kids writing! Teaching students a variety of strategies to generate writing in their notebooks is helpful if we want them to view their writer’s notebooks as both a workbench and a playground.

Spinach in a Writer’s Teeth: To Point it out, or not to Point it Out?

When this scenario happened to me (years ago), it did give me pause. As a teacher of writers, I am not the conventions police—I have always been the kind of writer who values content over conventions in the workshop. This is not to say I do not teach conventions or have high expectations for their use. However, it would be fair to say that this particular situation challenged me to think about grammar, punctuation, and spelling differently—shifting the way I approached conventions in the classroom going forward.

Taking a Little Dip Back into Tried and True Teaching: Simple Ways to Embrace the Writing Conference During Virtual Learning

When the world of education suddenly shifted, so did our teaching practices. Some of us might be ready to start bringing back some of the teaching structures we replied on in the classroom. This will offer some quick practical ways we might bring back parts of the traditional writing conference during virtual learning.

Thinking About Implicit Bias: Teaching Writing With a Social Justice Lens

As we think about our implicit biases, maybe the most important thing is that we increase our awareness and act from a place of humility and reflection– with a willingness to take a look at parts of our belief systems and behaviors that are uncomfortable, at best. When we know better, we do better. And isn’t that the goal?

Teaching Small Groups in the Middle School Writing Workshop

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.