Author Archive

How To Name An Explicit Teaching Point for Writers

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A clear teaching point helps students understand the work, and makes your conference more memorable. A concisely stated teaching point is also is a tool for keeping your conference focused and effective.

How-To Writing for All Ages: Expand the Possibilities of Genres You Teach

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I was surprised to discover that some kids see How-To’s as something that is only for kindergarteners. I wonder how many teachers might also think of How-To’s as something that is too easy for older writers.

Literacy Coaches: Thinking Ahead to May & June — Already?!

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Here are three things I’m working on, right now, in the first week of February.

Overview of the 13th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge

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This March, we’ll host the 13th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge.

A Few Reasons to Stop Writing on Student Work

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Even if you were somebody who enjoyed your teachers’ written comments or corrections on your papers, there are some solid reasons to consider not writing on your students’ work.

Something Do-Able to Try: The Editing Minute

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Most of us probably do it without even thinking much about it, but our young writers might not have developed this important habit.

Paper Choices for Opinion and Argument Writing: Reaching Your Writers

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Providing options for paper allows all your students to do the same type of writing (opinion, persuasive, or argument) in many different ways. Differentiating the materials makes it possible for all your students to do the work–without having to resort to a formula or fill-in-the-blank worksheet.

“Just-Keep-Swimming” Spelling Strategies

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Just like Dory, in the movie Finding Nemo, young writers can easily lose their way and forget where they were headed, especially if they stop for too long and lose their momentum.

Living the Writerly Life in School

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We say to kids, “Here’s your notebook! Now you are writer!” We want kids to write in school and beyond. Maybe there are things we can do in school to keep their writerly lives going–even when our units of study and minilessons have moved on to other aspects of the work.

How to Name a Transferable Teaching Point in a Writing Conference

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Conferring with young writers is far too complex to boiled down to just one important aspect. But… if you had to name the most important part of a writing conference, what would it be?

Dear Kids… A Post You Can Share With Your Students on How To Use Writing Notebooks Home

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Inspired by a recent conversation I had with some fourth graders, today I want to share a post with you that is also something you can share with your students. Feel free to read, display, or otherwise share with your third fourth, fifth graders, and middle schoolers.

Advice for the Perfectionists in Writing Workshop

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Do you consider yourself to be a perfectionist? Are there students in your classroom who might be described as perfectionists?

Inspire Your Young Writers With A Wide Inclusive Range of Topics and Stories

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One thing we can do to support all writers, is to be intentional in the topics and story ideas we use as models and mentors. Modeling a wide range of stories and ideas can help each of your writers be inspired.

Routines and Structures of Writing Workshop: Nurturing Independence from the Start

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In this post, I’ll describe how four parts of writing workshop can foster independence: Minilessons, Independent Writing Time, Partner Time, and the Reflection/Closing.

A To Be Written List

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What will be on your To Be Written List this summer?

Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Be a teacher who writes! Join us for the Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge today! #TWTBlog

Take a Tour of Your Own School with an Eye Toward Writing Workshop

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When you have a chance, take a walk through the hallways of your own school. Try to see with fresh eyes. Pretend you are a visitor. Ask yourself: What kind of writing is… Continue reading

Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Be a teacher who writes! Join us for the Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge today! #TWTBlog

Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Be a teacher who writes! Join us for the Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge today! #TWTBlog

Three Things to Try in Writing Workshop Before the End of the School Year

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Three things you maybe never thought of trying – add them to your writing workshop bucket list for the school year!