Author Archive

Slice of Life Story Challenge: Every Tuesday!

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Join us every Tuesday for the Slice of Life Story Challenge!

Give It Your Best Try…And Move On!

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If you are a young kid, and you are trying to spell a word, what do you do?

Slice of Life Story Challenge: Every Tuesday!

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Join us! Share a story from your life!

Supporting Boy Writers: An Interview with Ralph Fletcher

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Have you ever banned a topic from your writing workshop? If you have, you’re not alone…but you may want to think twice about that policy.

Slice of Life Stories: Every Tuesday!

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Share your Slice of Life Story today! Post a permalink to your story in the comments section below, and comment on at least three other slices! Do you love being a part of… Continue reading

Work Smarter: How To Wrap Up A Unit of Study

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This week my colleagues and I are writing posts that we hope will make your life a little easier. We’re sharing some ways to work smarter, not harder.

Share Your Slice of Life: It’s SOL Tuesday!

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Welcome to November everybody!

A Quick Guide to Workshop Lingo

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Call it jargon, call it terminology, call it what you will. We have our own made-up words for things sometimes.

The “Share” Time

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Long ago, most teachers I knew had a ritual that they held near and dear to their hearts. At the end of every writing workshop, a child sat in the Author’s Chair and… Continue reading

Positive Post-It Day

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Inspired by a story about a brave high school student, I left a positive post-it note for each teacher I worked with earlier this week.

Conversations About Standards-Based Report Cards: Do Your Students Know How They’re Doing?

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And with November, comes report cards.

Creative Scheduling in Middle School

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The one question that comes up again and again, no matter what part of the country I happen to visiting, is TIME.

What’s An On-Demand?

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On-demand assessments allow us to check and see, rather than speculate, on what kids already know and can do. Then we can make well-informed choices about what to teach.

Top Five Lessons to Teach to Writing Partners of All Ages Right Now

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Writing partners can be an important source of inspiration and support for your kids. It’s the rare kid who truly wants to work alone all the time. Writing requires an audience, someone to give… Continue reading

Okay, But What Would You Do?

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This week has been full of writing workshop conundrums and dilemmas!

Minilessons: It’s All About the Link

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It’s all about the link. Make sure your minilessons link to ongoing work. Link to making choices. Link to all the other minilessons. Link to the charts and resources in the room. Most of all link your minilesson always to problem solving and independence.

There Are More Ways Than One To Teach A Minilesson

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Last week I wrote a post titled How To Plan A Minilesson From Scratch, and I outlined a very simple way to plan minilessons, based on the work of my wonderful colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Now, I am going to backtrack a bit and revisit just a teensy weensy bit of what I said. I wrote, “Every minilesson can pretty much go the same way.” And this is absolutely true, most of the time. Except for those times when it’s not true.

How to Plan a Minilesson from Scratch

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Minilessons are actually really easy to plan, and fun to teach. What? You don’t believe me? Let me show you, right now, how to do it.

Sharpen Your Workshop Routines: Writing Centers to Organize All Your Materials

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Every year, around this time, I start having dreams about setting up my classroom. In the classroom of my dreams, I’m moving around small circular tables, unfurling a brand new rug for the… Continue reading

Two Writing Teachers Summer Vacation

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The six of us will be recharging our batteries, planning and brainstorming, coming up with even more great ideas to share with our lovely community of teachers and writers.

But don’t worry, we’ve got lots to keep you going in the meantime!