Author Archive

ICYMI Aim Higher: Outgrow Old Goals and Set New Ones

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Last week Tara, Betsy, Dana, Anna, Stacey and I wrote about the importance of having writing goals for your students: how to set them, how to keep track of them, how to make them visible, and how to make them a part of your daily classroom life.

In cased you missed it, here’s a round up of our posts.

Aim Higher: Conferring and Student Goals

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So, you’ve studied your students’ writing, analyzing their work for strengths and next steps. Maybe you took home a giant stack of writers notebooks, or a huge pile of on-demand writing assessments, or maybe you’ve just finished reading their published pieces. Now what?

Grammar Lessons: A Time and A Place

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Encouraging kids to make decisions about their writing, rather than blindly following grammar rules helps lifts the level of their thinking, and the level of their writing.

Three Words for Fostering Adventurous Writers: “Just Try It.”

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At our house we have a rule at dinner time: You have to try everything on your plate. Personally, I think it’s a great rule, if I do say so myself. It’s a… Continue reading

Beth’s One Little Word for 2015

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This morning, as usual, we were running a little behind schedule. “Lily, put on your coat,” I said to my daughter, who is five, as I zipped up my son, Jackson’s, snowsuit. Lily… Continue reading

Throwback Week: I Do. We Do. You Do.

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This week, we’ve been re-posting our favorite old posts. I always learn a ton from my friend and co-blogger Stacey Shubitz. This post of hers, from one year ago, is one that I just loved.

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.

Four Types of Demonstration Texts

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The way I felt about starting my first garden is probably how a lot of kids feel during writing workshop when we give mysterious directions to “add more detail” or “grab the reader’s interest.” The language many of us use during writing workshop probably makes perfect sense to adults–but for kids we need to be more explicit. Teaching just by telling is not enough.

Who Inspires You? Expressing Teacher-Mentor Gratitude

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When you share your gratitude for someone’s support, you give them energy and inspiration to keep on going.

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.