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.
When you share your gratitude for someone’s support, you give them energy and inspiration to keep on going.
Join us every Tuesday for the Slice of Life Story Challenge!
If you are a young kid, and you are trying to spell a word, what do you do?
Join us! Share a story from your life!
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.
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
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.
Welcome to November everybody!
Call it jargon, call it terminology, call it what you will. We have our own made-up words for things sometimes.
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
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.
And with November, comes report cards.
The one question that comes up again and again, no matter what part of the country I happen to visiting, is TIME.
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.
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
This week has been full of writing workshop conundrums and dilemmas!
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.
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.
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.