Author Archive

Four Types of Demonstration Texts

by

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

by

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!

by

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

Give It Your Best Try…And Move On!

by

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!

by

Join us! Share a story from your life!

Supporting Boy Writers: An Interview with Ralph Fletcher

by

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!

by

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

by

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!

by

Welcome to November everybody!

A Quick Guide to Workshop Lingo

by

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

The “Share” Time

by

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

by

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?

by

And with November, comes report cards.

Creative Scheduling in Middle School

by

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?

by

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

by

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?

by

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

Minilessons: It’s All About the Link

by

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

by

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

by

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.