Author Archive

Self-Assessment: Assessment Strengthens Writers

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Annie began reading, the first few words showing strong attempted spelling, “I went to the forest and followed a path….” As she continued, her stamina for attempted spelling waned. Her enthusiasm and eagerness to share did not change! She kept reading her story with fluency and excitement. When Annie finished, she turned to the class, and the writers greeted her with silent applause and Annie beamed.

It’s Tuesday! Write. Share. Give.

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Welcome to Slice of Life Tuesday! We are so glad you’re here today!

A Weeks Reflections and Student Work

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Thanks for stopping by the blog.  Last week I promised to share student work and my reflections after a week of Getting Kids Excited About Writing. As I listened to teachers talk about… Continue reading

Getting Writers Excited to Write!

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So how do we help these young storytellers bring their stories to paper?
How do we show them these are the stories writers write? I think we begin by getting our kids excited, really excited, like “I can do this, let me write NOW! Excited.

Helping Parents See Progress Through the Process

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As learners ourselves, we know students need a supportive culture where taking risks, asking questions, and understanding the value of the process is omnipresent.

Protecting Student Writing Time

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My students won’t become writers just because I want them to be writers. Writers need to wallow in new information, time to let all the words, ideas and questions wash over them, connect with their schema, and let the new information become their own.

3 Steps to Building A Learning Community: Vision. Intention. Purpose.

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The young writers sitting in our classroom will rise above the fears and struggles of being a writer, but it will take intentional planning, repetitive teaching, daily writing, and reteaching. Writing is hard work. Students don’t become writers because we have writing workshop. Writers become writers because teachers have clear intentions and a vision of what’s possible.

Listening and Watching Intently: Building a Learning Community

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A few short weeks ago our new school year began. I am feeling the pressure of getting to know my students, setting up our room, and building a community of learners. In these early days I tread slowly.

Fast Forward to Today: 7 Things I Want the Writers in my Classroom to Know

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A year ago, I wrote a post titled, 7 Things I Want the Writers in my Classroom to Know. In this post, I wrote about what I knew about being a writer and what I thought the writers sharing our classroom should know about being a writer. Today, I offer an update after an another year of writing.

Students Writing: Day One and Every Day

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Uncovering the various layers of a student takes time, intention, and writing.

Making the Classroom a Place for Everyone

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Establishing expectations, student goals, and classroom norms from the start will help you and the paraprofessional move forward as a team who operates with the best interest of the children first.

Active Authentic Audience: Starting with What Matters Most

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Once an audience is established it becomes omnipresent in your classroom, the effects aren’t limited to the one sharing; they reach the community as a whole.

New Blog Series: Starting with What Matters Most in Writing Workshop

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Over the next eight days, my friends and I at Two Writing Teachers will share what goes into developing writers who work with agency, purpose, and independence in our Blog Series: Starting With What Matters Most. Set a reminder or mark your calendars, you won’t want to miss a day of these timely posts.

It’s SOL Tuesday!

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Writing takes bravery and a willingness to take a risk. Today is your day to be brave.

Reflecting & Raising Clarity: Parent Communication

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I began to see what my parent communication was missing. The families have various opportunities to see what we do in first grade, but I have not provided consistent access to the thinking and rationale behind my teaching practices.

Welcome to SOL Tuesday!

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Writing isn’t magic, yet your writing can only exist with you.

Welcome to SOL Tuesday!

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Let your stories flow from your mind to your fingers and let them all surprise you.

Reflections and Refinements: The Year Ahead

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I packed the books, cleared the tables and turned in my keys. It’s an official end to the school year. As I sit down in my car, my head, and my heart begins to reflect on the year, the successes, the trials and what could’ve been

Welcome to SOL Tuesday!

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Ah, summer the springboard of our stories!

A Year of Writing: A Week of Reflection

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As I confer with each writer, I feel my eyes filling with tears. I show each student their writing from the first day of school and watch as their less cherubic and more mature faces brighten. “That’s really my first writing in first grade?” “I didn’t even use the whole page.” “I can’t read it.” and “That doesn’t look like my writing now.” were typical comments.