Author Archive

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.

Why Would Writing Stop When School Ends?

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“Janie, you have a lifetime of writing. Writing, collecting stories, and sharing with others is a gift of life, and it never ends. Aren’t we lucky Janie?”

The Promise of a Writing Maker Space

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As I opened my classroom door Friday I knew we would be writing a poem for Mother’s Day. I was feeling a bit guilty about the ease and maybe the lack of thought that I had put into the gift this year. As I switched on the lights and straightened books, I thought about Wonderopolis. I entered Mother’s Day in the search box and found a wonder on Mother’s Day and an invitation to dive into Writing Maker Space!

Student-Written Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts

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As you embark on using, student-written mentor texts push yourself beyond the flawless and visually perfect pieces. Look for the gems buried behind the messy and sometimes crumpled papers. Search for opportunities for all students to shine and guide other writers. All writers have value.

Planting Seeds for Poetry

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Dropping poetry in our classroom silently was like sprinkling seeds and the students (in the classroom and our mentors in Ms. Haseltine’s classroom in Virginia) acted as the fertilizer. The students were learning about poetry and becoming poets before we had any lessons. From this point on, our study of poetry became an enlightenment of the curiosity and noticings of the students.

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.

Growing Writers, One Challenge at a Time

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This year, our class motto has been “Push through the struggle.” Originally a mantra of one student, but quickly became the motto of the community. These are the words used to encourage each other to persevere in all learning tasks. The Slice Of Life Story Challenge was no exception!

Professional Development Done Your Way: P.D. Possibilities Series

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#HilliardU brings the essential elements of professional development together in one event. First, Hilliard U is made up of presentations by teachers of various grade levels and subject areas, academic coaches, related arts teachers, administration and well-known professionals in our field. As participants, we design our day by choosing from a variety of breakout sessions offered or take advantage of a collaboration room to work with colleagues.

Congratulations to the Winner

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Thank you, Highlights Foundation, for this generous prize. Your support of our writing community is so deeply appreciated by us and our readers.

Another Commenting Challenge with a BIG Prize

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Writing is only one part of what makes this community strong. Our community would exist without the generosity of your writing AND comments.

For this, we want to reward you by offering an incredible opportunity! This weekend, we aim to demonstrate our appreciation of this community with our second Commenting Challenge.

Day 5! Slice Of Life Story Challenge Classroom

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If you’re participating in the CLASSROOM Slice of Life Story Challenge, this is where you share your writing.

Day 4 Slice of Life Story Challenge Classroom

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If you’re participating in the CLASSROOM Slice of Life Story Challenge, this is where you share your writing. Welcome to Day 4 of the 4th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge Classroom!   Looking… Continue reading

DAY 3 SOLSC CLASSROOM #SOL16

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If you’re participating in the CLASSROOM Slice of Life Story Challenge, this is where you share your writing.

Day 2 SOLSC Classroom #sol16

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One of the most exciting things about participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge is the community. Writers of all ages need to feel that connection with other writers.

CLASSROOM SOLSC FOR STUDENTS: DAY 1 OF 31

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Welcome to Day One of the Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge!

Success, Struggles and Strategies~ Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge

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When @cathymere first asked if I planned to participate in the 30 days writing challenge my answer was, “Yes! My class will love the idea of a challenge, and they write every day in our writing workshop, so why not!” After my rather impulsive “Yes” I reflected on the writers in my class and began wonder what this challenge would look like in our classroom.

Helping Parents See Student Writing with a Writer’s Eye

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We come together in the interest of supporting and celebrating the student, it’s important to help parents see the work of their child on a deeper level.