Author Archive

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.

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.