Author Archive

On Being a Writer

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Can first graders write Slice of Life Stories?

Prizes, Prizes, Prizes – 7th Annual SOLSC

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Take a look at all the prizes for Slice of Life Story Challenge participants!

Biographies with Heart

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Using mentor texts and a notebook entry to think about biographical writing

Making Paragraph Decisions

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We wondered if we could offer the students some revision possibilities. We wanted to help them see that there are countless ways to paragraph.

Writing About Reading Blog Series

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Lifting a line, creating a character connections web, and visual note taking are three ways for students to write about their reading. All three ways provide an opportunity for students to share their thinking, offering more than just a summary of the book. All three ways offer a glimpse into their minds as readers.

Erasure Poetry

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Erasure poetry is a form of “found poetry.” An Erasure poem is created by erasing words from an existing text and then using the leftover words to write a poem.

Looking for Prize Donations

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Are you creative and artistic? Do you have a new copy of professional book or writing-related book that you would be willing to donate? Have you written a book that you would like to donate?

Dana’s One Little Word for 2014

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I started thinking that maybe my dreams were a metaphor for the way I had been feeling… like I was drowning in the busy-ness of life, like I couldn’t get my head above water. In that instant, my word found me.

Winter Break Writing Plans

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In the midst of all this hustle and bustle, I hope to get into some classrooms this week to talk to kids about their writing plans for the long winter break.

Our Inner Writing Critic

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Now I know different. I know that all writers hear that voice. All of us. Here was my message to the 6th graders: All writers have an inner critic. Acknowledge yours. And KEEP WRITING.

Family Literacy Night: Writing Together

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The teachers noticed that several parents had written comments such as, “Great story, but you need commas” or “Nice job. Fix your capital letters.” We wondered how to help parents understand that this writing was not meant to be perfect or polished. As teachers, we talked about the kinds of comments that would help nudge these kids as writers.

Write, Share, Give: SOLS Time

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“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
― Neil Gaiman

It’s In the Details

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The idea of description and detail has been on my mind since that conference with Kevin. When might writers pause in their narrative to describe with rich detail?

SOLS & A New Link

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Before you link your Slice of Life Story today, please take a few minutes to check out our newly designed Slice of Life Information Page!

All Because We Shared Our Stories

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Our stories bond us together. I have known this to be true ever since I started writing, but I saw real evidence of it today as I walked down the hallways of my school building.

Link Your Slice of Life Story

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Now, it is time to write your slice, share your link, and give some comments to (at least three) other slicers.

Tailoring Our Teaching: Using a Writing Engagement Tool

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During a 40-minute block of independent writing time, we sat back and observed the students. We recorded their independent writing behaviors at eight separate time intervals.

Slice of Life & RSVP

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There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~Maya Angelou I am thankful to be hosting the Slice of Life Story Challenge on Tuesdays during the month of November.… Continue reading

Using the Cut-and-Tape Method to Draft

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As a district, we have experimented with several ways to get students’ writing out of the notebooks and into a draft. This is one of those ways.

When You Just Can’t Get Started

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Always looking to share real and authentic writing tips with my students, I compiled this list of strategies for when we’re in a writing rut and just can’t get started.