Skip to content

AuthorTara Smith

I teach Writing Workshop, Language Arts and Social Studies to sixth graders at a middle school in suburban New Jersey. This blog is my attempt to capture all the "stuff" that goes into my teaching life - the planning, the dreaming, the reading, the preparing, the hoping and (above all) the kids. Please note that the content of this blog is my own. It does not reflect the opinions of my employer.

Our End Of The Year Family Writing Celebration

I teach writing very differently from the way in which I was taught writing. I suspect that many of the parents of my sixth graders feel the same way when their kids come home with stories about mini lessons, mentor texts, and genre studies. “What do all these terms mean anyway?” they must wonder, “and exactly how do they advance my kid’s writing?”.

Learning From Ralph Fletcher: Teaching Authentic Information Writing

Two weekends ago, thanks to Bonnie Kaplan and the Hudson Valley Writing Project, I had the great pleasure of attending Ralph Fletcher’s presentation: “Making Nonfiction from Scratch: How Can We Give Students the Time, the Tools, and the Vision They Need in Order to Create Authentic Information Writing?” I knew it would be a great morning of learning …