Author Archive

Giving Students Choice in Note Taking

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Tomorrow marks the last of our research days in writing workshop.  When we return to school next week, my sixth graders will begin the process of sifting through their research and drafting their… Continue reading

Write, Share, Give: SOL Time

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Dear SOLSC writing community, We, at TWT,  have been gearing up for our annual March Slice of Life Story Challenge, for some time now.  March is drawing closer with every passing day.  Taking… Continue reading

Writing about reading: offering students choice in reading responses

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When I first began teaching, Nancie Atwell’s In The Middle was my go to PD book for all things to do with reading and writing workshop.  I modeled so many of my teaching… Continue reading

Following through with “I do. We do. You do.” in writing workshop.

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Yesterday, Stacey wrote a thoughtful post about how we lead our students to ownership of their learning habits, and she concluded with these wise words: “Doing something for someone else doesn’t help them… Continue reading

Making space for writing (lots of it) in Social Studies

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I love teaching writing and reading workshop, but there’s a special place in my heart for the third subject I teach: social studies.  Part of the reason for this is just a love… Continue reading

TARA’S ONE LITTLE WORD FOR 2014

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One. Little. Word. I have been in search of my one little word for some time now, without much success.  The more I thought about it, the more anxious and uncertain I became…especially… Continue reading

WRITE, SHARE, GIVE: SOLS TIME

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For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. ~T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding” How appropriate that… Continue reading

WRITE, SHARE, GIVE: SOLS TIME

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“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.” ― Anaïs Nin It is time to write your Slice, share your link, and give some comments to (at… Continue reading

Creating writing museums

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Last July, Bonnie Kaplan invited me to join the Hudson Valley Writing Project’s Summer Institute for a day.  I had been hearing so much about the work these teachers had been doing, that… Continue reading

WRITE, SHARE, GIVE: SOLS TIME

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“A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.” ― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind   It is… Continue reading

In my writing workshop: a student takes ownership

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Tucked away among  the many books I bought at NCTE is this treasure: a collection of Donald Graves’ essays on writing workshop.  An added bonus is a DVD that captures footage of  Don… Continue reading

Write, share, give: SOLS time

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“A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with… Continue reading

Video Writing Prompts: Keeping kids engaged in those “between units and right before vacation days.”

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It’s that time of year in many of our classrooms: that restless  time between Thanksgiving break and winter recess.  I mark my kids “present” every day, but I know that most of them… Continue reading

WRITE, SHARE, GIVE: SOLS TIME

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Just before we left for our Thanksgiving break, a fellow teacher I’d been trying to persuade to join our Slice of Life community emailed me to say that she’d finally got her blog… Continue reading

Reflections on writing workshop: Sometimes when they say they’re “done” they’re really done

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  copyright: Bill Watterson – Calvin and Hobbes This is pretty much how Josh felt when I pulled my conferring stool up next to his desk yesterday and asked, “So, how’s it going?”… Continue reading

Nourishing the writer in the writing teacher.

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All week long, Heinemann Publishing has been celebrating  Don Graves on their Facebook page, featuring his groundbreaking  work, and asking educators this question: To honor Don Graves, help us keep his legacy alive.… Continue reading

Close reading leads to close writing: “Falling in Love With Close Reading” in writing workshop

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 I have truly fallen in love with Falling in Love With Close Reading, the just-released book by Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts.      As with Kylene Beers and Robert Probst’s Notice and… Continue reading

Tailoring Our Teaching: Stretching our gifted writers

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     Every year, I have one or two writers who arrive at my sixth grade writing workshop door fully formed: they love to write, they write beautifully, and they write well across… Continue reading

Teaching memoir: Views from sixth and seventh grade

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Moving from personal narrative to memoir presents challenges and rewards for sixth and seventh graders – they are working with a very familiar genre (they’ve been writing personal narratives since kindergarten, after all),… Continue reading

Three “just right” texts to investigate the craft of memoir.

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I love our writing workshop shift  from personal narrative to memoir.  It comes at the perfect time of year: our notebooks have filled up with writing lists and entries, our weekly slice of… Continue reading