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AuthorAmy Ellerman

Reader, writer, and instructional coach. Always thinking. Collaborating to innovate the learning experience for students and educators.

Spinach in a Writer’s Teeth: To Point it out, or not to Point it Out?

When this scenario happened to me (years ago), it did give me pause. As a teacher of writers, I am not the conventions police—I have always been the kind of writer who values content over conventions in the workshop. This is not to say I do not teach conventions or have high expectations for their use. However, it would be fair to say that this particular situation challenged me to think about grammar, punctuation, and spelling differently—shifting the way I approached conventions in the classroom going forward.

How do we get to Know our Writers Remotely: A Case Study

There’s no question it is challenging to get to know writers deeply via Zoom. And yet. . . something is working, because all of my remote kindergartners are writing. They are all making books. And while I might not have an hour each day to be side by side with them in the classroom, there is no question I am finding ways to get to know what kind of writers they are and what they need.

Seen, Valued, Heard: Leveraging Shared Writing to Build Community

In my experience, many young writers struggle to use a writer’s notebook as a tool. They’re excited to have a notebook but unclear about what to “do” in there. Shared writing can be a powerful way to teach writers how to generate ideas for writing and to get themselves started, based on the books we are reading and discussing as a community.

Thinking Big About Writing

The writing work in our building is transforming, and it is exciting to be a part of the change, to witness the impact on kids as we make our workshops increasingly authentic and compelling.

We are constantly reflecting on what’s working—what’s leading to measurable shifts in how we plan for writing (and how kids experience writing)—as well as where we might be getting stuck: places there is genuine motivation to transform the task, and yet, our best intentions are still missing the mark in some significant way.