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.
My strategy for meeting the needs of advanced writers: personalization. Strategic, pre-planned opportunities, set like a vision trap to capture the imagination of each writer. Once caught, these writers can be reeled in to a level of complexity they had no idea they were ready (and willing) to try.
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.
Each year, Two Writing Teachers Blog pauses to mark the events of September 11, 2001. It’s hard to believe it’s been 19 years. However you choose to honor the loss and the heroism of so many, we are with you.
As I considered what to write this week, I decided to share a piece I was crafting for back to school, as an instructional coach/remote kindergarten teacher this year. The process helped me to focus on what families might need, as they experience writing workshop in new ways (i.e. at their kitchen tables).
It’s Tuesday! Please join us for the Slice of Life Story Challenge. Write. Share. Give.
It’s Tuesday! What might you write and share today as part of our #TWT community? We welcome your voice and your stories.
Sarah Zerwin is workshop to her core, and she has found ways to ensure that her assessment practices are not sending conflicting messages to kids. Point-Less will challenge readers to reflect and inspire them to advocate for change.
It’s Tuesday! Time to invest in your own writing life with the Slice of Life Story Challenge.
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.
It’s Tuesday! Gift yourself time to write, share, and give. (It will be worth every minute!)
THIS is what teachers need right now. This is my work as a coach, and this is what we can all do for each other in this challenging time.
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.
Crafting a system for conferring notes can be a catch-all of sorts, a strategy for ensuring that teammates engage in the highest leverage instructional conversations before the unit begins—even if they haven’t had extended time to unit plan together.
The creative lives we maintain outside of writing fill us up as humans with stories to tell. When we bring this life into the writing workshop, it builds community, and it lays the foundation for lifelong writers who have strategies for sustaining their own writing lives.