charts · independence · scaffolding charts · strategy charts · teaching tools

The Power of Silent Teachers: Helping Writers Increase Productivity and Build Independence Through Interdependence with Tools in the Classroom

We give our writers a lot of stuff. Their folders are full of charts, worksheets and examples meant to be helpful for independent writing, but are students using these tools to their fullest capacity? Are writers waiting for us to say “get out ___” or “look at ____”? This post will give you some practical ideas for how to help students achieve interdependence and utilize the silent teachers in the classroom to their fullest capacity.

flexible seating

Creating Comfortable Inviting Spaces For Our Readers And Writers

Creating a space that offers flexible seating options is a conscious act of kindness that students feel. We want our classrooms to invite children both physically and emotionally to dive into their important work as readers and writers.

parent involvement · units of study

Communicating Clear Expectations for Writing Workshop

Words, time, language. All of these factors can be challenges when communicating efficiently and effectively with families. When in doubt, turn to creating a short video to communicate clear and concise expectations.

bilingual · foreign language · guest blogger · poetry

Finding Interdisciplinary Opportunities in Writing Workshop

What happens when the next unit in third grade writing workshop is poetry and the classroom teacher stumbles across an anthology of bilingual poetry? This post describes how a third-grade homeroom teacher and a Spanish teacher collaborated to implement an interdisciplinary, bilingual poetry unit.

back to school · writing workshop

Seven Realities of Launching Workshop in Kindergarten

This week, I welcome Katie Bristol as a guest blogger. Katie teaches kindergarten in Simsbury, CT, and she is my go-to person whenever I have a question about the youngest members of our school community. While her post may seem specific to kindergarten, her insights are important to educators who work in all grades. Follow Katie on twitter @bristol_katie.


My Five Favorite Share Sessions by @MermelsteinLeah

Share sessions in the writing workshop can be downright frustrating!  Whether it’s the same kids sharing day after day or every kid begging to share every day, many teachers have confided in me that share sessions are often the most neglected part of their writing workshop. 

guest blogger · high school · student engagement · student work · writing

Engaging High School Students in Writing — A Guest Blog Post by the #BowTieBoys

Ryan Hur, Tam Mandanis, Kellen Pluntke, Rishi Singh, Christian Sporre, and Dawson Unger are six of the Bow Tie Boys who are a group of high school students from Northern Virginia. Today they take on the topic of student engagement in secondary writing classes.

current events · middle school · writing · writing workshop

Tools of the Trade — A Guest Blog Post by Vicki Meigs-Kahlenberg

We can’t control what happen next in our news feeds or in the lives of our students. By making intentional time in our curriculum for writing, sharing and publishing, we can equip our students with the most powerful tools we have available to develop and strengthen their voices within our classrooms, and create a confidence within to speak their truths out in the world.

brainstorming · christopher lehman · content-area writing · engagement · research

Using Writing for Research in the Content Area: It’s Not Just for ELA

Today's guest blog post comes from Library Media Specialist, Shannon Betts.

LIWP · risk-taking · teacher of writing · Teachers who write

Today is a Great Day to Learn Something New

So, as I enter the start of my school year, I am proud to identify as a lifelong learner in every sense of the word. I am a professional who continuously strives to grow in my craft. I surround myself with people that inspire me to be the best I can be and I actively seek out opportunities to do so as well. I modify and implement what I learn to better my teaching. I learn from my mistakes, take in the advice of others and adjust accordingly. Additionally, I am a curious minded individual who seeks out new experiences, new people, new places and is willing to take risks to better myself. I am leading by example to my students as I follow the mantra hanging in the front of my classroom- “Today is a great day to learn something new!”