It's Tuesday! That means it's time to write, share, and enjoy the work of others. Craft your slice, drop a link in the comments, and respond to at least three other Slicers' posts. While you're at it, enjoy this inspiration from Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness: "To write a story or a poem or an essay is to make a claim about what we find beautiful, about what moves us, to reveal a vision of the world, which is always terrifying; to write seriously is to find ourselves always pressed against not just our technical but our moral limits."
It’s no secret that storytelling helps children develop a sense of story. It’s no secret that oral language supports kids who don’t yet have the mechanics of writing. And it’s no secret that storytelling and oral language allow students to compose writing in a low-risk, often fun way. What many don’t realize, however, is that oral language can support writing throughout the writing process, and that learners of all ages - through adulthood! - can benefit from bringing oral language into the picture. In this post, I’ll share a few activities that highlight the way oral language can strengthen writing instruction. Focused on later parts of the writing process, these activities support revision and feedback. I’ll explain each activity, tell you why I love it so much, and offer tips for adapting each one for different learners.
Sometimes, I am overwhelmed with the amount of new learning about writing that I wish to incorporate. I’ve come to realize I’m not alone. I’m not the only person with more resources and ideas than they know what to do with, and I‘m not the only one who risks inertia because I don’t know where to start. If that’s also you, or someone you know and love, I’ll be sharing my process for how I work my way to more clarity and focus.
At Two Writing Teachers, we know how important it is to learn in a safe space, so this week, we invite you into ours. We will share some of the growth experienced in our own teaching and what that was like for our students and for us. You might recognize yourself in some of our journeys, or you may see into an experience quite different from your own.
Here we are, many of us ready to wrap up the school year... We CAN re-align our moral compass with student instruction. We CAN commit ourselves to being sincerely, wholeheartedly, a community of learners. This summer, I’ll be gearing up for what, I’m hoping, will be a year of excitement and discovery. I also hope that somewhere, you, too can find a kernel of hope, joy, or idealism to carry with you into the summer.
Poetry, she thought, with a sigh,is little more than proseedited forbrevityand line breaks. Right now, I’m doing a poetry unit with my fourth graders. Most of them dread poetry writing. While it’s no surprise, this news saddens me. As someone who prefers to express herself through poetry, I hold the belief that people are much… Continue reading Poetry Month: That’s the (Line) Breaks
It’s March. If your schools are anything like mine, you are slogging through the remnants of a long winter, all while gearing up for a season of standardized testing. Kids of all ages still need play and fun. I don’t know about you, but my kids always seem to do a bit better when some of each is incorporated into my lessons. I’ll share some ways to bring joy into writing workshop.
Everywhere I look, the world wants me to engage in self-care. Instagram posts, TV commercials, Twitter threads, email newsletters…all of them chock-full of reminders that even as the world falls to pieces around us, It's important to fill our buckets, put on our own air masks first, give ourselves grace. But how about creative self-care? What can we do to make our writing selves feel stronger, happier, more resilient?
Let’s turn our attention to the classroom, to the kids in our care. Like many of us, they need a space to release burdens, to feel the same connection and validation that has kept us afloat. This, my friends, is where we begin. THIS is where we claim our power as writers, as teachers of writing. No matter the age of our students, no matter their readiness level, no matter the constrictions of a mandated writing system, there are ways to create and protect a nurturing, supportive community of young writers.
Today, in the United States, we commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Today, kids in the U.S. might eat breakfast in pajamas. Their parents might shop a sale. Many will see (and welcome!) a day off of school or work. Some will use today as a day of service. It’s easy to let a day like today slide by without taking stock, without offering it the full measure of what a day like today deserves. So let us consider today.
"If kids see writing as just another avenue of self expression, if they realize that craft and skill are necessary for all areas of self-expression, then perhaps they might use these understandings as a foundation for their writing."
Need a writing resource that has something for all ages, yourself included? Look no further than Ursula K. Le Guin's Steering the Craft: A 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story