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AuthorLanny Ball

For more than 27 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops, twowritingteachers.org.

Seen, Valued, Heard: Writing Partnerships to Establish Community

In our blog series this week, the team at Two Writing Teachers hopes to support you in the common purpose of building community in your classrooms, however those classrooms may look this year. One important building block of community is helping kids feel connected through partnerships. Read on for ideas on this important topic . . .

Beliefs Guide Actions

Right now, we really do not know how school will look in the coming year.  Will it be virtual?  Will it be physical? Will it be a hybrid model?  Who knows?  But if we agree that our beliefs are implicit, and that they guide our intentional actions, then perhaps not only reading this post but also examining and identifying your own will help you be the best you can be… whatever the circumstances you find yourself in next year. 

Thoughts on a Way Forward: An Interview with Cornelius Minor

When the COVID-19 crisis hit, probably like many of us, I sought out voices of hope. For me personally, I knew one of those voices would be Cornelius Minor. I knew him to be the kind of teacher with the capacity to help us all see things in a new way during this unfamiliar period of virtual teaching.  Fortunately,  I was able to reach him by text.  We sat down recently on a Zoom call to discuss his views on teaching remotely, his book, and a way forward.

Passion Projects During COVID-19

During the Teachers College Virtual Teaching Institute a few weeks ago, staff developer Natalie Friday introduced an idea for learning during the current global pandemic: Passion Projects.  With schools now closed, several of them for the remainder of the academic year, some students (and teachers!) may feel like they are actually living the movie, “Groundhog Day.”  So with this gift of time (if we can see our way to interpreting it that way), why not encourage students to pursue a passion they have or would like to grow?

A Very Short List of Distance Learning Ideas

How can we strike a balance between device-based distance learning support and tried-and-true physical experiences in a way that supports our writers in some positive ways?  While I am aware many wonderful and generous educators and authors have already compiled and curated extensive lists, allow me to share just a few that you may (or may not) find helpful in your efforts to guide and support students and parents at home…