Author Archive

Different Ways to Use Checklists in Writing Workshop

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Student-facing checklists can be a powerful tool.  While rubrics are helpful for teachers, checklists are helpful for students.  Checklists can serve to provide clear targets for writers as they strive to craft pieces of writing. But what might be different ways to use them in your writing workshop? Read to find out…

Coaching Writers in the Small Group

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Coaches of young athletes often offer tips, reminders, and suggestions from the sidelines in hopes of eliciting the best possible performance from the team.  As teachers of writing, we can borrow this structure in our small group settings.

Partnerships Can Provide Purpose and Power

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All writers seek feedback.  All writers write for an audience.  All writers question themselves. And for these reasons, writers long to bring their work to another person– another set of eyes, another pair of ears.  Hence, the writing partner in writing workshop.  When working well, partnerships can help grow the confidence of each writer in our classes by providing support, authentic peer feedback, and a sounding board for ideas.  Here are a few ingredients to consider when creating a community of writers…

4 Tips for Modeling with Your Own Writing

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For many of us who work to live as writers and teachers who write, we likely do so in order to appreciate the challenge, the complexity, and the thrill that writing can provide for our lives.  It is living through the process that matters.  But what about turning some of our writing into teaching tools for our writing workshops? Here are four tips…

Our Job: Noticers-in-Chief

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Whether or not you have started school already or you are taking those final deep breaths before your first day, let us remember one thing that sets us writing workshop teachers apart from other methodologies, curricula, programs, and/or approaches to teaching writing: we NOTICE.

This Is the Year I’m Going to Write Alongside My Students

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When a teacher not only brings the knowledge and pedagogy to teach, but also love, passion, and an ability to demonstrate– whether it be playing an instrument, speaking another language, or writing– a certain authenticity is added. My father used to call it “walking the talk.” This week, my colleagues at Two Writing Teachers are committed to supporting teachers in dreaming big for this year’s writing workshop. Perhaps part of dream your for this year will be to authentically live the life of a writer! Here is some inspiration to make that dream a reality . . .

Summer Notebook: A Worthy Mission

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As teachers, most of us view summer as a much-needed period for decompression and recharging.  But as teachers of writing, there are likely several  of us who see summertime as a valuable opportunity to prepare.  One thing I plan to do is purchase a summer notebook…

Enlisting Writing Support from Parents

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Parents can be a tremendous educational resource.  Yet, in middle school it can be challenging, as developmentally our students are beginning to morph from children into young adults. Thinking about next year, I have drafted some ideas for partnering with parents on how to help their kids become stronger writers.  How might parents provide support in the way writing workshop teachers believe is most helpful?  Here are a few ideas…

End of Year Reflections and June Planning

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As we approach the end of another school year, many of us begin making plans for outgrowing ourselves. But what might be some lenses to think through when taking on such a task? I have a few ideas . . .

What’s Working? Take the Time to Celebrate It

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Sometimes our writing workshops can begin to feel a little like a house we live in– always something to improve, always something we haven’t been able to get to, etc.  But I would venture to argue that, like a house, many things are working. It’s time to notice and celebrate them!

Reflecting Through the Lens of Writing Process: Looking Back and Moving Forward

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Reflection can help foster both a writerly identity and act as a discovery process for possible future goals. This is likely true for any endeavor, whether it be coaching soccer or writing.  This week, we as co-authors have been doing some thinking about the power of self-reflection. One possible lens for reflection is the writing process itself…

Slice of Life Tuesday

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It’s Slice of Life Tuesday! Come one, come all, come slice with us…

SOL Tuesday

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It’s Slice of Life Tuesday! We invite you to share a slice of life, share some feedback…

SOL Tuesday

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It’s Slice of Life Tuesday! Come share some writing, share some comments!

Rethinking the “I-Rule”

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Many of us were taught that first person pronouns had no place in academic writing. But is that rule still being followed by professional writers?

SOL Tuesday

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It’s Slice of Life Tuesday! Those of you feeling withdrawals from the March Slice of Life Story Challenge, breathe a sigh of relief. Come one, come all, come slice…

SOLSC Participant Pledge

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Congratulations to all for an amazing March Slice of Life Story Challenge! If you faithfully met the criteria for the challenge by slicing and commenting each day in March, we invite you to complete our form to become eligible for a prize!

2018 CLASSROOM SOLSC FOR STUDENTS: DAY 15 OF 31

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Day 15 of the Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge!

2018 CLASSROOM SOLSC FOR STUDENTS: DAY 14 OF 31

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Day 14 of the Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge!

ANNOUNCING THE WINNER OF THE CLASSROOM SOLSC MID-MONTH COMMENTING CHALLENGE

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Congratulations to the winner of this weekend’s Mid-month Commenting Challenge!