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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.

SOLSC Participant Pledge

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!

A NEW KIND OF COMMENTING CHALLENGE #SOL18

Like our adult community, our student writing community thrives on comments and feedback. We invite our students to participate in the Classroom Challenge in hopes that they will be able to connect with other writers from around the community and the world.  In the spirit of that global community, we are offering a brand new kind of commenting challenge. As part of the 11th Annual SOLSC, we present our first mid-month challenge! Are you ready?

4 Tips for Successful Active Involvement in a Minilesson

In a minilesson, we work to not only demonstrate a strategy sometimes employed by professional writers, but also to provide a quick opportunity for young writers assembled before us to apply it, either in their own writing or in a co-authored class composition.  This short segment of the minilesson during which writers ‘give a strategy a go’ themselves, often called the “Active Involvement” or “Active Engagement,” allows writers an immediate opportunity for application in the supportive environs of the meeting area. How can we make this part of the lesson really count?

Addressing Knowledge Issues in Informational Writing

If we do not possess a good amount of background knowledge, if we are not interested in the topic, and we were not given a choice, our writing typically suffers. Lack of knowledge in particular, as Mary Ehrenworth suggests, manifests quickly as writing weakness and writing problems. As writing workshop teachers, how might we think about and address these challenges?