Author Archive

A Peek Into the Start of an Information Unit

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When we show students examples of what they should be creating before and during their writing, we are, in many ways, providing them a figurative ride up the chairlift with many good skiers in front of them. In two separate classrooms, I introduced an information writing unit with a classroom teacher with a pile of books and writing samples and the students sitting in a circle. “Your job,” I said, “is to look at these books and pieces like writers. What did the author do? How did they do it?”

Three Ways To Make Your Conferring More Effective

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I’ve been trying to improve my own skills as I sit down next to writers throughout my years of teaching writing, and there is so much more to conferring than the three ideas that I’m sharing in this post.

A Few Reflections and Shares From NCTE 2019

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For the last few days, I have had the privilege of attending the National Council of Teachers of English Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. While there were many colleagues and friends who shared the experience, I know many others couldn’t attend. I’m sure there are others who will share in the upcoming weeks, but for now, in somewhat of a post-convention haze, I’m scrolling through my notes and pulling out some of my favorite quotes and ideas from my experiences.

In Case You Missed It: Reaching Your Writers

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Our hope is that this blog series helps to bridge the divides between how we teach writing and how students learn writing because we all believe not only in the importance of writing, but also that all children can learn to write– and learn to write well– and even like writing!

Communication, Collaboration, and Clarity: Reaching Your Writers

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The more we can communicate, collaborate, and empower the people we work with, both adults and students, so that they know and understand the learning that should be happening in our writing classrooms, the more we will see that learning happen. When we all know what we’re working on and we have the tools and systems to support our pathways, great things happen!

Sitting Side By Side With Standards

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There is power in knowing and understanding standards because within them, we can extract teaching points, learning targets, and even success criteria. In this post, we’ll thing about how we can use the standards so set up anchor charts, as well as learning progressions in order to establish clarity and navigable pathways for writers.

A Book That Will Inspire Better Talk and Listening– and a Giveaway

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Every now and then, a professional book comes along that has the potential to really change how I teach. You have a chance to win a copy of Unlocking the Power of Classroom Talk by Shana Frazin and Katy Wischow, and I know you will love this book!

Intentional Practice In Our Writing Classrooms

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Intentional practice leads to better performance. Writing instruction follows a similar pattern, and by about six weeks into the year, teachers know their students. Just like soccer coaches, teachers can start to develop some responsive instruction, both from the figurative sidelines, as well as through direct instruction.

Three Ways To Increase Instructional Clarity

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Teaching is an art, and sometimes tweaks don’t work as we hope or envision. However, I hope that these three ideas do increase the clarity of instruction in ways that help all students learn to be independent confident writers.

It’s Tuesday! Welcome to the Slice of Life Story Challenge!

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Write your post. Share it with the community. Comment on at least three other posts.

It’s Tuesday! Welcome to the Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Write your post. Share it with the community. Comment on at least three other posts.

The Importance of Repertoire for Teachers

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We can change up how we are teaching depending on the situation and circumstances, but in order to do that, we have to know some choices and moves we can make. Knowing this, there are a few quick ways we can think about repertoire within our whole group instruction.

Pausing to Remember 9/11

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While every day is an opportunity to practice kindness, put our arms around the people we love, and cherish all that is good in our lives, perhaps today is an especially good day to remember the importance of doing those things.

It’s Tuesday! Welcome to the Slice of Life Story Challenge!

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Write your post. Share it with the community. Comment on at least three other posts.

It’s Tuesday! Join us for the Slice of Life Story Challenge!

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Welcome to the Slice of Life Story Challenge. Write your post. Share it with the community. Comment on at least three other posts. This month, I have collected some quotes from Toni Morrison… Continue reading

How do your students learn?

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The more that we understand the distinctive characteristics of the intelligences, the better we can recognize ways to differentiate for learners, honoring the spectrum of learning styles that exist in not only our classrooms, but also our world.

The Importance of Repertoire: Nurturing Independence From the Start

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The truth in writing — and in many aspects of life — is that there isn’t really one way to do anything. The strongest writers understand their options and are flexible and intentional with their choices. That’s repertoire!

Nurturing Independence From the Start

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This week, the authors at Two Writing Teachers share ideas for building independence in your writing workshops. Here’s a preview of what our series includes.

It’s Tuesday! Welcome to the Slice of Life Story Challenge!

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Welcome to the Slice of Life community! We’re happy you’re here!

It’s Tuesday! Join us for the Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Welcome to the Slice of Life Story Challenge Community. Please leave your permalink in the comments section, and visit at least three other slicers to leave a comment for them! For those of… Continue reading