conventions · grammar · writing workshop

Bring on the Fun with Sentence Construction

Who says grammar can't be fun in a third-grade classroom? And who says young writers can't understand complex concepts like dependent and independent clauses? And who knew I'd be using poop, sentence structures, and a variety of clauses in the same sentence in front of a room of third-graders?

English as an Additional Language · vocabulary

The Picture Word Inductive Model: A Strategy for Developing Vocabulary and Language

Writing a text of any kind requires significant cognitive work, involving memory, hand-eye coordination, strength, concentration, executive functioning, planning— and the list goes on because I haven’t even gotten into imagination, comprehension, and information integration. The PWIM has allowed me to isolate single or targeted skills, providing opportunities for intentional practice. I can select pictures that are of interest to specific students, challenge them to practice letters and sounds, to verbalize and draft simple sentences, or to describe a situation. That way when students are writing their own pieces, the cognitive load may be taken up less by these practiced skills, allowing for more intellectual energy on other competing and important challenges within their writing process.

agency · immersion · personal essay

Pre-Unit Immersion: Involving Students in Noticing, Noting, and Naming

Immersion is helpful for strong writers who need less explicit instruction in order to try out new writing concepts as well as for writers who strive to complete their written work. Sometimes seeing a completed piece is exactly what they need in order to kick their executive functioning into gear. 

agency · assessment · goals · Google Forms · self-assessment · small group · writing workshop

Student Agency, Self-Assessment, and Small Group Instruction

Nudging students toward self-assessment and goal-setting leads to students' increased understanding of what they are working on and why they're working on it. That intentionality is a critical aspect of learning!

IEP · Stronger Together: Involving Other Professionals in Your Workshop Blog Series · writing workshop

Working with Special Education Teachers: Stronger Together Blog Series

Because I began my career as a special education teacher, I feel especially aligned to the professionals within our building who work with students with IEPs. Together, I’ve curated some of their ideas and suggestions as educators work together, inspiring and empowering all children to write. 

agency · elaboration · goals · mentor texts · small group · teacher writing · writing workshop

A Small Group in Action: Elaboration Strategies, Here We Come!

Having walked around a classroom of fourth-grade writers yesterday, I had pinpointed four writers who were all ready to think about elaboration strategies. This post describes the first session of a few to inspire these fourth-grade writers to use more elaboration strategies.