Author Archive

Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020: Prize Reveal

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What a month it was… Thank you to all who participated, filled out forms, and shared their stories. More than any other year, we needed stories. Thank you to the publishers and donors… Continue reading

A Mid-Month Invitation

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We are halfway through our 13th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge, and we are facing unprecedented challenges around the world given the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent years, we have emphasized participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for thirty-one days. Given all that is changing around us, this year we are inviting educators to join our writing community mid-month because writing connects us, even –and especially — when we feel anxious and confused.

Day 11 of the March 2020 SOLSC #SOL20

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Welcome to Day 11! Yes! We have more prizes to announce today! We are grateful for our Welcome Wagon volunteers!

Day 10 of the March 2020 SOLSC #SOL20

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We have a winner of the SEAT Prize. Keep reading the announcements and slicing! We are in the double digits!

Day 9 of the March 2020 SOLSC #SOL20

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Yesterday, I announced the SEAT prize. If you have made it through the first week, slicing every day and commenting daily on at least three other posts, then you are eligible for the SEAT Prize. Fill out the form by midnight for a chance to win a SEAT Prize!

Day 8 of the March 2020 SOLSC #SOL20

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SEAT stands for Scribing Everyday Augmentable Time. If you have made it through the first week, slicing every day and commenting daily on at least three other posts, then you are eligible. Fill out the form by midnight on Monday for a chance to win a SEAT Prize!

DAY 7 OF THE MARCH SOLSC! #SOL20

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And the first week is winding down! Woo hoo! Welcome to Day 7 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020.

Moving Along — and Backing Up — in Information Writing

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When any task involves many skills, there are a lot of places for a metaphorical bump in a straw. When we break the task down, the final product involves many potential downfalls!

Start With Joy: Book Review and Giveaway

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Even if you don’t win the copy of Start With Joy as a giveaway from us, I hope you will consider adding it to your collection of professional books. Students face so many pressures and challenges in their daily lives, both in and out of school. Ultimately, we want them to learn, for sure, but we also want them to find joy in the process. This book not only reminds us of the importance of happiness, it also provides ways to design for joy.

2020 Slice of Life Prize Reveal

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This year, we are trying out some different ideas for prizes, and we are excited to share what will be happening in March with the community!

Narrative Writing: Expand the Possibilities of Genres You Teach

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So many stories, so many possibilities for weaving narrative writing into other genres– and so much fun we can have doing it!

Expand the Possibilities of Genres You Teach Blog Series

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All week at Two Writing Teachers we will be writing about how we can expand the possibilities of the genres you teach throughout the year.

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.