Author Archive

The Words You Write First Are Anyone’s Words

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Regardless of the genre, one of the most important things we can teach our students is how to write words that could come from them – and only them.

Revisiting the Heart Map

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Heart maps can help young writers when they think they don’t have anything to write about.

The Hard Parts

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Earlier this month, I had the privilege of attending the TCRWP August Writing Institute. The week began with Lucy Calkins delivering an inspirational keynote, “Learning from the Hard Parts” inside the Nave at Riverside… Continue reading

An Interview with the Author of Come with Me + a Giveaway

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As educators, we are uniquely positioned to teach children to respect and love each other. We have the power to show them how to make the world a better place. We can shape the next generation of children so they will choose to be accepting of people who look different, have a different set of beliefs, or originate from a different cultural background. This is an enormous responsibility, but we are fortunate if we can do this work to bring about change in our corners of the world.

Minilessons: Writing Workshop Fundamentals

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Everything students are asked to do in writing workshop builds on effective teaching during the minilesson. It’s important to understand the basics of writing minilessons so we can write them quickly and teach our students to become stronger writers every time we bring them to the meeting area to teach them something new.

Creating Teaching Tools for Picture Books

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Summer is the perfect time to seek out new mentor texts for your writing workshop. This post contains 20+ new picture book — fiction and nonfiction — suggestions that you can use to lift the level of your students’ writing. Plus, there are book giveaways! (Be sure to read the giveaway information carefully at the bottom of the post.)

Mining Mentor Texts for Craft Moves

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Two (more) lesson sets to help you teach the qualities of good writing from picture books by Maribeth Boelts and Nicola Davies.

ICYMI: Our Third Annual Author Spotlight Series

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Last week, seven authors and illustrators stopped by to share their expertise with us. ICYMI, here are the links to each of their posts, which all include giveaways of their books and more!

Welcome to Writing Workshop

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Lynne Dorfman & I are in search of pictures of beautiful writing workshop spaces for our forthcoming Stenhouse book about the basics of writing workshop (to teachers who are new to using the workshop structure). If you teach in a physical space you’d like to showcase, then please fill out the Google Form in this post.

Writing Victories: Keep Learning Going Throughout the Summer

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Not every kid is born with a positive attitude towards writing. Here are six low-stress ways to develop a writer at home (some of which don’t even include putting a pen to paper)!

A Writing Greenbelt + a Giveaway

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I’ve known Joy Write, Ralph Fletcher’s latest book that debuts today, was coming for awhile since he interviewed me about the Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge, which he writes about in one of the book’s chapters. But when I had the opportunity to read his new book in its entirety, I was amazed by the possibilities I saw Ralph present to transform young writers’ attitudes towards writing through low-stakes writing.

DAY 31 OF THE MARCH SOLSC! #SOL17

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I’m humbled and amazed by the enthusiasm of the writers who take on this challenge each year. Please watch the video, which includes words of thanks for everyone who makes the Slice of Life Story Challenge a community of connected writers.

Know When to Step Away

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Even when we know what’s best, sometimes the most helpful thing we can do for a child is to let them figure out a problem on their own.

DAY 5 OF THE MARCH SOLSC! #SOL17

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Today is the final day to sign-up for our month-long writing challenge. Details about starting late are contained at the top of this post.
For everyone else who is back today, please link up by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post.
All slicers: Please watch the two-minute video for some important announcements before you link-up today.

DAY 4 OF THE MARCH SOLSC #SOL17

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The weekend is here! If you have been on the fence about joining this year’s SOLSC, then please jump in TODAY. (And if you have been blogging for the past few days, then c’mon in today to write, give, & share.)

DAY 3 OF THE MARCH SOLSC #SOL17

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Hooray! We’re on the third day of our month-long writing challenge. Please watch the two-minute video for some important announcements before you link-up today.

DAY 2 OF THE MARCH SOLSC #SOL17

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Today is the second day of our month-long writing challenge. Please make sure to review today’s announcements before you leave a comment with the link to your slice of life story.

DAY 1 OF THE MARCH SOLSC! #SOL17

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Welcome to the 10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! This is where you share a link to your individual (not classroom) slice of life story. Please remember to give at least three other Slicers some comment love during the day today.

One more day until the March SOLSC begins!

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Write, share, and give today for SOL Tuesday.

Write Your Own Teaching Points

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Need help writing strategies that are explicit and kid-friendly? Check out this excerpt from DIY Literacy.