What we place on the walls of a classroom tells students, or any other person who enters the room, what is valued most, and what we should value most in our classrooms is student work.
“Social psychology has found the more you reward people for doing something, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward.” – … Continue Reading Growing Writers: Eight Alternatives to Extrinsic Rewards
As we set off to create writers who write in tandem with the printed world and the digital world there are a few we need to consider.
When writing with digital tools, students have the opportunity to design and share writing in a variety of ways that not only add a new aesthetic to writing but more importantly they offer teachers the ability to skillfully and intentionally scaffold writing development.
Technology gives us all choices and decisions to make. Big decisions. How can we welcome technology in our classrooms? Technology can be a new way of doing the same thing. Will we seek apps that allow our students to make choices in creating and sharing with others, or will we seek apps that do the same old thing in a different way?
Moving to a learner-driven classroom has changed my role in the classroom and writing workshop. As a teacher in a learner-driven classroom, I have stepped back to observe the learner.
Kate brought us in closer to consider the importance of the tools’ accessibility and their effect on learning. Not only do these tools need to be accessible to the students, but students need to understand how and when to use them for learning.
The young writers sitting in our classroom will rise above the fears and struggles of being a writer, but it will take intentional planning, repetitive teaching, daily writing, and reteaching. Writing is hard work. Students don’t become writers because we have writing workshop. Writers become writers because teachers have clear intentions and a vision of what’s possible.
As I opened my classroom door Friday I knew we would be writing a poem for Mother’s Day. I was feeling a bit guilty about the ease and maybe the lack of thought that I had put into the gift this year. As I switched on the lights and straightened books, I thought about Wonderopolis. I entered Mother’s Day in the search box and found a wonder on Mother’s Day and an invitation to dive into Writing Maker Space!
Teaching well demands we stay current and try new ideas. There isn’t any insurance policy that the newest strategy, book, program, or app will work for all or anyone, but we trust our education and experience, and we do what we know to be best for kids. Brené Brown in Daring Greatly says,
Risk aversion kills innovation~ Berné Brown Daring Greatly
So embrace the mess, the awkwardness, and all the uncertainties rattling in your mind and do what you trust to be best for the students in your classroom.
Of the many ways I gain an understanding of my writers, my favorite and most valuable is gathering up all the writing and diving into reading ALL the students’ work.
Earlier this month I shared an idea about a writing station (aka: center) for older students. Another product from Chronicle Books has crossed my desk and has piqued my interest … Continue Reading Haiku Writing Station
Whenever I used to hear the words “Center Time” I immediately thought about early childhood classrooms. However, that notion changed in 2008 when I created a Poetry Station for my … Continue Reading (Writing) Center Time for Older Students
We were fortunate to cross paths into Kevin Hodgson when we were walking through the Convention Center at NCTE this afternoon. He was leading a Tech on-the-Go Presentation about creating … Continue Reading Creating Comics from a Real Life Experience
April 2009 Poetry Challenge Gifts Originally uploaded by teachergal One-third of my students attempted the April 2009 Poetry Challenge, which I gave them as an optional, independent activity during the … Continue Reading April 2009 Poetry Challenge Gifts
Another thing people’s comments on Ruth’s Post got me thinking about was the idea of CHOICE in Writing Workshop. I wrote about it on this blog in 2007 after attending … Continue Reading Choice in Writing Workshop: Is it possible even though it’s necessary?
I had, what felt like every kid in my class, so many students who wanted to share after yesterday’s Writing Workshop, which was comprised of four strategy lessons. I was … Continue Reading Enthusiasm
I’m giving my students the choice to sign-up for one of four strategy lessons after the minilesson is over tomorrow morning in Writing Workshop. You’ll find a Scribd Document below … Continue Reading Strategy Lessons for Writer’s Block
“Write what makes you happy.” — O. Henry What wise words from O. Henry! So often we try to inspire our students to write by giving them topics we think … Continue Reading The Big Picture Series: Freedom in Topic Choice
My kids were getting ready to publish their personal essays yesterday. However, I knew they were all in different places. Therefore, I allowed them to sign-up for strategy lessons today … Continue Reading Sign-Up to Confer With Me!