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 as something that… Continue reading
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 fourth graders. The… Continue reading
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 digital comics with… Continue reading
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 month of April… Continue reading
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 a session at… Continue reading
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 pretty surprised that… Continue reading
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 which contains the… Continue reading
“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 will interest them.… Continue reading
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 based on their… Continue reading
Our school is having mini-courses for the kids on three Mondays in May. I signed-up to do handmade card making mini-course with second, third, and fourth graders who are interested. I started creating… Continue reading
Jacquie McTaggart published an article in Reading Today‘s April/May 2008 Issue entitled “Appeal to Students’ Pride with Online Book Reviews.” This was a timely article for me since I just put together the… Continue reading
My kids returned from lunch and recess looking like they were ready for a discussion, not a read aloud aloud. However, it was time for Interactive Read Aloud and we were supposed to… Continue reading