agency

“Is This Good?” Building Self-Reliance in Student Writers

Picture a writing workshop. Students hum along on various pieces. Inevitably, a student approaches to ask: “Is this right?” “Is this good?” My experience and wisdom matter as a teacher. My support and guidance are critical. Still, I’d hope that students’ sense of pride and accomplishment wouldn’t depend on what I think of their work. I’ve discovered some conversational tools and classroom strategies that help me foster students’ sense of confidence and trust in themselves. I’m sharing them with you here.

agency · Amping up Agency Blog Series · caregivers

Transferring Agency from School to Home: Amping Up Agency Blog Series

If you are looking for ways to increase a young writer’s agency at home–either as an educator or as a parent–here are some things you might want to consider.

accessibility · agency · Amping up Agency Blog Series · emergent writers · high frequency words · independence · kindergarten · writing folder

Tools and Resources That Support Student Agency in the Kindergarten Writing Workshop: Amping Up Agency Blog Series

You've probably heard a young child say, "I can do it all by myself!" in one breath, and then in the next breath they are asking you for help. As children make sense of the world and learn how to do more things for themselves, they crave structure and support from adults. Providing children with a variety of tools and resources and teaching them how and when to use them, supports students in developing a sense of "big kid-ness" and agency over their own writing.

agency · Amping up Agency Blog Series · conferring · reflections · Reflective Practice · sharing · small group

The Language to Develop Agency: Amping Up Agency Blog Series

Teachers can build and increase students’ agency by using specific phrases at when conferring, leading small groups, or holding reflection/share sessions at the end of a workshop.

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!

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.

agency · collaboration · small group · student engagement · Student ownership

Increase the Number of Teachers in the Room with Student-Led Small Groups

An extra teacher is always a gift, especially when working with young authors. But what if we looked for teachers within those tiny writers?

agency · community · feedback · goals · management · routines

How do we Know When our Workshops are Working?

Launching a writing workshop is hard work. Intentional work. What are those “look fors” that let us know that our workshops are gelling? That community is being built, routines are being established, and writing work is happening?