Many teachers assign graphic organizers to help students learn about structure and organization. But do these organizers actually impede authentic writing and student agency? Read about why Leah chose to stop mandating graphic organizers, and some tips for letting go!
Within classrooms, charts are critically important elements for shifting the responsibility of learning.
These tumbleweeds feel like a metaphor for the writers in our workshops: the times they dance freely across the landscape and the times they get stuck. As a teacher of writers, it’s prompting me to step back and reflect on those stuck places. I hope to offer you a similar moment of reflection on the tumbleweed-jams that might be forming in your own workshop(s).
Here are some fresh approaches from Melanie Meehan and guest authors Julie Wright, Pam Koutrakos, and Maria Walther. In this post, we reimagine when and why small groups come together and expand your small group repertoire.
As I think about returning to school, I want to be excited about the week to come. I want students to feel happy to be back together. Writing workshop is my favorite part of the day, and it’s the perfect place to infuse some intentional joy for all of us. I have a two part plan to do just that.
In those quick moments between minilesson and work time, as writers are settling in (or not), I pay attention to what is—the current reality. I seek leverage points to both know writers better and to support writers in continuing to grow. Over time, I notice as more and more writers find the processes and strategies that work for them.
In this topsy-turvy year, when I was not expecting to teach a remote kindergarten class, I was also not expecting to discover strategies for upping my feedback game with writers—strategies that I plan to continue using once the world has righted itself and workshop is in-person again.
If I can teach students not only to recognize their learning styles and resources that benefit them, but also how to ask for or find those resources, then I increase the potential of having an impact on their learning long after I’m physically or digitally present in their lives.
What are the ways I can let writers know that I SEE them, that I understand and appreciate all that they are bringing to the page and the process? How might my feedback serve as a mirror, reflecting back to writers a clear image of who they are, of what is important to them, of evidence of their growth?