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.
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!
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.
An extra teacher is always a gift, especially when working with young authors. But what if we looked for teachers within those tiny writers?
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?
Student-created learning progressions help foster agency in students and move them forward in their writing.
At the beginning of the school year, take time before launching your first unit to allow students to settle in to writing workshop. This time helps you learn about students, build their confidence, and teach workshop routines.
The beginning of the school year is perfect timing for the classic cautionary tale, an anecdote shared with the intention of saving others a difficulty I created for myself. My purpose is to both teach and entertain, as I humbly recount the thing I should not have done (and will be mindful not to do again).
I used to write on my students’ writing. NOW I believe if I’m the person writing down what I think a child should write, then I remove lots of that child’s agency.
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).