This week, I welcome Katie Bristol as a guest blogger. Katie teaches kindergarten in Simsbury, CT, and she is my go-to person whenever I have a question about the youngest members of our school community. While her post may seem specific to kindergarten, her insights are important to educators who work in all grades. Follow Katie on twitter @bristol_katie.
Do you receive letters from your students at the start of the year? Do you write them back? In what ways do you get to know new students? How do you keep track of the information and use it as a guide for helping your writers grow?
Whether you’re already back in school or returning in the next two weeks, I’ve rounded up some of our team’s best blog posts that will help you launch & sustain writing workshop in 2018-19.
Whether or not you have started school already or you are taking those final deep breaths before your first day, let us remember one thing that sets us writing workshop teachers apart from other methodologies, curricula, programs, and/or approaches to teaching writing: we NOTICE.
Do you have a love/hate relationship with your plan book? Are you looking to be more inspired when you jot your weekly plans? Read on to learn about the Intentional Educator Planner (Elementary) and comment for a chance to win your own copy!
Parents can be a tremendous educational resource. Yet, in middle school it can be challenging, as developmentally our students are beginning to morph from children into young adults. Thinking about next year, I have drafted some ideas for partnering with parents on how to help their kids become stronger writers. How might parents provide support in the way writing workshop teachers believe is most helpful? Here are a few ideas…
Nervously lowering myself into a chair, I scooted myself closer to the table. Around me sat three new colleagues. My new 7th grade teaching team. Having moved from my familiar home in small-town… Continue reading
September is a get-to-know-you month. A community-building-ice-breaker-month. September is a settling-in month, a becoming-comfortable month, a building-relationship month. It’s an ask-the-parents-about-their-child month. A stack of papers month. Artwork created month. September is a launching month, a set-the-vision month, a build-enthusiasm for the work ahead month.
September is an exhausting month, but a month that reveals much about the 24 third graders who inhabit room 215 with me this year.
We learn when we experiment and take risks. The writer’s notebook could be a place worth considering as a place to do some risk-taking!
Summer is the opportunity to sit back, hit reset and plan how I will improve for next year. I like to use my extra hours of summer considering my past teaching practices and think about what worked and what I wish had gone differently.
What if there was a way to build in opportunities to reflect, in writing, about my teaching right in the place where the lesson plans reside? And what if that place could also offer daily inspiration and opportunities to set positive intentions for the week ahead?
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.
How do you get to know the writers in your classroom at the beginning of the school year?
Last Thursday, I endeavored to explain writing workshop to parents in my district at Parent University. As I drove home after the presentation, I felt unsettled, like there had been a gap in what the parents were hoping to learn and what I delivered. What would you be sure to include in a presentation to parents on writing workshop?
Throwback week continues on Two Writing Teachers. Today, Anna throws back to Deb, who shared how to foster deep writing community bonds back in August.
Do your on-demand writing samples go into a folder or do they help you plan your next steps?
Back to School Night is around the corner! When it comes to writing workshop, what do we need families to know?
We’ve curated some of our top ‘Back to School’ posts to help you plan and launch your writing workshop.
The heart map is a great tool for helping students find personally meaningful topics, but used year after year, it might feel a little stale. Writing territory maps is another option!
What can we say to ourselves to affirm the power of writing? What words will help us move forward when the going gets tough? Thinking about class writing mantras…