As I considered what to write this week, I decided to share a piece I was crafting for back to school, as an instructional coach/remote kindergarten teacher this year. The process helped me to focus on what families might need, as they experience writing workshop in new ways (i.e. at their kitchen tables).
One of the many changes brought about by the pandemic, whether we are returning to school in-person or remotely, is the ability to gather together in close proximity to learn and write together. I have been thinking a lot about this: How might we as teachers replicate or create the emotionally safe space normally held by a warm, close classroom in a digital space?
If ever there were a moment in education to pay attention, be astonished, and tell about it in our writing, I wager it’s now. This is the season of school evolving and changing. This is the back to school season with words we never imagined before- sneeze guards, Zoom breakouts, synchronous and asynchronous, mask breaks, temperature checks, distance learning, hybrid model. What we always knew is no longer, for the most part. What remains? How do we teach well in a COVID-19 world? What matters? What doesn’t? This year, we need to write the moments.
The 2020-2021 school year will likely be different than any other school year we’ve ever known. While last year ended with emergency remote learning in most places due to COVID-19, … Continue Reading Seen, Valued, Heard: Poetry to Establish Community
What are the themes that you come back to each school year? Today I explore the topics that I come back to each new year and share links from previous posts. Please share your ideas in the comments!
Do students realize all the different ways they can write about the same topic? In this post, I share how I wrote about “roller coasters” in different genres to model for my students the many possibilities!
What are your hopes for your writers this year and how will you start the year with those hopes in mind? Read on to see my plans for starting writing workshop with passion and purpose.
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 … Continue Reading Putting the Large Stones In First: A September Check-In
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?