back to school · conferring · COVID-19 · middle school · routines

Writing Together in Remote Spaces

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?

back to school · COVID-19 · notebooks · remote learning · slice of life · Teachers who write · writing workshop

Write the Moments: Documenting a Most Unusual School Year

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.

back to school · COVID-19 · poetry · Seen, Valued, Heard: Writing to Establish Community Blog Series

Seen, Valued, Heard: Poetry to Establish Community

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, the year began like all others before. We had the opportunity to get to know our students deeply and establish classroom communities. I teach on… Continue reading Seen, Valued, Heard: Poetry to Establish Community

back to school · community · digital writing · family · homework · parent involvement · writing workshop

Back to School Themes and Reflections

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!

back to school · genre

One Topic, Different Genres: Many Possibilities!

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!

back to school

Launching Writing Workshop with Passion and Purpose

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.

back to school · writing workshop

Seven Realities of Launching Workshop in Kindergarten

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.

back to school · community · letter writing · writing workshop

Write Them Back!

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?

back to school · choice · classroom environment · community · curriculum planning · feedback · independent writing · minilesson · routines · units of study

Our Favorite “Back-to-School” Posts

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.

back to school · observations · student engagement

Our Job: Noticers-in-Chief

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.

back to school · plan book

Planning for Intentionality: Elementary Planner Giveaway

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!

adolescent literacy · back to school · literacy coaches · Mary Ehrenworth · middle school · parent involvement

Enlisting Writing Support from Parents

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...