character development · content-area writing · fiction · giveaway · mentor texts · narrative · personal narrative · poetry

Tapping Into the Power of Some New Mentor Texts

Mentor texts are important co-teachers in the writing workshop! Here's an in-depth look at the mentor texts I talked about in a recent podcast. After you finish reading, be sure to leave a comment after on this post for a chance to win all ten of the featured books!

character development · kindergarten · primary grades

Puppets and Playdates: A Pre-Writing Strategy for Character Development and Writing Engagement in the Kindergarten Classroom

Puppets are powerful vehicles through which kindergarten students can develop characters and experiment with storytelling and play is essential to the way that young children learn. By combining puppets and play, children can begin to do the important pre-writing work necessary to develop rich characters and powerful stories in writing workshop.

authors · big picture · character development · collecting · narrative · writing process

Flailing and Feedback In Writing Process As Critical: KidLit Authors Share Why

Slowing down the brainstorming part of the writing process and recognizing the emotionality of feedback has big rewards for two published authors, in addition to our young classroom writers.

character development · COVID-19 · gratitude · Read Aloud · vocabulary

Exploring Character Traits with Reflective Journal Prompts

A back to school 2020 problem for those of us teaching in person- what do you do during masks breaks? A reflective journal that connects to character traits was my solution! Read on for resources I am sharing that match character traits with read alouds and reflective journal prompts.

academic choice · back to school · character development · choice · classroom environment · community · morning meeting activity · responsive classroom · writing workshop

3 Steps to Building A Learning Community: Vision. Intention. Purpose.

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.

character development · colleen cruz · community · professional books · responsive classroom · writing workshop

Four Books for Your Summer Reading List

These four titles are inspirational and useful resources for teachers. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win one of them.

books · character development · mentor texts

The Meaning of Maggie Book Review + Win a Copy of a Fabulous Read

Soon-to-be-released The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern is a lovely book that offers plenty of opportunities to study high-level character development.