The idea of creating anything at all that motivates children to continue learning and developing themselves as writers has kept me awake over the last few nights. And after a … Continue Reading Some Summer Writing Motivation
The Power of Silent Teachers: Helping Writers Increase Productivity and Build Independence Through Interdependence with Tools in the Classroom
We give our writers a lot of stuff. Their folders are full of charts, worksheets and examples meant to be helpful for independent writing, but are students using these tools to their fullest capacity? Are writers waiting for us to say “get out ___” or “look at ____”? This post will give you some practical ideas for how to help students achieve interdependence and utilize the silent teachers in the classroom to their fullest capacity.
When we show students examples of what they should be creating before and during their writing, we are, in many ways, providing them a figurative ride up the chairlift with many good skiers in front of them. In two separate classrooms, I introduced an information writing unit with a classroom teacher with a pile of books and writing samples and the students sitting in a circle. “Your job,” I said, “is to look at these books and pieces like writers. What did the author do? How did they do it?”
There is power in knowing and understanding standards because within them, we can extract teaching points, learning targets, and even success criteria. In this post, we’ll thing about how we can use the standards so set up anchor charts, as well as learning progressions in order to establish clarity and navigable pathways for writers.
The truth in writing — and in many aspects of life — is that there isn’t really one way to do anything. The strongest writers understand their options and are flexible and intentional with their choices. That’s repertoire!
Almost every student could use these charts to identify what they were working on, how they were working on it, and whether or not they needed instruction of some sort of help.
From the planning process to the creation, read to find out six ways to make kids the center of your charts–the center of learning.
More and more, another way we’ve been making sure that charts become part of our writers’ toolbelts is to create individual ones that are either the same as the ones on the wall or close enough that they don’t require instruction for students to access.
As part my MFA program, I’ve had to write eight page papers on a paragraph or two of text. That’s a lot of words about not too many words. I’ve … Continue Reading Literary Essays: Setting the Stage
Sharing strategies to prepare for revision later can set up students for success.
Here’s a peek at some of my favorite tools for opinion writing and perhaps some ideas for developing tools for other genres, as well.
As much as I try to flatten the walls of my classroom using technology, the truth is there are still walls. It is me and 25 third graders, and most recently, a fabulous student teacher. Still, the walls are there and often I don’t get to see other teachers in action. Last month, I had the opportunity to remedy that problem for a day.
Over the years, my chartbook has evolved. Here are some of the latest pages.
Kate brought us in closer to consider the importance of the tools’ accessibility and their effect on learning. Not only do these tools need to be accessible to the students, but students need to understand how and when to use them for learning.
You can learn a lot about students when you give them a chance to tell you want they know!
My last post was about some of the reflections that I want to remember when I teach any genre of writing, but I also wanted to share more of our … Continue Reading Have Charts, Will Travel. Mentor texts? Even better!