checklists · choice · games · partnerships · teaching tools · toolkits

Play Up Partner Time! 3 Quick Games That Yield Joy, Ownership, & Success

Finding small ways to infuse a playful spirit into writing workshop keeps me (and students) feeling excited about each day’s experience. When we tinker with new ways of approaching workshop learning routines, everyone wins! Today’s tips are focused on simple ways to play up partner time. 

celebration · challenges · checklists · conventions · goals · grammar · gratitude · reflections

Quick & Fun Lesson Closures? Yes, Please!

Embrace the thrill of trying something new. Know that doing so doesn't require abundant time, energy, or preparation. Small shifts have a real impact on classroom energy, enthusiasm, and engagement. How do you add variety, joy, and/or playfulness to lesson closings?

checklists · conventions · editing · grammar · process · spelling

Editing Along the Way…Often in 5 Minutes or Less

The other day, I did it again. I drafted an email to my bosses. Read it. Reread it. Hit send. Got distracted. Then… saw it. The error.  These moments of regret keep me humble! And so, when I notice students not applying taught spelling and grammar concepts, I remind myself that they are not defiantly… Continue reading Editing Along the Way…Often in 5 Minutes or Less

checklists · conventions · goals · grammar · inquiry · interactive writing · minilesson · Read Aloud · shared writing · spelling

Minilesson Alternatives: Considering OTHER Ways to Kick Off Workshop

If you have ever felt that you were going through the motions of a minilesson, know that there are plenty of other ways you can choose to gather as a community and launch writing time. Here are ten alternatives for beginning a writing workshop session - - with joy, intention, and inspiration.

charts · checklists · classroom environment · environment · observations

Looking Forward

The end of the school year is the perfect time to venture out of our classrooms and learn about what is happening in classrooms across our school buildings. These opportunities remind us that the work we do with writers is collective.

celebration · checklists · goals · informational writing · writing workshop

Keeping the Energy In a Unit of Study

A six to eight-week writing unit may not be the equivalent of running a marathon, although some may beg to differ this year, but it still requires some creativity for strong and energetic finishes. As I work with several teachers who are in the final third of their information writing units across a variety of grades, here are a few ideas for maintaining energy.

assessment · checklists · COVID-19 · Google Forms · self-assessment · writing workshop

Three Quick Ways to Know How Students Are Doing

How can I make progress pathways for young writers working from anywhere clearer for them? Inviting students into the evaluation process is helpful, and my hope is that one of these ideas will inspire you.

checklists · conferring · middle school

Different Ways to Use Checklists in Writing Workshop

Student-facing checklists can be a powerful tool.  While rubrics are helpful for teachers, checklists are helpful for students.  Checklists can serve to provide clear targets for writers as they strive to craft pieces of writing. But what might be different ways to use them in your writing workshop? Read to find out...

Beyond the Fundamentals Blog Series · checklists · conferences · conferring · writing workshop

Conferring with Writers: Beyond the Fundamentals of Writing Workshop

    "How about we read Goodnight, Gorilla?" Raising my eyebrows, I gazed hopefully at my two year-old daughter.  "Or maybe we could read The Grouchy Ladybug? You love that one!" "No!" Her brow furrowed, my youngest was emphatic. "That one! That one!  Moon!" Using her tiny pointer finger, she pointed to Margaret Wise Brown's… Continue reading Conferring with Writers: Beyond the Fundamentals of Writing Workshop