As a new teacher, I sometimes made assumptions about my students that may not have been based in reality. Of course, this is human to do so. We all make assumptions at times. But when it comes to teaching writing, what if we replaced the act of making assumptions with curiosity? What if we worked to make curiosity our best friend in our teaching?
As teachers, how might we reflect on our own practice in a way that could make a difference for our students next year? Here are a few lenses for setting some goals…
We all want to support and nurture inspired writers who work independently. So how might we carefully avoid creating uninspiring, teacher-dependent environments for learning? I present a few ideas here…
The cornerstone of writing workshop is that students get to choose their own topics rather than be assigned a topic by the teacher.
It could be said that what sets a writing workshop apart from other approaches to teaching writing is a focus on empowerment. Here are a few ways to empower writers when it comes to mentor texts…
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.
How can we let writing be part of a “soft start” for students instead of making them complete joyless worksheets? How do your students start the day or class period? Please join the conversation!
When writing with digital tools, students have the opportunity to design and share writing in a variety of ways that not only add a new aesthetic to writing but more importantly they offer teachers the ability to skillfully and intentionally scaffold writing development.
There are many things we can’t control in the classroom: the amount of time we have, the number of students, the size (and sometimes temperature) of the classroom space. But one thing we can control is the language we use that conveys choice, versus language that conveys assignment.
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.
With very good intentions, we teach kids to do their best to really finish a story before they move on to the next one. However, a little bit of flexibility will go a long way in increasing engagement, volume, and independence in young writers.
Digital tools can transform your teaching by allowing students to have a writing community beyond the classroom walls, be innovative, make meaningful connections to other writers and students, have more resources readily available, and have true, authentic reasons for writing.
How can we help students develop identities as writers?
A recovering hater of information writing, this post is my first step towards bringing information writing to life for my third graders! It is a vision and collection of possibliities for infusing information writing across the curriculum through the day.
I pulled a child-sized chair over to Zach and sat down next to him. “How’s it going?” I asked. “Not good,” was his reply. “What seems to be the trouble?” Zach explained that… Continue reading
I used to dream of reaching a point in my writing workshop instruction where kids were all working as writers, but they weren’t all doing the exact same thing. This isn’t an easy… Continue reading
So often, we run into students who say, “I don’t know what to write about.” We work to help them develop topics. We make lists of writing ideas. We encourage them to explore… Continue reading
Here’s what I’ve been thinking about lately: How do we provide both structure and choice in writing workshop? Both are essential to empowering young writers. Structure is necessary to lift the level of… Continue reading