choice · COVID-19 · craft · demonstration · dialgoue · SOLSC Classroom Challenge · writing workshop

All Aboard! Virtual Field Trips and Writing Experiences

In these days where we are home so much, take your class on a virtual field trip or two and allow them choices of what they will write about! This post includes 6 trips all ready to go with writing menus for each trip. Many thanks to Clare Landrigan and Pernille Ripp who both inspired what I am sharing here with you today.

choice · COVID-19

Passion Projects During COVID-19

During the Teachers College Virtual Teaching Institute a few weeks ago, staff developer Natalie Friday introduced an idea for learning during the current global pandemic: Passion Projects.  With schools now closed, several of them for the remainder of the academic year, some students (and teachers!) may feel like they are actually living the movie, "Groundhog Day."  So with this gift of time (if we can see our way to interpreting it that way), why not encourage students to pursue a passion they have or would like to grow?

choice · middle school · volume

Make Curiosity Your Best Friend

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?

audience · choice · feedback · goals · Mary Ehrenworth · middle school · response · time for kids

Taking Stock: Moving Forward

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...

choice · feedback · independence · middle school

Rethinking Learning Targets

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...

choice · independence · independent writing · topics · writing workshop

Never Write About the Same Topic as Your Students–Except Sometimes

The cornerstone of writing workshop is that students get to choose their own topics rather than be assigned a topic by the teacher.

big picture · choice · goals · mentor texts · revision

A Few Ways to Empower Writers Using Mentor Texts

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...

authentic writing · authors · choice · Student ownership · writing workshop

Exposing, Sharing, & Connecting: Helping Writers See Why We Write

When we know the purpose or the why in our work we work intentionally. As teachers, knowing our writers are working with intention allows us to trust the students. With trust, we can step back and allow students to make the decisions about their writing.

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.

authentic writing · blogging · choice · creativity · digital writing · greenbelt writing · writing workshop

Write at the Start: No More Morning Worksheets

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!

academic choice · choice · digital writing · writing workshop

Using Digital Tools to Meet the Needs of Developing Writers

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.

choice · language · writing workshop

Language to Convey Choice Versus Assignment

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.