Every writing workshop I’ve ever taught or consulted in has had at least one child who is in perpetual motion. Many times, that child is the kid who talks their classmates during independent writing time, interrupts their teacher during a writing conference, or cannot respect their peers’ space in the meeting area. The first few weeks of school are the perfect time to begin conversations about living in a classroom community where all learners have different needs.
Susan Verde, author of Unstoppable Me, chats with Stacey about the ways we can build classroom writing communities that welcome kids with who are often seen as having “too much” energy.
This year I had the opportunity to try out flexible seating with brand new furniture. It’s been an adventure and I’ve learned many lessons along the way. What are your experiences with flexible seating?
When you have a chance, take a walk through the hallways of your own school. Try to see with fresh eyes. Pretend you are a visitor. Ask yourself: What kind of writing is… Continue reading
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.
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 we approach the end of another school year, many of us begin making plans for outgrowing ourselves. But what might be some lenses to think through when taking on such a task? I have a few ideas . . .
Find out how one teacher’s decision to stop assigning seats led to greater independence, higher engagement, and a stronger writing community in a Kindergarten classroom.
Not everyone works the same way. As educators, it’s up to us to find what works best for every kid so we’re meeting their needs.
As I thought about writing this post, I considered my day and what needed to get done. I mulled over when I would go to the store, how many loads of laundry I… Continue reading
For many of us, especially in middle school, trying to fit all the pieces of writing workshop into, say, a 41-minute schedule, can feel daunting. How can we teach a minilesson, get our kids working, confer with individuals and small groups, provide a mid-workshop interruption, and facilitate a teaching share…all in that tight time frame?
Changing things up can mean extra work and moving away from what you’ve always done. It can also breathe new life into spaces and might move you closer to what you are trying to achieve.
Working with the intention of creating writing environments with our students that are reflective of the beliefs and the needs of all should be our goal.
While each writing workshop is unique to the writers within the workshop, there are basic design components true of all writing workshops.
Lynne Dorfman & I are in search of pictures of beautiful writing workshop spaces for our forthcoming Stenhouse book about the basics of writing workshop (to teachers who are new to using the workshop structure). If you teach in a physical space you’d like to showcase, then please fill out the Google Form in this post.
Moving to a learner-driven classroom has changed my role in the classroom and writing workshop. As a teacher in a learner-driven classroom, I have stepped back to observe the learner.
It’s great to be prepared when we are conferring with our writers. However, being ‘prepared’ and being ‘present’ are not the same thing…
Ever since I read this post by Katie Kraushaar, I’ve been thinking about personal narrative and wondering why it is that students, particularly in middle elementary grades and beyond, are sometimes less than enthusiastic about… Continue reading
As you head into this week, remember to keep your head up and check on the basics. In this post I share five things you might look for and notice about writing centers.
As learners ourselves, we know students need a supportive culture where taking risks, asking questions, and understanding the value of the process is omnipresent.
Many of us are fast approaching the sixth week of school. Many of us consider that the first of countless milestones in our school year. Six weeks in, routines are beginning to solidify,… Continue reading
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.