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.
Have you ever visited a colleague’s classroom or watched a video of a lesson and wondered, “How are those kids so perfect? How do they seem to know exactly what to do, the… Continue reading
My husband is an eighth grade ELA teacher. We often find ourselves having conversations about our day. One night he was mentioning he had to step into a colleagues room for a few… Continue reading
Teaching well demands we stay current and try new ideas. There isn’t any insurance policy that the newest strategy, book, program, or app will work for all or anyone, but we trust our education and experience, and we do what we know to be best for kids. Brené Brown in Daring Greatly says,
Risk aversion kills innovation~ Berné Brown Daring Greatly
So embrace the mess, the awkwardness, and all the uncertainties rattling in your mind and do what you trust to be best for the students in your classroom.
One question I am often asked about using technology is, “How do you get started?” The answer is actually a simple one – humbly.