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 needed to fold, visiting family, and when I'd have time to sit down with my thoughts. As I went through my to-do… Continue reading Environments for Kids & With Kids: Beyond the Fundamentals of Writing Workshop
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 this genre. Like Katie, I have felt the mood change in a classroom the moment the teacher mentions the words "personal narrative."… Continue reading Shaking Up Personal Narrative