character development · COVID-19 · gratitude · Read Aloud · vocabulary

Exploring Character Traits with Reflective Journal Prompts

A back to school 2020 problem for those of us teaching in person- what do you do during masks breaks? A reflective journal that connects to character traits was my solution! Read on for resources I am sharing that match character traits with read alouds and reflective journal prompts.

COVID-19 · management · remote learning

Three Quick Tips for Maximizing Time at the Beginning of a Virtual Writing Workshop

Students in digitial writing workshops need to be focused and ready from the moment they enter the remote classroom space. Here are three tips you can use with your students to get writing workshop underway so you don't lose time waiting for students to arrive, find pencils, etc.

back to school · conferring · COVID-19 · middle school · routines

Writing Together in Remote Spaces

One of the many changes brought about by the pandemic, whether we are returning to school in-person or remotely, is the ability to gather together in close proximity to learn and write together. I have been thinking a lot about this: How might we as teachers replicate or create the emotionally safe space normally held by a warm, close classroom in a digital space?

back to school · COVID-19 · notebooks · remote learning · slice of life · Teachers who write · writing workshop

Write the Moments: Documenting a Most Unusual School Year

If ever there were a moment in education to pay attention, be astonished, and tell about it in our writing, I wager it's now. This is the season of school evolving and changing. This is the back to school season with words we never imagined before- sneeze guards, Zoom breakouts, synchronous and asynchronous, mask breaks, temperature checks, distance learning, hybrid model. What we always knew is no longer, for the most part. What remains? How do we teach well in a COVID-19 world? What matters? What doesn't? This year, we need to write the moments.

COVID-19 · cultural relevance · current events · digital tools · digital writing · Distance Learning · EAL · guest blogger · literacy coaches · mentor texts · minilesson · struggling writers

Inviting Voices from the Community

As the 2020-2021 school year sets to start, we recognize that educators need each other more than ever. We need to hold onto our beliefs about the teaching of writing while becoming ever more flexible in our approaches. We need to grow in our understanding of Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy (as described in Gholdy… Continue reading Inviting Voices from the Community

Belief Statements · classroom environment · COVID-19 · digital tools · Distance Learning · writing workshop

Belief Statements: The Breadcrumbs of Teaching Near and Far

No matter where we gather to teach children, the values we have for children and education should not change.

community · conferring · COVID-19 · feedback · remote learning · Seen, Valued, Heard: Writing to Establish Community Blog Series

Seen, Valued, Heard: Providing Feedback AFTER Establishing Community

If your fall instruction plan includes any kind of virtual teaching, then building and maintaining relationships will be more crucial than ever. In order to engage and motivate students, educators must work to genuinely connect with students before focusing on academics.

back to school · COVID-19 · poetry · Seen, Valued, Heard: Writing to Establish Community Blog Series

Seen, Valued, Heard: Poetry to Establish Community

The 2020-2021 school year will likely be different than any other school year we’ve ever known. While last year ended with emergency remote learning in most places due to COVID-19, the year began like all others before. We had the opportunity to get to know our students deeply and establish classroom communities. I teach on… Continue reading Seen, Valued, Heard: Poetry to Establish Community

community · COVID-19 · partnerships · Seen, Valued, Heard: Writing to Establish Community Blog Series

Seen, Valued, Heard: Writing Partnerships to Establish Community

In our blog series this week, the team at Two Writing Teachers hopes to support you in the common purpose of building community in your classrooms, however those classrooms may look this year. One important building block of community is helping kids feel connected through partnerships. Read on for ideas on this important topic . . .

COVID-19 · creativity · curriculum planning · differentiation · Distance Learning · writing workshop

Thoughts on a Way Forward: An Interview with Cornelius Minor

When the COVID-19 crisis hit, probably like many of us, I sought out voices of hope. For me personally, I knew one of those voices would be Cornelius Minor. I knew him to be the kind of teacher with the capacity to help us all see things in a new way during this unfamiliar period of virtual teaching.  Fortunately,  I was able to reach him by text.  We sat down recently on a Zoom call to discuss his views on teaching remotely, his book, and a way forward.

Author Spotlight Series · challenges · COVID-19 · craft · mentor texts · writing workshop

Instructional Ideas Inspired by the Author Spotlight Series

Have you been a reader of our annual Author Spotlight Series? How have you used these posts to inspire your teaching? Read on to find a collection of the Author Spotlight posts and ideas for using these treasures with your students.

COVID-19 · independence · independent writing · summer vacation

Reimagine Tools for Summertime Writing

Many of us will be satisfied if kids choose to JUST WRITE this summer. However, for the students who are ready to do more than just write, we can provide them with a nudge to transform tools they’ve leaned on during the school year so they can become updated tools for at-home, independent use this summer.