When I was a new teacher, I learned from Lucy Calkins that there are basically four overall methods to choose from when planning instruction: 1) demonstration, 2) coaching, 3) inquiry, and 4) telling/explaining. This four-method framework is useful for thinking about conferring.
I made many mistakes during my first year of teaching. I’m too embarrassed to blog about most of them since I cringe when I look back on my first year of teaching. I got so… Continue reading
When Writers Drive the Workshop is a book with heart. Brian Kissel writes with passion, voice, humility, conviction, and wisdom. The stories he shares from the student writers he worked with are stories that will stay with you, reminding you why doing this work matters so much. Read the rest of the book review and leave a comment for a chance to win your own copy of When Writers Drive the Workshop! (You will want to win!)
We’ve all likely taught ‘show, don’t tell’ lessons in our narrative units. But showing not telling can have instructional meaning, as well…
Help your students see the possibilities by writing in front of them
Last Thursday, I endeavored to explain writing workshop to parents in my district at Parent University. As I drove home after the presentation, I felt unsettled, like there had been a gap in what the parents were hoping to learn and what I delivered. What would you be sure to include in a presentation to parents on writing workshop?
It seems appropriate that today’s post should be related to using your own writing in the classroom. We are, after all, in the midst of the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. And what… Continue reading
Thinking about your demonstration texts this way can give you some inspiration for multiple ways to teach the same minilesson, to the whole class, or to small groups as follow-up.
The way I felt about starting my first garden is probably how a lot of kids feel during writing workshop when we give mysterious directions to “add more detail” or “grab the reader’s interest.” The language many of us use during writing workshop probably makes perfect sense to adults–but for kids we need to be more explicit. Teaching just by telling is not enough.
We’ve all been there. You’ve gathered your students into the classroom meeting area, nice and cozy, with the intention of doing just a quick l’il minilesson. Just a quick tip about writing and… Continue reading
Most writing workshop teachers agree that using demonstration writing to teach with is crucial. However, creating it is not always easy. Here are some tips to help you get the most bang for your writing buck.
During the demonstration of today’s minilesson I added asterisks to my WN Entry to show a flashback in time. I said something like, “I’m going to put some stars here, called asterisks, to… Continue reading
Starting My Poetry Craft Table Originally uploaded by teachergal Tomorrow, I’m doing some explicit instruction on identifying poetic tools in poems we admire and then trying to use those tools in our own… Continue reading
I like challenging myself and my students with their writing. So… in honor of National Poetry Month, I thought about creating a week-long poetry challenge since I’d like to create more poetry of… Continue reading
One of the most powerful ways to become a better writing teacher is to write. And one of the most essential things to write is what we expect our students to write. Dina… Continue reading
I had a really great first day of work. I learned a lot. The first thing I learned is that fourth graders are way different than fifth graders. Here’s what I mean. My… Continue reading