Category Archive: engagement

Teaching Students to Self-Monitor

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Three strategies to use so that students develop their own ability to monitor themselves as writers.

If We Build It, They Will Come: Tales From Inside The Sharing Circle

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The most important minutes of your writing workshop require zero hassle and no prep–only precious time. The minimal investment is worth its weight in gold. Welcome to the sharing circle with guest teacher Lori VanHoesen: The bridge builder you didn’t know was doing the hardest work all along.

Connecting Through Story

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“Story is the basic unit of human understanding.” – Drew Dudley, Day One Leadership. We have been learning through story for thousands of years.  Our innate fascination for wanting to know what happens… Continue reading

Snapshots From the NYSEC Conference

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My time at the New York State English Council (NYSEC) Conference through snapshots!

Red Dot Side, Green Dot Side, Revisited

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With very good intentions, we teach kids to do their best to really finish a story before they move on to the next one. However, a little bit of flexibility will go a long way in increasing engagement, volume, and independence in young writers.

Go-To Digital Tools for Writing Workshop

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Digital tools can transform your teaching by allowing students to have a writing community beyond the classroom walls, be innovative, make meaningful connections to other writers and students, have more resources readily available, and have true, authentic reasons for writing.

Writing Workshop is Hard Work

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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?

Supporting Boy Writers: An Interview with Ralph Fletcher

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Have you ever banned a topic from your writing workshop? If you have, you’re not alone…but you may want to think twice about that policy.

Top Ten Ways to Keep Minilessons from Turning into Maxilessons

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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

Pump Up the Volume!

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I recently had a dream about teaching writing. In my dream the kids wrote and wrote and wrote for hours on end as I floated effortlessly from student to student. You could hear… Continue reading

Keep Learning

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Today I read a few pages from Peter Johnston’s book, Choice Words. You know this book, right? If not, it is a small, powerful read that can change your teaching life forever. (If… Continue reading

The Secret Ingredient to Creating Engaged Writers

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I’ve been thinking about student engagement in writing workshop for the past couple of weeks.  I started thinking about it as I was reading Guy-Write, Ralph Fletcher’s new book.  My thoughts about engagement… Continue reading