According to the co-founder of Bithiah’s House, a nonprofit organization for foster youth, Michelle Thompson, ” 61% of the population, both adults and children, have experienced at least one form of trauma in their life.”
Maya Angelou reminds me that when I know better, I can do better. The more I know about how, where, and why a student is functioning, the better I can teach that student.
We are now entering week seven in our school district. At the start of the year, there was much to think about and much to worry about. There were many … Continue Reading Three Ways to Find Joy & Keep Writing
The writing work in our building is transforming, and it is exciting to be a part of the change, to witness the impact on kids as we make our workshops increasingly authentic and compelling.
We are constantly reflecting on what’s working—what’s leading to measurable shifts in how we plan for writing (and how kids experience writing)—as well as where we might be getting stuck: places there is genuine motivation to transform the task, and yet, our best intentions are still missing the mark in some significant way.
Research on effective sports coaching suggests adults would do well by kids to cut down on criticism and focus more on the joy simply playing.
True engagement is hard to miss. However, there are several look-a-likes out there. Some are called compliance and participation.
Sometimes it can be difficult to imagine creating or allowing a wider audience to read our students’ writing. But there is great possibility in doing so. It just takes a shift in attention…
In a minilesson, we work to not only demonstrate a strategy sometimes employed by professional writers, but also to provide a quick opportunity for young writers assembled before us to apply it, either in their own writing or in a co-authored class composition. This short segment of the minilesson during which writers ‘give a strategy a go’ themselves, often called the “Active Involvement” or “Active Engagement,” allows writers an immediate opportunity for application in the supportive environs of the meeting area. How can we make this part of the lesson really count?
Today’s guest blog post comes from Library Media Specialist, Shannon Betts.
Three strategies to use so that students develop their own ability to monitor themselves as writers.
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.
“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 … Continue Reading Connecting Through Story
My time at the New York State English Council (NYSEC) Conference through snapshots!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 … Continue Reading Top Ten Ways to Keep Minilessons from Turning into Maxilessons
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. … Continue Reading Pump Up the Volume!
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 … Continue Reading Keep Learning