In this topsy-turvy year, when I was not expecting to teach a remote kindergarten class, I was also not expecting to discover strategies for upping my feedback game with writers—strategies that I plan to continue using once the world has righted itself and workshop is in-person again.
How can I be clear about aligning what families hear me teaching with what their children are doing with the feedback both they and I offer kids along the way?
What are the ways I can let writers know that I SEE them, that I understand and appreciate all that they are bringing to the page and the process? How might my feedback serve as a mirror, reflecting back to writers a clear image of who they are, of what is important to them, of evidence of their growth?
When this scenario happened to me (years ago), it did give me pause. As a teacher of writers, I am not the conventions police—I have always been the kind of writer who values content over conventions in the workshop. This is not to say I do not teach conventions or have high expectations for their use. However, it would be fair to say that this particular situation challenged me to think about grammar, punctuation, and spelling differently—shifting the way I approached conventions in the classroom going forward.
Sarah Zerwin is workshop to her core, and she has found ways to ensure that her assessment practices are not sending conflicting messages to kids. Point-Less will challenge readers to reflect and inspire them to advocate for change.
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.
Right now, we really do not know how school will look in the coming year. Will it be virtual? Will it be physical? Will it be a hybrid model? Who knows? But if we agree that our beliefs are implicit, and that they guide our intentional actions, then perhaps not only reading this post but also examining and identifying your own will help you be the best you can be… whatever the circumstances you find yourself in next year.
THIS is what teachers need right now. This is my work as a coach, and this is what we can all do for each other in this challenging time.
During this time, an important question nagging at me has been, “What elements of good teaching will be possible to hang onto in our current, stay-at-home situation?” One element might be effective feedback. Today I share a few ideas to consider as we all navigate this uncertain time in our world . . .
Even if you were somebody who enjoyed your teachers’ written comments or corrections on your papers, there are some solid reasons to consider not writing on your students’ work.
Using student work as feedback for our teaching informs us. It empowers us. In a way, it allows young writers to become our teachers…
As teachers, how might we reflect on our own practice in a way that could make a difference for our students next year? Here are a few lenses for setting some goals…
We all want to support and nurture inspired writers who work independently. So how might we carefully avoid creating uninspiring, teacher-dependent environments for learning? I present a few ideas here…
In the opening pages of Maja Wilson’s book, REIMAGINING WRITING ASSESSMENT, Thomas Newkirk gets the ball rolling with this statement, “Rubrics regularly fail to offer help to a writer because they focus on what writing has (features) not what writing does (effect).” Today I’m sharing my reflections as well as offering a giveaway to one lucky reader.
Whether you’re already back in school or returning in the next two weeks, I’ve rounded up some of our team’s best blog posts that will help you launch & sustain writing workshop in 2018-19.
Thank you for joining us for our blog series Looking Back and Moving Forward. I think we all agree on the importance of reflection in the lives of writers. In case you missed any of our posts over the past week, here’s a quick summary.
In Visible Learning For Literacy, Fisher, Frey, and Hattie, explain “When feedback is delivered in such that it is timely, specific, understandable, and actionable students assimilate the language used by their teacher into their self-talk. (2016, 100)” These words stopped me. When our words become the self-talk of our students, they become the most influential tool we have as teachers.
Sound assessment plays a vital role in showing and in detailing progress students are making toward reasonable goals.
Earlier this month, I had the privilege of attending the TCRWP August Writing Institute. The week began with Lucy Calkins delivering an inspirational keynote, “Learning from the Hard Parts” inside the … Continue Reading The Hard Parts
At the start of the summer, I read and reviewed Patty McGee’s Feedback That Moves Writers Forward. It’s a book, I believe, that can change my teaching of writing for the better…and maybe yours too. It’s a book I want to dive into more deeply, rereading it and sharing my ideas with other educators in a book club. I know that the beginning of the school year is a challenging time to ask teachers to take on anything additional. But here I am anyway, inviting you to take part in a Voxer book club to discuss Feedback That Moves Writers Forward. So why should you?