Category Archive: independent writing

Writing Mantras for the New School Year: Part of #TWTBlog’s Throwback Week

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Did you know that talking to yourself can be really helpful? It’s true! Researchers have long known that positive self-talk can be an incredibly helpful tool. The power of positive self-talk is something that… Continue reading

An Eraser-Free Workshop and the Language We Use for Talking About It

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When I visit a classroom, one of the first things I often say to kids is, “Today, please don’t erase. I want to see ALL the great work you are doing as a writer. When you erase, your work disappears!” Often, this is what kids are accustomed to and they continue working away. But sometimes, kids stare at me as if I’ve got two heads.

THROWBACK WEEK: Pens Versus Pencils

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What do you think is better for kids to use in writing workshop: pens or pencils?

Throwback Week: How To Read A Unit of Study

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Learn some tricks for reading the Units of Study, whether you’re new to the units or have been using them for many years.

Work Smarter: How To Wrap Up A Unit of Study

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This week my colleagues and I are writing posts that we hope will make your life a little easier. We’re sharing some ways to work smarter, not harder.

From Shared to Independent Practice: Drawing Lessons Continued

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Last week we looked at a couple of students who were working on the visual plan and the use of drawing lessons. Let’s peek in and see how that work is coming along in the shared and independent practice of writing workshop.

Okay, But What Would You Do?

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This week has been full of writing workshop conundrums and dilemmas!

Minilessons: It’s All About the Link

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It’s all about the link. Make sure your minilessons link to ongoing work. Link to making choices. Link to all the other minilessons. Link to the charts and resources in the room. Most of all link your minilesson always to problem solving and independence.

How To Read A Unit of Study

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As the school year comes to a close, many of the schools I work with are launching into a week or so of in-service, summer institutes, and other professional development. It’s “curriculum season”… Continue reading

Summer Writing for You, the Teacher

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You’ve got to practice writing to teach writing!

A Quick Little Conference About Choices

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I pulled a child-sized chair over to Zach and sat down next to him. “How’s it going?” I asked. “Not good,” was his reply. “What seems to be the trouble?” Zach explained that… Continue reading

Independent Writing: 10 Ways to Get Students Published in the Real World

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Some students want to write more than what is required of them in writing workshop. Enter independent writing projects! But how do you go from being another set of eyes on some additional writing a student does to helping him/her go public with their work?

Independent Writing: Back-Up Work

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Encouraging students to have back-up work honors who they are as writers.

Independent Writing Blog Series Starts Now!

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Today launches our Independent Writing Blog Series! Join us all week long as we write about writing projects, summer writing, getting published in the real world, multi-genre projects, pulling back to let kids write on their own, and much, much more! Also join us for a Twitter chat on Monday, May 12 at 8:30pm EST with the hashtag #TWTBlog.

A Mini-Crash-Course on Oral Storytelling

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It’s been several months since I’ve written for Two Writing Teachers. In December my son was born, and I was on maternity leave until a few weeks ago. Then, in March I pushed aside all excuses… Continue reading

Pens Versus Pencils: Which One is Better for Writing Workshop?

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In my line of work as a staff developer, I often get the question, “Which do you think is better? Pens or pencils?” I have to start by saying that I don’t think… Continue reading

Tailoring Our Teaching: Using a Writing Engagement Tool

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During a 40-minute block of independent writing time, we sat back and observed the students. We recorded their independent writing behaviors at eight separate time intervals.

Ten Suggestions for Encouraging Kids to Write at Home

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Dear Parents and Caregivers, You might not realize it, but there are a zillion things you can do right at home to foster a love of writing. Even if you, yourself, are not… Continue reading

Inspiring Independent Writing in a Jam-Packed Curriculum

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Kristen Robbins Warren honors her middle school students’ independent writing lives by incorporating three literary rhythms (Monday Morning’s Muse, Wednesday’s Writing Window, and Friday Favorites) into the school week.

GUEST BLOG POST: Ending with Independence

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Lindsay Reyes began her teaching career seven years ago in South Carolina where she taught 4th and 5th graders. Following her heart for urban education and literacy reform, she moved to New York… Continue reading