informational writing · Mary Ehrenworth · nonfiction writing · Teachers College

Addressing Knowledge Issues in Informational Writing

If we do not possess a good amount of background knowledge, if we are not interested in the topic, and we were not given a choice, our writing typically suffers. Lack of knowledge in particular, as Mary Ehrenworth suggests, manifests quickly as writing weakness and writing problems. As writing workshop teachers, how might we think about and address these challenges?

informational writing · Melissa Stewart · writing workshop

Keeping Narrative Alive

By the middle of October, many students in our district are nearing the end of their first writing unit, and in almost all grades, that first writing unit has a narrative focus. Students are gearing up for information writing, and then later in the year, opinion writing. Sometimes, when we leave a genre, we forget… Continue reading Keeping Narrative Alive

audience · celebration · informational writing · Katherine Bomer · motivation · nurturing · publishing · writer identity

Writing Celebrations…But Why?

With all the pressures imposed by a segmented, unforgiving middle school schedule, why make time for writing celebrations? Are they really that important? Yes!

common core · engagement · informational writing · lesson plans · lucy calkins · minilesson · motivation · narrative

Connecting Through Story

"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 is an undeniable trait of humanity. Yet, in spite of what we know about story as a fundamental building block for learning,… Continue reading Connecting Through Story

argument writing · immersion · informational writing · narrative · persuasive writing · picture book · poetry · primary grades · Read Aloud

Teaching the Four Types of Writing Through Texts

Janiel Wagstaff's books will help you teach primary writers about the four types of writing in an engaging way. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win her series of Stella books.

informational writing · stories · writer's notebook · writing workshop

Starting with Story

I recently had the pleasure of attending the 25th Annual Comprehensive Literacy and Reading Recovery Conference in Illinois.  One of the sessions I attended was led by the brilliant and endearing Christopher Lehman.  His session centered around using our stories to generate topics for information writing.  It is a unique approach to a genre that can sometimes feel… Continue reading Starting with Story

informational writing · mentor texts · picture book · writing workshop

I’m Trying to Love Spiders: A Review & Giveaway

When my principal handed me a copy of Bethany Barton's I'm Trying to Love Spiders, I was intrigued.  She had chosen this book as our Everybody Reads title for the month and I was wondering why.  I mean, who would try to love spiders?  Ew. I was immediately impressed with both the colorful illustrations and the… Continue reading I’m Trying to Love Spiders: A Review & Giveaway

informational writing · Jennifer Serravallo · nonfiction writing · reading · reading-writing connections

Quality Reading Instruction Leads to Better Writing: A Review of Jennifer Serravallo’s Independent Reading Assessment 

When I tested Jennifer Serravallo’s Independent Reading Assessment (Scholastic), I was an immediate believer. Finally, here is a reading assessment that gives rich, clear information about upper grade readers, using an authentic reading task (It is the only reading assessment system to date in which readers read a whole book. This assessment system is directly correlated… Continue reading Quality Reading Instruction Leads to Better Writing: A Review of Jennifer Serravallo’s Independent Reading Assessment