inquiry · mentor texts · touchstone texts · universal theme

A Deep Dive Into One Spectacular Mentor Text

In this post, I’ll describe the ways I would use Rabbit and the Motorbike as a mentor text for instruction with writers in upper elementary grades through middle school. This is an example of the thinking work I do in advance of sharing a mentor text with students, anticipating what students might notice and planning for the questioning I will do to help them name those craft moves. My goal is always to get kids to the HOW, because that is the level of understanding they need to be able to try strategies out in their own writing.

checklists · conventions · goals · grammar · inquiry · interactive writing · minilesson · Read Aloud · shared writing · spelling

Minilesson Alternatives: Considering OTHER Ways to Kick Off Workshop

If you have ever felt that you were going through the motions of a minilesson, know that there are plenty of other ways you can choose to gather as a community and launch writing time. Here are ten alternatives for beginning a writing workshop session - - with joy, intention, and inspiration.

assessment · equity · feedback · formative assessment · inquiry · Reflective Practice

Let’s Get Curious! Using Appreciative Inquiry in the Writing Classroom

Students are our north stars. When we get to know students (academically and beyond), we can more clearly see and honor who they are and what they know. Appreciative inquiry enables us to capitalize on the abundant assets already present.

early childhood · inquiry · kindergarten

Kindergarten Forest School: Integrating Writing with Nature and Play

Whether you're looking to begin a Forest School routine, connect children to nature, or integrate writing with play, this post outlines ways to begin.

conventions · grammar · inquiry

Using Inquiry to Lift Language Conventions

As middle school teachers, we know grammar and language conventions have likely been taught to our writers in previous years. But why don't they stick? Here are a few ideas around teaching grammar and language conventions using an inquiry approach...

Beyond the Fundamentals Blog Series · inquiry · minilesson · tcrwp

Inquiry Minilessons: Beyond the Fundamentals of Writing Workshop

There are many ways to teach a minilesson effectively. Many people think inquiry minilessons are stickier than demonstrations since kids "discover" things on their own. As a result, learning stays with kids longer since they've come to the learning on their own.

coaching · demonstration · inquiry · writing workshop

Let’s Talk About Methods for Conferring

When I was a new teacher, I learned from Lucy Calkins that there are basically four overall methods to choose from when planning instruction: 1) demonstration, 2) coaching, 3) inquiry, and 4) telling/explaining. This four-method framework is useful for thinking about conferring.