Our hope is that this blog series helps to bridge the divides between how we teach writing and how students learn writing because we all believe not only in the importance of writing, but also that all children can learn to write-- and learn to write well-- and even like writing!
Last month at MRA, I listened to Jacqueline Woodson speak about her writing process. It wasn't the first time I heard her speak and I hope it won't be my last. She is one of the writers I consider as my personal mentor. Not to be over-dramatic, but listening to her last month changed my… Continue reading Plotting Short Fiction
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 City where she taught middle school in the South Bronx. She has experience teaching General Ed and Special Ed (as a Collaborative… Continue reading Happy New Year! Using Celebration to Restore and Build our Identities as Writers
One of the common threads running through the All-Write Conference was having mentors. I'm wondering who are your favorite mentors to use in your classroom and to use for your own writing. For me, I enjoy using Jacqueline Woodson and Jane Yolen in classrooms as well as for my own writing. In addition I hope… Continue reading Mentors
My colleague and next-door-classroom-neighbor Leanna and I were eating and grading writer's notebooks together at lunchtime today. I got to the second notebook in my stack and said, "She's gotta be kidding me!" "What?" Leana asked. "She wrote me," I stopped feeling something between annoyance and anger, "letters." I have this thing about writer's notebooks… Continue reading Mentoring: Peace, Locomotion
I shared an excerpt from the Jacqueline Woodson Section of Speaking of Journals by Paula W. Graham with my students today. Afterwards, we all wrote down some ways in which we already use our notebooks (or could use them based off of what we learned from the Woodson Piece, which inspired lots of great ideas… Continue reading Ways I Use My Writer’s Notebook
My kids returned from lunch and recess looking like they were ready for a discussion, not a read aloud aloud. However, it was time for Interactive Read Aloud and we were supposed to look at The Other Side though the voice/silence lens. However, I decided to deviate from the plan and went through the "Voice/Silence… Continue reading Of course you can write!
I was reading a post Franki wrote about a new free-verse poetry novel, 42 Miles. After reading about it, I went on to Amazon and purchased a copy through the Strand Bookstore. I'm excited about this book since it'll likely be another mentor text of free-verse poetry that I can place in front of my… Continue reading Writing Free Verse Poetry: More Mentors
I am creating a list of writing partnerships for my students' Literary Essay Unit of Study based on the texts they've selected to examine, from the packet of 11 texts I gave them, for their literary essay. Would you believe that only five of the six texts are represented from the packet?!!? I'm a bit… Continue reading I’m a bit astonished!
During our common planning time today, my colleagues and I brainstormed a list of texts we're going to have students select from for their literary essays. Many people think that kids should pick whatever book they're reading, I've come to believe that having children select from a pre-selected set of short texts is better. A… Continue reading Literary Essay Texts
This week has been filled with wonderful blog-related things. First, we became b-listers. Next, one of my favorite authors, Jacqueline Woodson, happened upon our blog and posted a comment. And then this morning I woke up to find that in less than six months of being an open blog on the 'net, Two Writing Teachers… Continue reading WN Entry: In less than six months…
I've read Jacqueline Woodson's Book Sweet, Sweet Memory to three classes now. However, I've never had such an intense discussion with any other group of children about Sweet, Sweet Memory as I did with my class today during Interactive Read Aloud (aka: IRA). One of the boys in my class, who sits right next to… Continue reading “Everything and everyone goes on and on.”