It’s dramatic when the light comes on, when a writer suddenly takes a step they had only recently not yet been ready to take. As a teacher of writers, I can’t wait to pounce on those moments, to facilitate the avalanche of growth on the horizon.
A topsy turvy year brings with it surprises. Some have been valuable enough to carry forward. I’m looking forward to bringing the best of the year with me and letting the challenges become a memory.
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?
Intentionally putting a focus on rehearsal took me on a deeper exploration of its importance in my remote classroom.
A silver lining of teaching remotely has been opportunities, like this one, to elevate authentic reasons to read and write. Kids are curious about how others do things, and they have so much real-world expertise to share. A strategy such as this one gives our youngest writers access to topics that might otherwise exceed their emergent writing skills.
Janet Ahn and I share our strategies and ideas for teaching the youngest writers in remote settings.
Maya Angelou reminds me that when I know better, I can do better. The more I know about how, where, and why a student is functioning, the better I can teach that student.
There’s no question it is challenging to get to know writers deeply via Zoom. And yet. . . something is working, because all of my remote kindergartners are writing. They are all making books. And while I might not have an hour each day to be side by side with them in the classroom, there is no question I am finding ways to get to know what kind of writers they are and what they need.
Instead of an on-demand writing assessment early on in kindergarten this year, I drafted a Writing and Drawing Observation. This is an informal observation of children drawing and writing during their writing workshop time. Observing young children and keeping anecdotal records of their behaviors is a time-tested tradition in early childhood education.
It’s the end of a memorable Teacher Appreciation Week. In the spirit of appreciation, I’m sharing a few of my favorite things so far during distance learning.
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.
After finishing each swirl of her curly hair, Camila circled her paintbrush around and around, forming eyes. For many children, the self-portrait stops here, at the outline. I kneeled next … Continue Reading From Skin Study to Writing Workshop
It’s time to celebrate the progress writers have made!
It’s the beginning of kindergarten, and that means there are lots of scribbles in books. An inquiry mindset can help us decide how to best support writers.
What makes the physical and visual process of writing challenging?
Read to find out how an occupational therapist collaborated with a classroom teacher to increase participation of all students during writing workshop.
Writing is not limited to a center choice during play. It is a part of all centers! Read this post to find out how to invite different kinds of writing at the most engaging time of day.
For young children, one of the most challenging parts of writing a sentence is including spaces between words. I’ve collected a variety of strategies and tools to support writers with this feat.
In A Teacher’s Guide to Getting Started With Beginning Writers, Katie Wood Ray and Lisa Cleaveland help us think with our beliefs — in the decisions we make, in the questions we ask, in our actions, in the language we use, and in how we see children. In everything we do, we send a message, and that message should align with our beliefs.
Are we putting additional stress and pressure on kids to write words? With purpose and joy, kids can go from compliance to engagement and become the kinds of writers who add words as powerful information to their books.