Making our own learning visible to children can help them understand that it takes lots of attempts to get good at something.
Several years ago, I would drive past my local park and see a group of people that met weekly for an all-body Bootcamp. Inspired by their dedication to fitness, I tried it out for myself. On the first day, I was uncoordinated and moved much slower than the other members. When the coach said, "step… Continue reading Essay Writing, Bootcamp Style
Are students constrained when they write five-paragraph essays? If we change our working definition of essay writing, then we can teach beyond the five-paragraph essays we often see in schools.
Providing options for paper allows all your students to do the same type of writing (opinion, persuasive, or argument) in many different ways. Differentiating the materials makes it possible for all your students to do the work--without having to resort to a formula or fill-in-the-blank worksheet.
As part my MFA program, I've had to write eight page papers on a paragraph or two of text. That's a lot of words about not too many words. I've also watched my daughters draft critical analyses on literary works in both high school and college. Writing a literary essay is a lifelong skill that… Continue reading Literary Essays: Setting the Stage
The Question Formulation Technique is a powerful instructional strategy across content areas.
I've been doing quite a bit of thinking about literary essays lately. The topic first came up in early May when I was consulting with a third grade teacher who I had worked with earlier in the school year. I asked her how her year had been going and she lamented about having so many… Continue reading When’s the right time to start writing literary essays?
I received a question earlier this evening about what's next in my Writing Workshop: What do you usually do next in writing workshop? I just finished persuasive writing, and this is the first time I have done it so early in the year. I am trying to figure out the next logical step. I feel… Continue reading What’s Next?
In case you're wondering what the on-demand assessment (aka: Quick Publish Assessment) I was blogging about earlier looks like, here's what it looks like: LITERARY ESSAY QUICK PUBLISH ASSESSMENT TASK: Write a four paragraph literary essay about _______ by _______. TIME: 50 minutes MINI-RUBRIC: The essay advanced a thesis or a claim. (1 .5 0… Continue reading Quick Publish Assessment for Literary Essay
When my students return from vacation they're going to be spending a week in their notebooks before we start our memoir unit of study. (We're saving poetry for last since I didn't feel we HAD to do Poetry now just b/c it's National Poetry Month. I've always done it in April, but wanted to change-it-up… Continue reading Thinking about on-demand lit. essay writing
Someone once told me that an experienced teacher asks, "How are the kids doing?" rather than asking "How am I doing?" I've found that to be more and more true of myself as each year passes. I'm not as worried about how I'm doing... I think I know what I'm doing. I'm more concerned about… Continue reading Reflections: Growth
1. Noticing the growth in a young writer: I conferred with one of my students today who fought with me tooth-and-nail at the beginning of the school year when it came to elaborating. Today, he had six pages-worth (double-spaced) of writing for his literary essay draft! This makes me happy. 🙂 2. Having a student… Continue reading Writing Things That Make Me Happy