Nervously lowering myself into a chair, I scooted myself closer to the table. Around me sat three new colleagues. My new 7th grade teaching team. Having moved from my familiar home in small-town… Continue reading
Regardless of the genre, one of the most important things we can teach our students is how to write words that could come from them – and only them.
“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… Continue reading
In my day-to-day teaching I often get swept up in trying to load students up with next step after next step… after next step. Sometimes, what might benefit some students most, however, is clear… Continue reading
Learn some tricks for reading the Units of Study, whether you’re new to the units or have been using them for many years.
Call it jargon, call it terminology, call it what you will. We have our own made-up words for things sometimes.
Long ago, most teachers I knew had a ritual that they held near and dear to their hearts. At the end of every writing workshop, a child sat in the Author’s Chair and… Continue reading
How do you help your students establish their identity as writers?
Last week I wrote a post titled How To Plan A Minilesson From Scratch, and I outlined a very simple way to plan minilessons, based on the work of my wonderful colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Now, I am going to backtrack a bit and revisit just a teensy weensy bit of what I said. I wrote, “Every minilesson can pretty much go the same way.” And this is absolutely true, most of the time. Except for those times when it’s not true.
As the school year comes to a close, many of the schools I work with are launching into a week or so of in-service, summer institutes, and other professional development. It’s “curriculum season”… Continue reading
It’s been several months since I’ve written for Two Writing Teachers. In December my son was born, and I was on maternity leave until a few weeks ago. Then, in March I pushed aside all excuses… Continue reading
First drafts usually contain the words anybody can write. Revision is the key to crafting writing that sounds just like you.
I purchased the original Units of Study for Teaching Writing, Grades 3 – 5 when they were published in 2006. In the early days, those books were like a Bible to me. I… Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago I was re-reading the chapter about genre studies in The Art of Teaching Writing, New Edition (Heinemann, 1994) by Lucy Calkins. Once I was finished, I flipped to… Continue reading
I’ve been working on a few sample minilessons to give my grad students next month when I start teaching “Children’s Literature in Teaching Writing.” I’ve been making tweaks to the traditional minilesson structure… Continue reading
I’ve been working hard to prepare lectures for my graduate students that address the Common Core State Standards, or CCSS, with regard to the teaching of writing. While I have read through the… Continue reading
Yesterday Lori Hickman and I launched a poetry unit of study in her kindergarten classroom. Since we wanted to see what they already knew about writing poetry, we decided to have them write… Continue reading
One September, I was creating a chart with my students about the things good writers do. They said things like “good writers write long and strong” and “they add details.” I was initially… Continue reading
“A pen is better than glasses as a tool for seeing.” –Lucy Calkins, Keynote Address, July Writing Institute, 6/27/11 I walked into the Levien Gymnasium yesterday morning and was greeted warmly by Tisha,… Continue reading