agency · community · feedback · goals · management · routines

How do we Know When our Workshops are Working?

Launching a writing workshop is hard work. Intentional work. What are those “look fors” that let us know that our workshops are gelling? That community is being built, routines are being established, and writing work is happening?

agency · management · procedures · reflective practice · writing workshop routines

When Management Issues in the Workshop are the Result of Mixed Messaging

The beginning of the school year is perfect timing for the classic cautionary tale, an anecdote shared with the intention of saving others a difficulty I created for myself. My purpose is to both teach and entertain, as I humbly recount the thing I should not have done (and will be mindful not to do again).

COVID-19 · management · remote learning

Three Quick Tips for Maximizing Time at the Beginning of a Virtual Writing Workshop

Students in digitial writing workshops need to be focused and ready from the moment they enter the remote classroom space. Here are three tips you can use with your students to get writing workshop underway so you don't lose time waiting for students to arrive, find pencils, etc.

classroom environment · environment · management · professional development · writing workshop

Take a Tour of Your Own School with an Eye Toward Writing Workshop

When you have a chance, take a walk through the hallways of your own school. Try to see with fresh eyes. Pretend you are a visitor. Ask yourself: What kind of writing is on display? What kind of writing is not on display?If what we display in the hallways conveys a message about what we… Continue reading Take a Tour of Your Own School with an Eye Toward Writing Workshop

coaching · engagement · management · routines · student engagement · writing workshop routines

I Love Watching You Write: Research from the World of Sports Applied in the Classroom

Research on effective sports coaching suggests adults would do well by kids to cut down on criticism and focus more on the joy simply playing.

assessment · authentic assessment · formative assessment · management · on-demand piece · self-assessment

Tips for Analyzing and Scoring a Ton of Writing

Time is precious, and your mental energy even more so. Why waste either when others before you have learned through trial and error? Avoid common missteps by reading these simple tips.

community · giveaway · interview · management · responsive classroom · writing workshop

Reinvigorate Your Classroom by Putting Kids First: An Interview with Christine Hertz and Kristi Mraz

Learn how Hertz and Mraz's newest book, Kids 1st from Day 1, can impact your writing workshop.

management · writing workshop

Three Tricks for Smoother Classroom Transitions

There are a hundred ways precious minutes can be wasted during those pesky transitions, and a hundred ways a rough transition can make for an uphill battle for the rest of writing workshop. Here are three tricks that you might try.

management · plan · writing workshop

Plan Boxes as Management Tools

Do you struggle with students working -- rather than socializing -- during independent writing time? If so, here's a solution to keep your kids engaged as writers so you can maximize the number of students you meet with during independent writing time.

blog series · change · classroom environment · independent writing · management · meeting area · middle school · minilesson

Fitting It All In: Solving Predictable Problems

For many of us, especially in middle school, trying to fit all the pieces of writing workshop into, say, a 41-minute schedule, can feel daunting. How can we teach a minilesson, get our kids working, confer with individuals and small groups, provide a mid-workshop interruption, and facilitate a teaching share…all in that tight time frame?