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CategoryMary Ehrenworth

On Rethinking the Publishing of Information Writing

When it comes to writing, a need for writers to have a clear vision is one of the big reasons we provide mentor texts in writing workshop.  Kids need to see not only a goal or end toward which they may aspire, but I would add that they need to be provided models to become inspired.  For we all know the effect inspiration can have on anything we are up to in life, right? It matters.  It helps. And certainly, writing is no exception. Read on to learn about why making a big deal of publishing informational writing is worth considering…

Strengthening Writing Partnerships, Part 2

In my previous November post about partnerships, three ideas were shared: (1) Study existing partnerships to assess current and potential effectiveness; (2) Teach a replicable process for meaningful revision; and (3) Teach writers how to create process pages.  Today I will share just a few more strategies for supporting and strengthening writing partnerships…

Strengthening Writing Partnerships, Part I

A writing partner provides a sounding board and creates a social opportunity for feedback, criticism, and notions of what improvement could look like or sound like. The problem with partnerships, however, is that left to their own devices kids are not very good at being partners. How can we help kids get better? Here are a few strategies…

Enlisting Writing Support from Parents

Parents can be a tremendous educational resource.  Yet, in middle school it can be challenging, as developmentally our students are beginning to morph from children into young adults. Thinking about next year, I have drafted some ideas for partnering with parents on how to help their kids become stronger writers.  How might parents provide support in the way writing workshop teachers believe is most helpful?  Here are a few ideas…

Addressing Knowledge Issues in Informational Writing

If we do not possess a good amount of background knowledge, if we are not interested in the topic, and we were not given a choice, our writing typically suffers. Lack of knowledge in particular, as Mary Ehrenworth suggests, manifests quickly as writing weakness and writing problems. As writing workshop teachers, how might we think about and address these challenges?

Lights, Camera, Action! 3 Tips for Creating Maximum Effect During a Writing Lesson

Walking ourselves through and rehearsing what we will model for young writers so as to create the desired effect(s) can be extremely helpful.  Whatever curriculum we are using, it’s just so important to walk through the big steps of our teaching ahead of time so that we plan for maximum learning impact. But what type of “effects” might be desired?