Category Archive: Mary Ehrenworth

Strengthening Writing Partnerships, Part I

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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

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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

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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

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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?

Risk-taking in the Writer’s Notebook

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We learn when we experiment and take risks. The writer’s notebook could be a place worth considering as a place to do some risk-taking!

Grammar Lessons: A Time and A Place

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Encouraging kids to make decisions about their writing, rather than blindly following grammar rules helps lifts the level of their thinking, and the level of their writing.