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Categorymiddle school

Beliefs Guide Actions

Right now, we really do not know how school will look in the coming year.  Will it be virtual?  Will it be physical? Will it be a hybrid model?  Who knows?  But if we agree that our beliefs are implicit, and that they guide our intentional actions, then perhaps not only reading this post but also examining and identifying your own will help you be the best you can be… whatever the circumstances you find yourself in next year. 

Throwback Thursday: Setting Up for Success in the Middle School Writing Workshop

As each new year approaches, many of us begin thinking about the physical space(s) we create for our writers.  How might it/they be more effective? Inviting? Or different? The spaces we design for our middle school writers can greatly affect how they “view” writing. Check out this week’s Throwback Thursday for ideas on creating space for writing in the middle school writing workshop!

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…

Writing Conferences: What to Do When a Writer Doesn’t Say Much?

When conferring with a writer, our big aim is to engage in a meaningful conversation with the student about his or her writing.  An individual writing conference is likely the single most effective way for a teacher to help move a writer forward. But many times, even with our best intentions and attempts at “training” students how to converse during a conference, the student will sometimes say something curt, like, “Good.”  Or, “It’s fine.”  Silence.  That’s it.  That’s all they have to say. What to do?  Fear not!  Conferring Carl suggests six strategies to help teachers address this situation…