We can’t control what happen next in our news feeds or in the lives of our students. By making intentional time in our curriculum for writing, sharing and publishing, we can equip our students with the most powerful tools we have available to develop and strengthen their voices within our classrooms, and create a confidence within to speak their truths out in the world.
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?
When it comes to the teaching of writing in a writing workshop, language is everything. It is through the words we teachers choose that writers are created, built up, encouraged, and inspired.
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
The fact is, just like athletes that show up to the first day of practice, writers bring different skill sets. Some arrive to middle school not knowing where to put a period, while others already know how paint vivid pictures with words that knock our socks off. How do we plan for such a wide variety of writers?
Celebrating differences among our writers can sometimes be difficult for teachers of writing. But by expecting and planning for differences, we can set our students on trajectories more matched to who they are as writers. Here are a few ideas…
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!
It’s great to be prepared when we are conferring with our writers. However, being ‘prepared’ and being ‘present’ are not the same thing…
We’ve all likely taught ‘show, don’t tell’ lessons in our narrative units. But showing not telling can have instructional meaning, as well…
Sometimes in a busy and chaotic schedule, we inadvertently miss attending to some of our students who like to “fly under the radar.” Being systematic and intentionally positive can make a big difference for some of our writers.