It’s all about the link. Make sure your minilessons link to ongoing work. Link to making choices. Link to all the other minilessons. Link to the charts and resources in the room. Most of all link your minilesson always to problem solving and independence.
Last week I wrote a post titled How To Plan A Minilesson From Scratch, and I outlined a very simple way to plan minilessons, based on the work of my wonderful colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Now, I am going to backtrack a bit and revisit just a teensy weensy bit of what I said. I wrote, “Every minilesson can pretty much go the same way.” And this is absolutely true, most of the time. Except for those times when it’s not true.
Minilessons are actually really easy to plan, and fun to teach. What? You don’t believe me? Let me show you, right now, how to do it.
As the school year comes to a close, many of the schools I work with are launching into a week or so of in-service, summer institutes, and other professional development. It’s “curriculum season”… Continue reading
We’ve all been there. You’ve gathered your students into the classroom meeting area, nice and cozy, with the intention of doing just a quick l’il minilesson. Just a quick tip about writing and… Continue reading
Now I know different. I know that all writers hear that voice. All of us. Here was my message to the 6th graders: All writers have an inner critic. Acknowledge yours. And KEEP WRITING.
Anna Gratz Cockerille provides tips for organizing and developing teaching toolkits you can use across the school year.
I met a fantastic educator, Susie Barcus, from Fort Worth, TX when I attended the August Writing Institute at TCRWP. We worked together in a small group where we shared some of our… Continue reading
I’m a big advocate for writers to find a space that works best for them. I also think it’s important for students to learn to write anywhere. I’m productive as a writer because… Continue reading
So often, we run into students who say, “I don’t know what to write about.” We work to help them develop topics. We make lists of writing ideas. We encourage them to explore… Continue reading
Maggie Beattie Roberts, my section leader for “Tap the Power of Technology and Media to Teach Higher Level Comprehension,” suggested using pop culture references as one way to engage students in minilessons. (Pop… Continue reading
I’ve been working on a few sample minilessons to give my grad students next month when I start teaching “Children’s Literature in Teaching Writing.” I’ve been making tweaks to the traditional minilesson structure… Continue reading
Yesterday Lori Hickman and I launched a poetry unit of study in her kindergarten classroom. Since we wanted to see what they already knew about writing poetry, we decided to have them write… Continue reading
I have three gems for you. I. LOVE. These. Books. Love them. Micah Player previously worked for Paul Frank Industries. His illustrations and story are whimsical made me fall in love on the spot. Check… Continue reading
In one of the kindergarten classrooms I’ve been working in, we’ve been learning: Writers share their opinions. This has been a unit of study inspired by the Common Core State Standards, which place… Continue reading
Mr. Stowlkey and Mr. Smith were the teachers in one of the kindergarten writing workshops I was in today. They are incredible teachers. They are both six. (Normally I don’t refer to students… Continue reading
I’m excited to share this with you. It was one of those times when things just worked out in writing workshop. In one of the third grade classes studying reviews, we began talking… Continue reading
Much of my time this school year has been devoted to studying Common Core Standards, as well as keeping up with the ever-changing discussion about the PARCC assessment. I’ve been thinking about the… Continue reading
A few posts ago I shared my evolving thoughts about the writing process. Last week I was able to put my thinking to the test. In third grade, kids were getting ready to… Continue reading
In honor of Labor Day, I’m writing a little post about the kinds of “labor” I expect to see in writing workshop. Early on in the school year, it’s important to define student… Continue reading