Category Archive: minilesson

Top Ten Ways to Keep Minilessons from Turning into Maxilessons

by

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

Our Inner Writing Critic

by

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.

Teaching Toolkits: Making Instruction Visible

by

Anna Gratz Cockerille provides tips for organizing and developing teaching toolkits you can use across the school year.

Using Illustrations to Trigger Memories

by

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

Finding a Space to Write

by

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

Topic Choice

by

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

Pop Culture References Make Minilesson Connections Come Alive

by

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

What do you think of this minilesson?

by

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

First Attempt at Poetry

by

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

The Book Stack

by

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

Opinion Writing in Kindergarten

by

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

by

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

Review Mentor Texts

by

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

Common Core + Students’ Needs

by

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

Writing Process in Action

by

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

Labor Day

by

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

Today’s Teaching Points

by

What were your teaching points in today’s minilessons? Here were mine: 4th grade feature article (informational writing) unit: Writers use specific words about the subject when writing informational texts. 4th grade fiction unit:… Continue reading

Plotting Short Fiction

by

Last month at MRA, I listened to Jacqueline Woodson speak about her writing process. It wasn’t the first time I heard her speak and I hope it won’t be my last. She is… Continue reading

So What?!?

by

I’ve noticed many of my conferences this week have centered around purpose. I’ve found myself asking again and again and agian, “So why are you writing this? Why is it important?” Nancie Atwell… Continue reading

Dunk ‘Em!

by

When I first began coaching, Barb Bean and I worked together. Throughout the year, we were intentional about immersing students in the kind of writing they were making. Often this meant genre, but… Continue reading