The writing work in our building is transforming, and it is exciting to be a part of the change, to witness the impact on kids as we make our workshops increasingly authentic and compelling.
We are constantly reflecting on what’s working—what’s leading to measurable shifts in how we plan for writing (and how kids experience writing)—as well as where we might be getting stuck: places there is genuine motivation to transform the task, and yet, our best intentions are still missing the mark in some significant way.
“Social psychology has found the more you reward people for doing something, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward.” – Alfie Kohn (2000).… Continue reading
Every year brings with it new surprises. I was delightfully surprised by just ten minutes this year. Ten minutes made a big difference.
With all the pressures imposed by a segmented, unforgiving middle school schedule, why make time for writing celebrations? Are they really that important? Yes!
“Story is the basic unit of human understanding.” – Drew Dudley, Day One Leadership. We have been learning through story for thousands of years. Our innate fascination for wanting to know what happens… Continue reading
Moving to a learner-driven classroom has changed my role in the classroom and writing workshop. As a teacher in a learner-driven classroom, I have stepped back to observe the learner.
Ever since I read this post by Katie Kraushaar, I’ve been thinking about personal narrative and wondering why it is that students, particularly in middle elementary grades and beyond, are sometimes less than enthusiastic about… Continue reading
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.
Did you know that talking to yourself can be really helpful? It’s true! Researchers have long known that positive self-talk can be an incredibly helpful tool. The power of positive self-talk is something that… Continue reading
I have plans, big plans, for my third grader writers this year. Topping the list is helping them to become bloggers.
How do you motivate students and tap into their interests? What are you doing to create an environment that allows students to take a risk?
Everyone wants students to be be intrinsically motivated to write daily. While we can hope our enthusiasm is contagious, sometimes it’s not enough for reluctant writers. Working with reluctant writers means providing the… Continue reading
I wanted my students to be intrinsically motivated to write daily when I was a classroom teacher. When I began teaching I naively thought my enthusiasm for writing would be contagious. While my… Continue reading
Last week I overheard several conversations about exercise. It wasn’t the typical kind of “new year exercise” conversation either, they weren’t lamenting about having to do it, nor how sore they are now… Continue reading
Caroline Gonzalez began her teaching career in New York City. During her 15 years in New York, she taught K, 1, 2, Transitional Bilingual, and Reading Recovery. She has completed her fifth year… Continue reading