How do we help students to see the power in the writer's notebook? It can start before the pen even hits the page. It can start from the outside in.
Back in January, my students began writing gratitude journal entries. As unpredictable schedules and interuptions await us, gratitude journaling might be just what your students need now!
If ever there were a moment in education to pay attention, be astonished, and tell about it in our writing, I wager it's now. This is the season of school evolving and changing. This is the back to school season with words we never imagined before- sneeze guards, Zoom breakouts, synchronous and asynchronous, mask breaks, temperature checks, distance learning, hybrid model. What we always knew is no longer, for the most part. What remains? How do we teach well in a COVID-19 world? What matters? What doesn't? This year, we need to write the moments.
In my experience, many young writers struggle to use a writer’s notebook as a tool. They’re excited to have a notebook but unclear about what to “do” in there. Shared writing can be a powerful way to teach writers how to generate ideas for writing and to get themselves started, based on the books we are reading and discussing as a community.
There have been many times I have had to hang on to patience, hold my breath, and wait. I have had students that do not hesitate to jump into writing and others, not so quick to jump. When our invitations to write are not always quickly accepted or at times declined, waiting for a student… Continue reading Wait Time
Inspired by a recent conversation I had with some fourth graders, today I want to share a post with you that is also something you can share with your students. Feel free to read, display, or otherwise share with your third fourth, fifth graders, and middle schoolers.
One thing we can do to support all writers, is to be intentional in the topics and story ideas we use as models and mentors. Modeling a wide range of stories and ideas can help each of your writers be inspired.
The creative lives we maintain outside of writing fill us up as humans with stories to tell. When we bring this life into the writing workshop, it builds community, and it lays the foundation for lifelong writers who have strategies for sustaining their own writing lives.
Big, blank spaces means big possibilities for a poetry unit!
Fast forward, ten months and today I offer you another powerful tool for today's multimedia writer.
Writers pause to notice the obvious and obscure moments in life. They preserve their memories in their notebooks by jotting words, tucking away photographs, ticket stubs, and other items that have left an imprint. Each of these items waits inside the notebook until the writer pulls them out and forms them into a story to… Continue reading Four Mentor Texts to Nurture the Relationship Between a Writer and a Notebook: Notebooks as a Writers Tool
Regardless of genre, we want to inspire students to develop their voices as writers, and then use those voices to entertain, inform, and change the world.