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Write the Moments: Documenting a Most Unusual School Year

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.

Seen, Valued, Heard: Leveraging Shared Writing to Build Community

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.

Dear Kids… A Post You Can Share With Your Students on How To Use Writing Notebooks Home

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.

Four Mentor Texts to Nurture the Relationship Between a Writer and a Notebook: Notebooks as a Writers Tool

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 … Continue Reading Four Mentor Texts to Nurture the Relationship Between a Writer and a Notebook: Notebooks as a Writers Tool

Ways to Organize Writer’s Notebooks: Notebook as a Writer’s Tool

There is no one “correct” way to organize writer’s notebooks. So much depends upon the purpose the notebooks serve in your classroom and how students will utilize them during writing time. My goal with this post is to share different possibilities for organizing writer’s notebooks and present you with various options. To section or not to section will depend on how you see writer’s notebooks and the role they play in your workshop.

An Eraser-Free Workshop and the Language We Use for Talking About It

When I visit a classroom, one of the first things I often say to kids is, “Today, please don’t erase. I want to see ALL the great work you are doing as a writer. When you erase, your work disappears!” Often, this is what kids are accustomed to and they continue working away. But sometimes, kids stare at me as if I’ve got two heads.