immersion · informational writing · nonfiction · nonfiction writing · noticings · writing workshop

The Immersion Phase of a Unit: Reading and Writing Collide

The immersion phase of a unit allows us all to get to know our subject. For students, it might be ideas they have and for teachers, it is about getting to know their writers a bit better.

classroom · education · independent writing · literacy · lucy calkins · noticings · plan · precise language · procedures · prompts · routines · scaffolding charts · scheduling · shared writing · speech · stories · storytelling · Teachers College · vocabulary · writing workshop

A Mini-Crash-Course on Oral Storytelling

It's been several months since I've written for Two Writing Teachers. In December my son was born, and I was on maternity leave until a few weeks ago. Then, in March I pushed aside all excuses and did the Slice of Life Story Challenge. Every day in the month of March I recruited my four year old daughter to tell… Continue reading A Mini-Crash-Course on Oral Storytelling

books · craft · illustrations · narrative · noticings

The Book Stack

An eclectic little stack today. Click on the images to go to a link about the book. I've been enjoying books I can read a little here and a little there. This book, however, is one I found myself engulfing. Even though there are 21 conversations with different illustrators, and even though I started with… Continue reading The Book Stack

noticings · persuasive writing · professional development · reflections · reflective practice · wn entry · Write: It's good for you!

Persuasion with Karen Caine

Last week I was fortunate to spend the day with Karen Caine. Are you familiar with her work? It is the book that I have had to buy the most -- SIX times -- because my copy keeps coming up missing. (Luckily Karen signed a copy for me last week, so I should be able… Continue reading Persuasion with Karen Caine

lucy calkins · minilesson · modeling · noticings · observations · poetry · reflective practice · units of study

First Attempt at Poetry

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 a poem. This made me a little nervous. What if they just stared at the paper or chaos ensued because they had… Continue reading First Attempt at Poetry

dialgoue · grammar · mentor author · mentor entries · mentor texts · notebooks · noticings · process · reading · wn entry · writer's notebook · writer's-reader's notebook · writing · writing process

I’ve been studying sentence structure…

I was watching or listening or reading something this week --- I don't remember what -- but the message was: You can't be a writer if you're not a reader. True. (And probably the reason I don't remember who said it since this little tid-bit is fairly common knowledge.) The person went on to say:… Continue reading I’ve been studying sentence structure…

immersion · memoir · mentor texts · noticings

In Their Words

Today's Workshop, in my classroom, was spent immersing my students in the memoir genre (or is it genre of memoir... both sound funny to me!). The kids realized that most memoirs are a combination of exposition and narrative. (I compared memoir to a hybrid car. That definitely helped!) After my kids listened to four of… Continue reading In Their Words

expository · immersion · literary essay · mentor texts · non-narrative writing · noticings · writing workshop

Immersion Begins Tomorrow

I'll begin immersing my students in the literary essay genre tomorrow. I'm fortunate to have had some wonderful students last year who graciously allowed me to share their essays with future students to-come. Hence, I have quite a few literary essays copied, ready-to-go for my students to possibly use as mentor texts tomorrow. I realized… Continue reading Immersion Begins Tomorrow

Cory Gillette · noticings · personal essay · wn entry · Write: It's good for you! · writer's notebook

Take Note of What Surrounds You

My students have been doing a lot of noticing in Writing Workshop since we began our Personal Essay Unit of Study last week. Hence, I created this Motivational Poster (of sorts) online. I hope it inspires you to notice what surrounds you this week and to write about it. Here's a potential charge for :… Continue reading Take Note of What Surrounds You

family · inspiration · noticings · photograph · the persona of a writer · Writer's Notebook Wednesday

have you noticed the wow lately?

I'm lucky because, you see, I have this constant, little reminder to notice stuff.  I live with a toddler who notices the world and points out the wow.  Constantly.  Walking out the door in the morning:  "Venus.  Wow.  Stars.  Wow." Past the Sedum:  "Spider.  Wow." Every 3 minutes this evening:  "Mumpkin Happy.  Wow."  (We carved him yesterday. … Continue reading have you noticed the wow lately?

noticings · observations · outdoors · writer's notebook

Take a look around you

When I taught in NYC, I was fortunate enough to work one block away from Central Park. Therefore, when the urge struck me, I'd take my students out to Central Park with their writer's notebooks to record their noticings. They wrote beautiful poems in the Park, but rarely stories. I've come to believe that we… Continue reading Take a look around you

noticings · wn entry

ruth’s wn entry: my fav things about (you name the place).

Following Stacey's lead, here's my list -- Favorite Things About Indiana Wide open spaces that allow for my mind to wander during late afternoon/early evening walks. My family is close in proximity. Indiana Hoosier Basketball -- need I say more? Colt's Football.  My husband & I make several games each season.  In fact, we used to… Continue reading ruth’s wn entry: my fav things about (you name the place).