Category Archive: observations

Nurturing a Sense of Optimism Through Vertical Visits

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Although this time of year predictably proves to be extremely busy, creatively scheduling a little bit of time to visit at least some of your next-year’s writers can pay valuable dividends.

Our Job: Noticers-in-Chief

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Whether or not you have started school already or you are taking those final deep breaths before your first day, let us remember one thing that sets us writing workshop teachers apart from other methodologies, curricula, programs, and/or approaches to teaching writing: we NOTICE.

The Joys, Wonders, and Challenges of On-Demand Writing: Assessment Strengthens Writers Blog Series

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I’ll be honest. I actually love on-demand writing assessments.

Making the Most of Pre-Assessments

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 We spend a week or so sharing stories, and building excitement for writing stories. We hand out notebooks with fanfare, and writers happily personalize them. They brainstorm ideas for stories they could write.… Continue reading

Christy Is…

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Last week I had the privileged of observing Christy Rush-Levine with her eighth grade language arts classes. Deb Gaby, the reading coach in my district, along with two middle school teachers went with me to… Continue reading

First Attempt at Poetry

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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

Neighborhood Walk

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From We had way too much fun today!!! We’ve all had those “best teaching days.”  You know, the ones where the children are completely engaged in learning.  The ones that are fun.  The… Continue reading

A Close Observation

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Don Graves said, “If you want to understand how children write, then observe them closely. Write down everything they do and say. Then make a copy of their writing.” This statement was shared… Continue reading

You Be the Poet!

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My husband and I spent last week visiting our families in the NY Metropolitan Area.  When we returned to our home in Central Pennsylvania, we were greeted by bursts of yellow on our… Continue reading

Snow Day Poetry Activity

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Schools from Indiana to Pennsylvania (and beyond) are closed today.  While I’m spending time working on the book we’re writing, I’ve also spent close to a half hour on Facebook.  As a result,… Continue reading

Getting Ready for My Student Teacher’s First Day

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My student teacher starts with my class tomorrow. Therefore, in order to facilitate a smooth transition (and the earliest possible start-date for her to begin teaching lots of lessons) with a gradual release,… Continue reading

Collecting Ideas As An Essayist

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Today’s lesson is one of my favorites of the school year. It’s the day when the kids really start to notice the world around them with a heightened sense of awareness. The teaching… Continue reading

Poetry Friday: An Original

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The Climbing Tree Branches sturdy old A deep hole for your foot As you hoist yourself upwards you can see all the buds blossoming –Stacey, May 2008 This week Poetry Friday is being… Continue reading

Close Observation Yields Remarkable Object Poems

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confidence.

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I had an interesting phone call yesterday afternoon.  Upon answering the phone, the voice on the other end identified herself and went on to tell me, “I’m not sure why I feel the… Continue reading

I’m Back.

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In a recent email, I explained to Stacey that life has just consumed me recently and the blogging end of it has taken the hit. The past few weeks have been bittersweet.  The joy… Continue reading

Take a look around you

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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… Continue reading

WN Entry: Fireflies

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I stepped out of the car in New Jersey last night. Home sweet home, I thought. I was coming home to my parents’ house for two nights. I slammed the passenger door to… Continue reading

ruth’s wn entry: noticings

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So far this morning I’ve noticed: My son is becoming a little boy.  He smiles for the camera now.  He sits on a stool up at the counter alone now.  He doesn’t need… Continue reading

WN ENTRY: Kids on Leashes

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Ralph Fletcher gives young writers 11 tips for things to collect in their writer’s notebooks. Fletcher encourages writers to notice the world around them and write about it. Here’s what I observed/noticed this… Continue reading