back to school · conferring · lucy calkins · middle school · notebooks · partnerships · ralph fletcher · writer's notebook

Putting the Large Stones In First: A September Check-In

Nervously lowering myself into a chair, I scooted myself closer to the table.  Around me sat three new colleagues.  My new 7th grade teaching team.  Having moved from my familiar home in small-town Oregon to a strange and exciting new land called New England, I wasn't sure quite what to expect.  Our team leader, a… Continue reading Putting the Large Stones In First: A September Check-In

mentor texts · partnerships · routines · writing workshop · writing workshop routines

Three things that might be stressing out your young writers (and what you can do to support them)

Classrooms need to be places where students can take risks, solve problems, and learn to work through the hard parts. But sometimes anxiety and worry get in the way of learning.

classroom environment · environment · first day · materials · organization · partnerships · procedures · routines · writing workshop routines

A Game Plan for Writing Workshop Transitions

Have you ever visited a colleague's classroom or watched a video of a lesson and wondered, "How are those kids so perfect? How do they seem to know exactly what to do, the moment the teacher suggests it?" Just like in sports, practice makes perfect. A sports coach puts time and effort into devising game… Continue reading A Game Plan for Writing Workshop Transitions

coaching · partnerships · writing workshop

Ten Tips for Coaching into Writing Partnerships

Do you ever have the feeling that every time you come near a partnership, they stop what they were really doing? Here are ten tips for coaching into partnerships, without taking over.

conferring · partnerships · peer conferring · tcrwp · Teachers College

Moving from Partnerships to Peer Conferring

I attended Kathleen Tolan's "Once You Have Taught Workshops for Years, How Do You Go from Good to Great? Tap the Power of Peer Conferring and Supporting Student Independence and Goal-Setting." Workshop at the TCRWP Writing Institute. Kathleen's session made me realize that once we've been doing this work (i.e., writing workshop) for awhile, it's… Continue reading Moving from Partnerships to Peer Conferring

Creating Classroom Environments Blog Series · partnerships

Creating Classroom Environments: Making Space for Partnerships

Our blog series kicks off with a post on creating space in your classroom to get writing partnerships up and running right away.

partnerships · writing workshop

Top Five Lessons to Teach to Writing Partners of All Ages Right Now

Writing partners can be an important source of inspiration and support for your kids. It's the rare kid who truly wants to work alone all the time. Writing requires an audience, someone to give a response, someone to read your work. There's no need to wait to get writing partners going. There are no "prerequisites" to… Continue reading Top Five Lessons to Teach to Writing Partners of All Ages Right Now

charter schools · partnerships · reading

Growing Readers Initiative

I worked at The Learning Community: a public charter school in Central Falls, RI from August 2007 - June 2009, which is when I lived in Rhode Island with my husband.  I had the privilege of watching The Growing Readers get its start under the direction of Christine Wiltshire Alves, who is one of the… Continue reading Growing Readers Initiative

organization · partnerships · writing workshop

Partnership Grid

I'm in the midst of creating writing partnerships for my students based off of a questionnaire I gave them today. It is HARD WORK trying to match kids up with partners that will hopefully last (and flourish) all year long. That being said, I created an Excel Spreadsheet to help me organize my data from… Continue reading Partnership Grid