character development · content-area writing · fiction · giveaway · mentor texts · narrative · personal narrative · poetry

Tapping Into the Power of Some New Mentor Texts

Mentor texts are important co-teachers in the writing workshop! Here's an in-depth look at the mentor texts I talked about in a recent podcast. After you finish reading, be sure to leave a comment after on this post for a chance to win all ten of the featured books!

narrative · personal narrative · storytelling · writing workshop

Oral Storytelling Before Writing

“Let me tell you a story…” are some of the first words that make their way out of my mouth and into the imaginations of students who don’t quite know what to think of me at the start of the year. They come in cautious. In a few days, they will come to school carrying far beyond the simple feeling of cautiousness. They will, many of them, bring with them fear, worry, and anxiety. #TWTBlog

personal narrative · risk-taking · Seen, Valued, Heard: Writing to Establish Community Blog Series

Seen, Valued, Heard: The Riskiness and Power of Teaching Personal Narrative Writing at the Start of the Year

How do you build a community of writers at the start of the year who can trust each other with their stories? And how can you do that in a hybrid or distance learning model?

narrative · personal narrative · SOLSC Classroom Challenge · SOLSC Classroom Challenge · writing workshop

Classroom SOLSC: Writing Into Week 3

At the start of April, students around the world began the journey of storytelling, connecting them to each other, teachers, and families in important and meaningful ways. Students are writing during this historic month of April, as we all live history through a global pandemic.

classroom environment · motivation · narrative · personal narrative · writing workshop

Shaking Up Personal Narrative

Ever since I read this post by Katie Kraushaar, I've been thinking about personal narrative and wondering why it is that students, particularly in middle elementary grades and beyond, are sometimes less than enthusiastic about this genre. Like Katie, I have felt the mood change in a classroom the moment the teacher mentions the words "personal narrative."… Continue reading Shaking Up Personal Narrative

back to school · challenges · conventions · demonstration · engagement · handwriting · katie wood ray · Lester L. Laminack · mentor texts · parent involvement · personal narrative · writing workshop

Writing Workshop is Hard Work

Last Thursday, I endeavored to explain writing workshop to parents in my district at Parent University. As I drove home after the presentation, I felt unsettled, like there had been a gap in what the parents were hoping to learn and what I delivered. What would you be sure to include in a presentation to parents on writing workshop?

personal narrative

Why Narrative Writing Matters

When I first left the classroom to become a staff developer in New York City, I had to learn quickly to adjust to new schools, and new groups of teachers. I worked hard to have open conversations with the teachers I worked with, where teachers could ask anything. "No such thing as a bad question!" But there was one phrase that I dreaded. Four words that left me with no idea how to respond.