graphic organizer · informational writing · modeling · nonfiction · plan · primary grades

How Do First Graders Choose Narrow Topics?

We will be starting a unit on informational writing to wrap up the school year. I wanted to demonstrate a different way of finding a topic, a narrow topic. I find that young writers can often think big, making it hard to get to specific details. As I was thinking about this idea, of narrowing… Continue reading How Do First Graders Choose Narrow Topics?

primary grades · stamina

Building Stamina in Primary Writers

My Kindergarten Classroom in October of 2011 Looking around the room…… “I’m done,” echoes as a line forms. I begin looking at the work, making my way down the line. The drawings lack detail, some letter or squiggles are quickly put down and overall the oral story is weak. They were just trying to get… Continue reading Building Stamina in Primary Writers

digital writing · ELL · primary grades · technology · writing workshop

Digital Tools Invite Writers to Compose – #NCTE13

Two of the sessions I attended at NCTE in Boston helped me think about ways two digital tools could be meaningfully integrated into early childhood and elementary school classrooms to engage young writers. The "Exploring Collaboration of Multimodal Literacies in Early Childhood: Digital Filmmaking, Designing, and Co-Authoring" panel discussed the way digital video cameras could enhance learning, while two of the presenters in "Writing Workshop Is for All Students: Using Visuals, Oral Language, and Digital Tools to Maximize Success and Independence for English Language Learners" suggested the incorporation of digital cameras.

books · guest blogger · mentor texts · primary grades · writing folder

Letting Go As Student Interests Take the Wheel

Kindergarten teacher Valerie Geshwind helps her students find their passions and their voice by honoring their interests, engaging them in a play-like writing workshop, & by supporting them as individuals.

blogging · guest blogger · primary grades

Sharing Voices by Blogging: A Guest Blog Post by Amy Rudd

About four years ago, I heard of a wonderful tool, Kidblog, that could be used as an ad-free environment when blogging with students and the key word that caused me to perk up when I heard about the tool was that it was “free”!  The platform also offered settings for the teacher to be as open… Continue reading Sharing Voices by Blogging: A Guest Blog Post by Amy Rudd

mentor texts · primary grades · reluctant writers · risk-taking · sharing · writing workshop

An Inspiring Mentor Text, an Interview, and a Giveaway

I love, LOVE, L-O-V-E  Ralph Tells A Story (Amazon Children’s Publishing, 2012), which is a story about a boy, Ralph, who has trepidation about writing. (It’s already become a book I suggest to teachers when I speak about mentor texts!)  Ralph is that kid in your writing workshop who claims he doesn’t have anything to… Continue reading An Inspiring Mentor Text, an Interview, and a Giveaway