drafting · editing · growth mindset · independent writing · mistakes · notebooks · process · publishing · revision · risk-taking · routines · writers · writing · writing process · writing workshop

An Eraser-Free Workshop and the Language We Use for Talking About It

When I visit a classroom, one of the first things I often say to kids is, "Today, please don't erase. I want to see ALL the great work you are doing as a writer. When you erase, your work disappears!" Often, this is what kids are accustomed to and they continue working away. But sometimes, kids stare at me as if I've got two heads.

biography · introduction · mentor texts · process · voice

Q&A with the Author of “Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?” + a Giveaway

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell is an expertly crafted biography that can be used to teach students a variety of craft moves during a biography writing unit of study.

giveaway · haiku · mentor texts · poetry · process

Behind the Scenes of I Haiku You + a Giveaway

Betsy Snyder shares a behind-the-scenes process for writing and illustrating I Haiku You, her newest picture book published by Random House. Read through her post and then leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of this book.

choice · process

Independent Writers

I used to dream of reaching a point in my writing workshop instruction where kids were all working as writers, but they weren't all doing the exact same thing. This isn't an easy point to reach. Today I witnessed it in Shelley Kunkle's 7th grade writing workshops. She is in the midst of a research… Continue reading Independent Writers

authors · Maribeth Boelts · process · revision · writing

Author Visit

Maribeth Boelts gave an engaging and thought-provoking talk to my students and I last week.  She talked about so much more than just her books and her process -- though she did that too.  She talked a lot about writers and writing, which inspired me to pull out the manuscript I finished in November and… Continue reading Author Visit

books · process · quote

It’s Late…

One of my professional goals this summer is to get ahead on my blog posts. So far I'm failing miserably at this. We've been out of internet since 6:17 am. It's back (but slow) and I'm blogging, hoping I start accomplishing my blog-ahead goal soon. So for tonight's post you get a little collection of… Continue reading It’s Late…

lee bennett hopkins · ode · poetry · process

Talking Poetry with Lee Bennett Hopkins

I've hiked alongside a black bear, who was fishing for salmon in a stream, in Alaska.  Maybe it was because I was with a group of people, but the bear didn't scare me.  Put me in the same room as an insect and I am no longer fearless.  In fact, if my husband is near… Continue reading Talking Poetry with Lee Bennett Hopkins

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…

process · reflections · reflective practice · revision

What are you writing?

Short post since my internet is slow at best, although nonexistent is more accurate. My school was canceled today. I spent a lot of my day writing. I've been revising my query letter and my first novel. So far the first 38 pages have been revised into 18. It's hard work. Hard. Hard. Work. Not to mention… Continue reading What are you writing?

drafting · procedures · process · reflective practice · reluctant writers · writing process · writing workshop

Word Count

I've had a daily word count for awhile. I'm not sure exactly when it started, but I think it was while writing Day by Day. However, it was while becoming serious about writing fiction that my word count became as much a part of my day as brushing my teeth. I think this is true… Continue reading Word Count

differentiation · process · writing

Differentiation – Pilates & Writing Series: Part 2 of 5

If you do a Google image search for a "Teaser Pilates," hundreds of photos will come back to you.  Many of the photos are of a person sitting on a Pilates mat with their arms and legs reaching diagonally into the air.  Some of the photos are of a person sitting on a piece of… Continue reading Differentiation – Pilates & Writing Series: Part 2 of 5

drafting · notebooks · procedures · process · reflective practice · writing process


If you are a regular reader, you know a lot of my thinking lately has been about writing process, and specifically nudging third grade writers into more traditional drafts. Today's post is a collection of my thoughts about drafting. I hope it is applicable to a range of writers -- not a specific grade level.… Continue reading Drafting