emergent writers · kindergarten · purpose · writer identity

Celebrating Growth When(ever) it Happens

It’s dramatic when the light comes on, when a writer suddenly takes a step they had only recently not yet been ready to take. As a teacher of writers, I can’t wait to pounce on those moments, to facilitate the avalanche of growth on the horizon. 

plan · purpose · story mountain

Finding Purpose Before We Write: Making the Most of Planning & Rehearsal

Writers need a purpose. A foundation.  Yet sometimes we rush kids through the planning and rehearsal phase of writing. What are some ways to support kids in heading into writing grounded in purpose? Read on to learn a few strategies...

Authentic Purposes for Writing Blog Series · community · inspiration · purpose · writing workshop

The Importance of Starting Practice with WHY: Nurturing Independence from the Start

How often do we ask ourselves about what leads our thinking on the teaching of writing? Is our purpose curriculum, or something much more significant? Why do we teach the way we do? And… How do we articulate why this, not that?

family · independent writing projects · purpose · summer vacation

Six REAL Purposes For Kids to Write This Summer and Beyond

We do all we can to keep kids writing over summer. But are we assigning tasks and busywork, or actually enriching their writerly lives?

I've created a tool to share with families and students of all ages to inspire writing for REAL purposes this summer and beyond.

Authentic Purposes for Writing Blog Series · blog series · purpose · writing workshop


Writing is a stalwart act. Through writing, we express ourselves, uncover feelings, tell our stories, organize our schedules, share our beliefs, and change our world. To some students (and even adults) writing can seem like a monumental task and writing may feel cumbersome. But when you think of the necessity of writing in our lives, writing is unavoidable.

conferring · minilesson · Nancie Atwell · purpose

So What?!?

I've noticed many of my conferences this week have centered around purpose. I've found myself asking again and again and agian, "So why are you writing this? Why is it important?" Nancie Atwell in her lesson set, Lessons That Change Writers, teaches students to ask: "So what?" when they are writing. I think this sticks with… Continue reading So What?!?

minilesson · purpose

Minilesson Part II

The other day I posted about minilessons being one way to plant a seed of learning. I firmly believe this is a purpose of a minilesson and then through independent practice, conferring, and sharing, the learning "seed" grows and becomes personal and solidified in each writer. After I posted, I was reading a friend's thoughts… Continue reading Minilesson Part II

choice · conferring · craft · process · purpose · writers

Purpose, Process, & Craft with Carl Anderson

Carl Anderson (aka: The Conferring Guy) has not only listened to the Beatles' music; he has studied it.  He has determined by the Beatles wrote particular songs, how they wrote them, and what they did to write them well.  Carl shared what he has learned by studying the Beatles' music with an audience of educators… Continue reading Purpose, Process, & Craft with Carl Anderson