lessons learned from students · poetry · reluctant writers · writer identity

The Power of Writing Identity

I was in a fifth grade classroom in February during writing workshop, and a student flagged me down, eager to share her work. Now this is a student who (historically), I have been much more likely to encounter reading on the sly than writing during workshop. 

COVID-19 · reluctant writers · remote learning · writer's notebook

Engage Striving Writers by Keeping a Notebook During the COVID-19 School Closures

Brevity, choice, and routine matter when you’re trying to encourage a reluctant writer to put words on the page when you’re engaging in remote schooling.

professional books · reluctant writers

Learn How to Entice the Hard-to-Reach Writers in Your Classroom

I found myself annotating Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers as I read in an effort to hold on to all of Ruth’s wisdom about reaching students who are hiding – physically or emotionally – in our classrooms. As a result, I asked Ruth to answer a bunch of my burning questions about her book, which you need to put on your summer reading list!

Keep Learning Going Throughout the Summer Blog Series · reluctant writers · summer vacation · writing

Writing Victories: Keep Learning Going Throughout the Summer

Not every kid is born with a positive attitude towards writing. Here are six low-stress ways to develop a writer at home (some of which don't even include putting a pen to paper)!

reluctant writers · video · Write: It's good for you!

Voices Strong Reflection

Remember a few weeks ago I visited Christy Rush-Levine's classroom? As a reflection for our curriculum director, principal, and school board, we (Andrea Komorowski, 6th grade language arts teacher; Shelley Kunkle, 7th grade language arts teacher; Deb Gaby, corporation reading coach; and me) put together a video. It's long (and you know my rule about… Continue reading Voices Strong Reflection

conferring · reluctant writers · strategic conferring · struggling writers

Working Together to Help Struggling Writers

I'm working on a presentation, "Getting Started with Writing Workshop," for a group of 3rd - 6th grade teachers I'll be working with later this month. I've made a list of non-negotiables I'm going sharing with them.  They range from writing is taught daily to kids need time to write to students need to go… Continue reading Working Together to Help Struggling Writers

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

apps · digital writing · NCTE · reading · reluctant writers · technology · Web 2.0

Beyond Classroom Walls

One of the fantastic sessions I attended at NCTE was called "Beyond Classroom Walls: Honoring Voices of Young Readers."  It was led by Julie Johnson of Raising Readers and Writers, Katie Keier of Catching Readers, and Cathy Mere of Reflect and Refine.  Let me start by saying that all three of these women are the… Continue reading Beyond Classroom Walls

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

academic choice · centers · choice · reluctant writers · teaching tools · writers · writing · writing center · writing process

(Writing) Center Time for Older Students

Whenever I used to hear the words "Center Time" I immediately thought about early childhood classrooms.  However, that notion changed in 2008 when I created a Poetry Station for my fourth graders.  The Poetry Station was created for students to use during the "morning work" period of the school day.  It was a choice, not… Continue reading (Writing) Center Time for Older Students