audience · choice · feedback · goals · Mary Ehrenworth · middle school · response · time for kids

Taking Stock: Moving Forward

As teachers, how might we reflect on our own practice in a way that could make a difference for our students next year? Here are a few lenses for setting some goals...

books · picture book · reading · reflections · response

Hugo Cabret

For Christmas we gave Sam The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Sam and I have been reading it ever since. I like to move through books quickly, often staying up into the wee hours of the morning to finish the story. I can't wait to finish stories, wanting the character world to be restored… Continue reading Hugo Cabret

peer conferring · Reflective Practice · response · sharing · writing workshop

Writing Groups + Classrooms

My writing group is an important part of my life as a writer. It's more than just accountability, but feedback and camaraderie and, well, if I'm super honest, fun. When I was a classroom teacher, I didn't do a very good job of establishing writing groups, or crit partners, for my students. I see now they were… Continue reading Writing Groups + Classrooms

poetry · reflections · response · writing workshop

“Responding to Poetry” – Form Evolution

Kate and I have been going back-and-forth with "the best" format we can use for getting our kids to start responding to poetry. After something didn't work as well with my fourth graders (as it did with my fifth graders), we worked together to recreate the fifth grade sheet I had so that it would… Continue reading “Responding to Poetry” – Form Evolution

mentor texts · poetry · portfolio · response · writing · writing workshop

Poetry Portfolio Guidelines

My colleagues and I met during our Common Planning Time today and solidified this year's Poetry Portfolio Guidelines, which is an adaptation of what my fifth graders did last year. We're going to have three sections: mentor poems/texts, original poetry writing, and responses to poems that the kids love. I'm pretty happy with it and… Continue reading Poetry Portfolio Guidelines

community · response · wn entry

Stacey’s WN Entry: The Sadako Project… A Reflection

Coming together, as a class, to do something worthwhile... I wanted all of my students to see what teamwork was about. I wanted them to do something as a group to see the amazing results. But was it art for art sake? (Don Graves told me it wasn't when I shared my original entry with… Continue reading Stacey’s WN Entry: The Sadako Project… A Reflection

linda rief · response · writer's notebook · writer's-reader's notebook · writing about reading

Writer’s-Reader’s Notebook

I received Linda Rief's Inside the Writer's-Reader's Notebook: A Workshop Essential (Heinemann 2007) the other day. I began reading it almost immediately. Even though Rief, a New Hampshire Middle School Teacher, gears her writing towards an audience of teachers who teach middle school, I still felt this was a must-read book for me since I… Continue reading Writer’s-Reader’s Notebook