Using a mentor text can be a little like taking a course from a published writer- we can allow him or her to teach us how to be stronger writers. This can certainly happen with our drafts… but we can also do this work in our notebooks. Oftentimes, doing so can free young writers up to do larger-scale revision. Here’s one way I tried that…
At the heart of all great writing is meaning. Writers select details carefully and deliberately, depending on the message we wish to convey to readers. How can we let meaning guide revision? Read here about a few ways…
“Show don’t tell,” we say over and over to students but–it’s harder than it sounds, though, maybe for multiple reasons.
A writing partner provides a sounding board and creates a social opportunity for feedback, criticism, and notions of what improvement could look like or sound like. The problem with partnerships, however, is that left to their own devices kids are not very good at being partners. How can we help kids get better? Here are a few strategies…
It could be said that what sets a writing workshop apart from other approaches to teaching writing is a focus on empowerment. Here are a few ways to empower writers when it comes to mentor texts…
For many of us who work to live as writers and teachers who write, we likely do so in order to appreciate the challenge, the complexity, and the thrill that writing can provide for our lives. It is living through the process that matters. But what about turning some of our writing into teaching tools for our writing workshops? Here are four tips…
Do you make time for your writers to reread? Rereading is one of those pieces of the workshop we might be assuming our writers are doing but direction is needed to really make it a habit. Here are five tips to give rereading a place in your writing workshop this year.
Revision is a process. It is also a frequently misunderstood endeavor. As a teacher, I have often revised my beliefs to re-see my goals and purpose when it comes to teaching my writers the best revision strategies.
Sharing strategies to prepare for revision later can set up students for success.
Helping light the way to revision for our writers while honoring those first words.
Teaching students to have a growth mindset and truly understand what happens as they learn has been a big goal for me this year. Over the winter break, a book re-sparked my thinking and how I needed to more intentionally equate our mindset to our process as writers.
I used to think professional workshops were where you would go to get answers, but now I know that the best ones are where you find more questions.
As much as I LOVE notebooks, even I have to admit there is a time in every writer’s process when it is time to pop out of the notebook and onto a laptop or lined paper.
One of the biggest challenges you might face in writing workshop is this: getting kids to see the power and purpose of revision. Here are a few tips for helping kids understand how important and rewarding revision can be, organized by writing process phases.
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.
Revision needs to have a sense that a window of possibility is still open to allow another draft in.
Inquiry-based centers introduce kids to mentor texts while helping them find their own mentor texts.
Flash-drafting helps get thoughts down on the page quickly so writers are open to large-scale revisions.
The last quarter of the school year signals a time of mixed feelings – the year is almost over, and even though we look forward to restful summer days, there is the sadness… Continue reading
First drafts usually contain the words anybody can write. Revision is the key to crafting writing that sounds just like you.