As I considered what to write this week, I decided to share a piece I was crafting for back to school, as an instructional coach/remote kindergarten teacher this year. The process helped me to focus on what families might need, as they experience writing workshop in new ways (i.e. at their kitchen tables).
One of the many changes brought about by the pandemic, whether we are returning to school in-person or remotely, is the ability to gather together in close proximity to learn and write together. I have been thinking a lot about this: How might we as teachers replicate or create the emotionally safe space normally held by a warm, close classroom in a digital space?
Rethinking Materials, Routines, and Collaboration: What Does Independence and Interdependence Look Like From Home?
Our teaching worlds have been turned upside down. For many of us, every system and structure we’ve had in place for planning, teaching and learning has changed over the past few days. As you find our groove in the new reality, here are some practical suggestions that will help bring the many comforts of your classroom home.
Most of us probably do it without even thinking much about it, but our young writers might not have developed this important habit.
There are some routines that are more important to teach than others during the first six weeks of school. In the midst of building classroom community and starting to teach curriculum, there are a dozen routines one can model with students so writing workshop runs efficiently.
Research on effective sports coaching suggests adults would do well by kids to cut down on criticism and focus more on the joy simply playing.
Whether you’re already back in school or returning in the next two weeks, I’ve rounded up some of our team’s best blog posts that will help you launch & sustain writing workshop in 2018-19.
Classrooms need to be places where students can take risks, solve problems, and learn to work through the hard parts. But sometimes anxiety and worry get in the way of learning.
A week ago, Kathleen Tolan, Senior Deputy Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, died peacefully in her sleep. Kathleen was the one who hired me, first as … Continue Reading Pick Your Head Up: Remembering Kathleen Tolan
Have you ever visited a colleague’s classroom or watched a video of a lesson and wondered, “How are those kids so perfect? How do they seem to know exactly what … Continue Reading A Game Plan for Writing Workshop Transitions
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.
How do you support students with mid-workshop check-ins?
The one question that comes up again and again, no matter what part of the country I happen to visiting, is TIME.
Are you looking to make the most out of your classroom’s meeting area? Find out how to create and maintain a meeting area that will function as the focal point of your writing workshop.
The six of us will be recharging our batteries, planning and brainstorming, coming up with even more great ideas to share with our lovely community of teachers and writers.
But don’t worry, we’ve got lots to keep you going in the meantime!
It’s been several months since I’ve written for Two Writing Teachers. In December my son was born, and I was on maternity leave until a few weeks ago. Then, in March I pushed … Continue Reading A Mini-Crash-Course on Oral Storytelling
Several months ago I began meditating as a way of trying to achieve a greater sense of overall vitality. I started out by listening to a 10 minute podcast from … Continue Reading Creating a Consistent & Meaningful Writing Life
I think the thing that makes a writer is Habit. Yes, that’s habit with a capital H. (I go back and forth between whether it’s habit that makes a writer … Continue Reading Notebook Routines
The very fist student day of school, Deb Gaby (the reading coach in my school district) and I stumbled upon a meeting between 5th and 6th grade language arts teachers. … Continue Reading Book Talkin’
Find out how to bring two classroom routines into the 21st century with QR Codes.