Category Archive: routines

Three things that might be stressing out your young writers (and what you can do to support them)

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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.

Pick Your Head Up: Remembering Kathleen Tolan

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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 her own and… Continue reading

A Game Plan for Writing Workshop Transitions

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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 to do, the… Continue reading

An Eraser-Free Workshop and the Language We Use for Talking About It

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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.

Check-In Talk

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How do you support students with mid-workshop check-ins?

Creative Scheduling in Middle School

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The one question that comes up again and again, no matter what part of the country I happen to visiting, is TIME.

Sharpen Your Workshop Routines: 5 Secrets to Great Meeting Areas

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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.

Two Writing Teachers Summer Vacation

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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!

A Mini-Crash-Course on Oral Storytelling

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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 aside all excuses… Continue reading

Creating a Consistent & Meaningful Writing Life

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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 a program called… Continue reading

Notebook Routines

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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 or belief that… Continue reading

Book Talkin’

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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. They were discussing… Continue reading

Classroom Routines Made Simpler with QR Codes

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Find out how to bring two classroom routines into the 21st century with QR Codes.

Finding a Space to Write

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I’m a big advocate for writers to find a space that works best for them. I also think it’s important for students to learn to write anywhere. I’m productive as a writer because… Continue reading

Interactive Modeling, an Author Q&A, and Giveaways

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Interactive Modeling: A Powerful Technique for Teaching Children teaches us how to use interactive modeling to teach a variety of classroom routines, behaviors, and skills in an engaging way that shows students what to do while providing them with a safe space to practice.

Where to start?

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As many of you know, I love helping people get started with workshop. Here’s what I’m wondering tonight… What is the most important thing to know as a writing workshop teacher? I’d love… Continue reading

Structure + Choice

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Here’s what I’ve been thinking about lately: How do we provide both structure and choice in writing workshop? Both are essential to empowering young writers. Structure is necessary to lift the level of… Continue reading

Writing Workshop Expectations

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The first six weeks of school is about providing structure for students.  Teachers who are too lenient never seem to gain control of their class while teachers who are too rigid risk the… Continue reading

What are they hoping to get?

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At my school, today marks day four for students. We are nearing the end of the honeymoon period. You know what I’m talking about, right? The newness of starting  school is wearing off… Continue reading

Starting Slowly

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One of the things I realized about myself when I went to the Choice Literacy writing retreat is how quickly I speed through the day. I like to pay attention to the world… Continue reading