agency · Amping up Agency Blog Series · conferring · reflections · reflective practice · sharing · small group

The Language to Develop Agency: Amping Up Agency Blog Series

Teachers can build and increase students’ agency by using specific phrases at when conferring, leading small groups, or holding reflection/share sessions at the end of a workshop.

conferring · COVID-19 · independent writing · minilesson · schedules · scheduling · sharing · small group · strategy lesson · writing workshop

Five Ways to Maximize Time If Time for Writing Workshop Gets Cut

Time is a precious commodity in elementary schools. Making the time for a daily writing workshop often means that something else has to get short shrift. However, sometimes, the time for writing workshop gets cut by five or ten minutes. Here are several suggestions for what you can do if writing time gets cut.

COVID-19 · digital tools · EAL · multilingual · sharing · teaching tools · technology · Voices from the Community

Providing Tools for Writing and Sharing Writing Through the Pandemic

Calling all primary writing teachers. Today Janet Ahn shares how she worked with her Kindergarteners to continue thrive in writing workshop through the pandemic. These young scholars continued to draft pieces, engage in conferring, collaborate to mark up mentor texts, and publish their writing through online platforms. Their dedication to continuing the writing workshop virtually was a reflection of how they truly saw themselves as writers.

partnerships · sharing · student engagement · Talking · work space · writers · writing space · writing workshop · writing workshop routines

Three Keys to Writing Partnership Success

There can be many moving parts in the writing workshop. Partnerships can be a driving force in the growth and goal setting of writers within your classroom. In my experience, there are three areas I work to strengthen within my writers to ensure partnerships foster this growth and development across the year.

middle school · plan · sharing

Teaching Shares: Ending Strong

Working within a tightly segmented middle school schedule (or any pre-planned schedule) can sometimes pose a challenge to "fit in" an opportunity for closure. With this special challenge in mind, how can we perhaps be more intentional about this important time in our workshops?


My Five Favorite Share Sessions by @MermelsteinLeah

Share sessions in the writing workshop can be downright frustrating!  Whether it’s the same kids sharing day after day or every kid begging to share every day, many teachers have confided in me that share sessions are often the most neglected part of their writing workshop. 

audience · engagement · meeting area · reflections · sharing · writing workshop

If We Build It, They Will Come: Tales From Inside The Sharing Circle

The most important minutes of your writing workshop require zero hassle and no prep--only precious time. The minimal investment is worth its weight in gold. Welcome to the sharing circle with guest teacher Lori VanHoesen: The bridge builder you didn't know was doing the hardest work all along.

back to school · brainstorming · digital writing · heart maps · memories · NWP · sharing · writing workshop

Give Heart Maps a Rest! Try Writing Territory Maps

The heart map is a great tool for helping students find personally meaningful topics, but used year after year, it might feel a little stale. Writing territory maps is another option!

lucy calkins · sharing

The “Share” Time

Long ago, most teachers I knew had a ritual that they held near and dear to their hearts. At the end of every writing workshop, a child sat in the Author's Chair and read a story the the whole class. I used to do this, and I used to love it. I told myself that every… Continue reading The “Share” Time


ALL students have something to teach their classmates about writing.

There are lots of things to keep top-of-mind when you're leading a writing workshop.  Are all students engaged?  Are they crafting pieces that hold meaning and value to them?  Are kids constantly adding writing strategies to their writing toolboxes?  The list could go on and on. There is another question I want teachers I work… Continue reading ALL students have something to teach their classmates about writing.

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