Maya Angelou said, “Prepare yourself, so that you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud.” I’m working on it. I hope you’ll join me.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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 … Continue Reading The “Share” Time
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 … Continue Reading ALL students have something to teach their classmates about writing.
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 … Continue Reading An Inspiring Mentor Text, an Interview, and a Giveaway
We’ve been researching in Keith Bollman’s 5th grade class. Because Keith and I have been working together for years, I know he will let me play a little in writing … Continue Reading Another Kind of Share
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 … Continue Reading Writing Groups + Classrooms
This week I conferred with the student (K.) who wrote the above spread. The illustrations prior to this spread were rich with setting details. I was surprised when I turned … Continue Reading Using Share Time to Ask for Help
Robert B. Parker. There is no one right way. Each of us finds a way that works for him. But there is a wrong way. The wrong way is to … Continue Reading Choice in Sharing
My parents stopped by their classroom to meet my students yesterday. They were supposed to stay for a few minutes. In reality, they stayed for over thirty. There was no … Continue Reading Special Visitors
I’m teaching memoir right now. It falls into our schedule early this year… and I love it! On Friday I had four conferences, two of which my students didn’t follow … Continue Reading Emotional & Truthful: That’s What Memoir Is!
Katherine Bomer said, “Writing celebration is the most important part of the writing process” (TCRWP Key Note Address, 7/8/08). Bomer suggests that this is because every writer writes for the … Continue Reading Back to Basics: Sharing (Part of TWT’s Big Picture Series)