Here are some fresh approaches from Melanie Meehan and guest authors Julie Wright, Pam Koutrakos, and Maria Walther. In this post, we reimagine when and why small groups come together and expand your small group repertoire.
When it comes to working out, there are definitely times when I appreciate the break I get during the transition times, and I’m sure that students, maybe even unintentionally, have figured out that longer transitions lead to shorter working time. Yet time on task is critical to move forward on goals, no matter what the goals are. Maximizing time– in exercise or writing– leads to progress.
No wonder teachers are stressed. Some of the habits that we think are saving us time are having the opposite effect on our mental health and wellness. Writing it down is the equivalent of setting it down—what a relief!
Sometimes the journey of writing can feel overwhelming. Breaking goals into pieces and placing them on a progression can make progress and growth more visible.
Small group instruction is one of the most powerful ways to differentiate instruction while offering opportunities for collaboration and connections between students. Here are some tips to increase the leverage and impact of your writing instruction.
Favorite Ways to Teach Foundational Skills in the Primary Grades: Expanding the Reach with Small-Group Work Blog Series
This post covers the how, the why, and the what of introducing stations or centers to support small group work on foundational skills in the primary grades.
Small group instruction can be for a single lesson or objective or we can plan a course of study over a period of time. Regardless of the time commitment, it’s important to remember that small group work isn’t just for striving writers… it’s for ALL writers.
Even in the best of teaching times, a student’s work is rarely completely one level since there are so many elements that constitute effective writing, and it’s also rare for the same sequence of lessons to meet the learning opportunities of all students. With such variation and discrepancies, small group instruction is more critical than ever in order to address and nurture the range of learners in classrooms. We hope that this blog series inspires you to lean into small group instruction with intention and confidence!
Jennifer Serravallo’s newest book, which focuses on small-group instruction, is a text that explains the fundamentals of small-group work and then provides teachers with support for implementing a variety of small groups that will help students grow as writers.
Small groups are possible through breakout rooms, and just as in the classrooms, they offer targeted lessons for what students need right as they need it. It’s so worth figuring how to keep this important type of instruction happening, no matter where!
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.
There’s no question it is challenging to get to know writers deeply via Zoom. And yet. . . something is working, because all of my remote kindergartners are writing. They are all making books. And while I might not have an hour each day to be side by side with them in the classroom, there is no question I am finding ways to get to know what kind of writers they are and what they need.
I have learned from Meghan Hargrave, “Hold tight to what we know works and let go of concerns that we can’t control.”
Is it possible to duplicate the live, in-person experiences? Of course not, but maybe some of you could feel the authenticity of a high-five or hug I’m sending your way.
So let’s think about some ways to bring virtual classrooms to life, maybe thinking of it as duplicating some of the processes of your classroom in a virtual world.
With the volume of students most middle school writing teachers serve, how is one to plan for differentiation? Using a basketball analogy, here is one play you can run…
I am so grateful to have this resource available to me as an educator at no cost. Maybe someday, I’ll get to thank whoever is behind the Google Curtain in person. In the meantime, I’ll share what’s been working and I’ll look forward to hearing about how some of you end up doing it even better!
Coaches of young athletes often offer tips, reminders, and suggestions from the sidelines in hopes of eliciting the best possible performance from the team. As teachers of writing, we can borrow this structure in our small group settings.
Want to keep (better) conferring records, but don’t know where to begin? This post will help you discover analog and digital record-keeping systems.
Read all the way through since there will are lots of downloadable templates to help you get started.
Recent longitudinal studies have shown that students who in early years perform as strong writers do not remain strong writers into middle school. Rather, they slip to the middle of the pack- or worse, they become unmotivated to write. Why is that? And what can we do about it?
Small group instruction allows for efficiency and strategy sessions with more than one student. Allowing students to lead these groups and sessions gives purpose and opportunity to not only further the understandings of the leader but impacts your community of writers as they grow.