persuasive writing · speech · Teaching Writing with a Social Justice Lens Blog Series

Writing Speeches to Inspire Change: Teaching Writing With a Social Justice Lens

Persuasive speech writing is a powerful way to show students their voices matter, to use the mandated curriculum as that springboard for thinking critically. But before my students begin to write speeches, there is work to be done.

LIWP · NWP · ralph fletcher · speech · writing workshop

Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Story

In what ways have you pushed yourself to try a new type of writing or to share your ideas in a public way? In July, I pushed myself to write a keynote speech and learned lessons along the way.

classroom · education · independent writing · literacy · lucy calkins · noticings · plan · precise language · procedures · prompts · routines · scaffolding charts · scheduling · shared writing · speech · stories · storytelling · Teachers College · vocabulary · writing workshop

A Mini-Crash-Course on Oral Storytelling

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 and did the Slice of Life Story Challenge. Every day in the month of March I recruited my four year old daughter to tell… Continue reading A Mini-Crash-Course on Oral Storytelling

professional development · speech

Excerpts from My Keynote

My keynote begins with a story about over-packing a diaper bag as a new mom and then pairing down the bag to the essentials once my daughter got older. From there, I talk about how I discovered that to be an effective teacher of writing, I had to be a Writer. My speech covers why I write, how to make time for a writing life, conquering the fear of writing, the Slice of Life Story Challenge, how to model writing from the heart, and the importance of putting writing at the center of everything we do in our classrooms.

biography · Dr. Martin Luther King · mentor texts · speech

Two Books to Honor MLK

May tomorrow be more than just a day off from work and school. May tomorrow be a day when we commemorate the life of a great man who worked peacefully for justice and equality in this country. May the example set by Dr. King inspire us all.

commenting · conferring · speech

Raise Your Glass: The Making of a Wedding Toast

My brother-in-law is getting married this Sunday.  Marc, my husband, is his brother's best man.  As is tradition at most weddings, Marc will be delivering a toast at the reception. Last weekend Marc had a cohesive draft of the toast prepared.  He asked me for some feedback.  I read it through and was tempted to… Continue reading Raise Your Glass: The Making of a Wedding Toast

speech · writing workshop

The Annual Pennsylvania Writing Institute

I've been spending quite a bit of time preparing for the morning session I'm leading at the Annual Pennsylvania Writing Institute in early August.  I am honored to have the opportunity to be speaking about the practical matters of daily life in the writing workshop on Tuesday, August 2nd.  Other speakers at this year's institute… Continue reading The Annual Pennsylvania Writing Institute


The whole toast

Here's what the entire wedding toast looked like (for those of you that emailed and asked me to post it): MY PART: You've come from as near as New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. From five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Upstate New York. You've driven here from Maryland and Washington, DC.… Continue reading The whole toast

lucy calkins · mentoring · speech

Mentoring A Toast

Marc and I are eagerly awaiting our wedding. We've started writing a speech to our guests and parents. I decided to mentor myself after the way Lucy Calkins, my former professor and advisor, opens up each summer institute for the TCRWP. I think it's powerful. Thoughts? You’ve come from as near as New Jersey, Connecticut,… Continue reading Mentoring A Toast