The writing work in our building is transforming, and it is exciting to be a part of the change, to witness the impact on kids as we make our workshops increasingly authentic and compelling.
We are constantly reflecting on what’s working—what’s leading to measurable shifts in how we plan for writing (and how kids experience writing)—as well as where we might be getting stuck: places there is genuine motivation to transform the task, and yet, our best intentions are still missing the mark in some significant way.
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.
Learning targets, Post-Its, and I Can statements live in classrooms everywhere. Consider building those together through questions and prompts!
Every year brings with it new surprises. I was delightfully surprised by just ten minutes this year. Ten minutes made a big difference.
Research on effective sports coaching suggests adults would do well by kids to cut down on criticism and focus more on the joy simply playing.
Whether or not you have started school already or you are taking those final deep breaths before your first day, let us remember one thing that sets us writing workshop teachers apart from other methodologies, curricula, programs, and/or approaches to teaching writing: we NOTICE.
In Visible Learning For Literacy, Fisher, Frey, and Hattie, explain “When feedback is delivered in such that it is timely, specific, understandable, and actionable students assimilate the language used by their teacher into their self-talk. (2016, 100)” These words stopped me. When our words become the self-talk of our students, they become the most influential tool we have as teachers.
Ryan Hur, Tam Mandanis, Kellen Pluntke, Rishi Singh, Christian Sporre, and Dawson Unger are six of the Bow Tie Boys who are a group of high school students from Northern Virginia. Today they take on the topic of student engagement in secondary writing classes.
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.
Hurriedly making my way through the front door of the majestic Riverside Chapel on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, I glanced at my watch. Late, I thought to myself. Oh well, I’m sure I… Continue reading
Helping students take back their writing time when they are a slow starter.
When Writers Drive the Workshop is a book with heart. Brian Kissel writes with passion, voice, humility, conviction, and wisdom. The stories he shares from the student writers he worked with are stories that will stay with you, reminding you why doing this work matters so much. Read the rest of the book review and leave a comment for a chance to win your own copy of When Writers Drive the Workshop! (You will want to win!)
What option can you give your students when they just get stuck?
In this throwback week post, Beth Moore brilliantly shares great ideas to help students “pump up their volume”- just what my 3rd graders need!