artifact · assessment · student work

Student Writing As Data for Love and Instruction

I believe we might understand student experience is by looking at student composition with asset-based eyes, first to recognize students as whole children and secondly to determine flexible writing goals. 

guest blogger · high school · student engagement · student work · writing

Engaging High School Students in Writing — A Guest Blog Post by the #BowTieBoys

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.

materials · organization · student work

What do I do with all of my students’ writing?

Are you feeling inundated with paper in your writing workshop? Here are some quick tips to help you help your students organize their writing so that their desks and writing folders are less cluttered.

demonstration · mentor texts · minilesson · shared writing · student work · teaching tools · writing workshop

Demonstration Texts, Part Deux

Thinking about your demonstration texts this way can give you some inspiration for multiple ways to teach the same minilesson, to the whole class, or to small groups as follow-up.

persuasive writing · student work

Purposeful Persuasion

"Mom, you need to talk to Noah and tell him I need more cinnamon on my morning toast." I raised my eyebrows at the first grader. "I doubt you need more. You already go crazy with it." "Seriously, Mom. Noah skimps on the cinnamon. I tried to tell him, but he says I have enough.… Continue reading Purposeful Persuasion

blogging · professional development · quote · reflective practice · solar system · student work

Friday Favorites

Unfortunately I don't have a photo from Favorite #1. Christy Rush-Levine and I met for a walk + dinner on Tuesday. Christy is one of those people who help me feel grounded and real. Favorite #2: Earlier this week Brenda Power from Choice Literacy visited Deb Gaby and me at school. As always, Brenda fuels me.… Continue reading Friday Favorites

illustrations · mentor texts · mentoring · minilesson · modeling · persuasive writing · student work

Opinion Writing in Kindergarten

In one of the kindergarten classrooms I've been working in, we've been learning: Writers share their opinions. This has been a unit of study inspired by the Common Core State Standards, which place a heavy emphasis on opinion writing. What does that look like in kindergarten, I wondered. So I've been trying out a few… Continue reading Opinion Writing in Kindergarten

character development · details · student work

What does she mean add details?

My daughter shook a paper in front my face, with her other hand on her hip she said, "I lost points because she [the teacher] said I have to add more details. How do you add more details to this?" I looked at her paper. At the top of the worksheet she wrote each of… Continue reading What does she mean add details?

student work · video

Quality Writing Comes When Students are Invested in their Projects

A few weeks ago we talked about audience in Christi's second grade workshop. During sharing, students sat in a circle and each shared the audience for their current WIP. When it was Allie's turn she said, "Eve Bunting because I want to write a book like her." This was a very different answer than her… Continue reading Quality Writing Comes When Students are Invested in their Projects

mentor author · mentoring · minilesson · student work · writing workshop

Showing a Story

Recently, I taught a minilesson about showing a story. In typical intermediate grade fashion, students were writing stories filled with struggles, but slim on creating a picture in the reader’s mind. My minilesson went like this (and, yes, it was less than 15 minutes!): Share this chart – all of which we’ve discussed in previous… Continue reading Showing a Story