With social distancing and many in quarantine as a result of COVID-19, sharing our stories here is more important than ever for connection. Whether you are taking part in the 13th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge or you are a regular reader of the topical posts on our blog, please know we — as a community — are here to support each other during this unprecedented time.
Are students constrained when they write five-paragraph essays? If we change our working definition of essay writing, then we can teach beyond the five-paragraph essays we often see in schools.
There is no one “correct” way to organize writer’s notebooks. So much depends upon the purpose the notebooks serve in your classroom and how students will utilize them during writing time. My goal with this post is to share different possibilities for organizing writer’s notebooks and present you with various options. To section or not to section will depend on how you see writer’s notebooks and the role they play in your workshop.
When a teacher not only brings the knowledge and pedagogy to teach, but also love, passion, and an ability to demonstrate-- whether it be playing an instrument, speaking another language, or writing-- a certain authenticity is added. My father used to call it “walking the talk.” This week, my colleagues at Two Writing Teachers are committed to supporting teachers in dreaming big for this year’s writing workshop. Perhaps part of dream your for this year will be to authentically live the life of a writer! Here is some inspiration to make that dream a reality . . .
I made many mistakes during my first year of teaching. I'm too embarrassed to blog about most of them since I cringe when I look back on my first year of teaching. I got so much wrong. However, there is one thing I got right from the start during year one. Thanks to the support of Pat Werner, who… Continue reading Doing the Same Work as Our Students
So, as I enter the start of my school year, I am proud to identify as a lifelong learner in every sense of the word. I am a professional who continuously strives to grow in my craft. I surround myself with people that inspire me to be the best I can be and I actively seek out opportunities to do so as well. I modify and implement what I learn to better my teaching. I learn from my mistakes, take in the advice of others and adjust accordingly. Additionally, I am a curious minded individual who seeks out new experiences, new people, new places and is willing to take risks to better myself. I am leading by example to my students as I follow the mantra hanging in the front of my classroom- “Today is a great day to learn something new!”
The realization of this moment gave me chills and led me to share my writing backstory with Dana. Dana listened and encouraged me to open my presentation with this story. I was hesitant, the experience had halted my inner writer for years. What if sharing it again had the same result?
Is it important that teachers who teach writing actually write?
I've long believed teacher-written texts can serve as excellent mentor texts during a unit of study. While I'm a huge advocate of student-written mentor texts, sometimes student writing doesn't have everything we need it to contain. We can tailor our own writing to our units of study. We can do this because we can be… Continue reading Teacher-Written Mentor Texts: Diving into Information Writing
Glue your butt to the chair, every day, or at least once a week, and you will not only become a better writer--you'll become a better teacher of writing.
This week, we've been re-posting our favorite old posts. I always learn a ton from my friend and co-blogger Stacey Shubitz. This post of hers, from one year ago, is one that I just loved.
After reading Write Beside Them, Tara Smith realized she had to connect her teacher and writer identities. No longer would it be enough to share mentor texts and confer. She realized she needed to share her writing life with her students and walk them through her thinking as she wrote.