Category Archive: writing process

Writing Takes Guts: My Writing Backstory

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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?

Writing Through the Hard Parts

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How can we teach our students to trust the writing process?

Cultivating Authentic Work Habits: Starting with What Matters Most in Writing Workshop

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Your students should work and feel like real writers.

So, Why Do I Write? Discovering the Writer’s Life

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When the co-authors of Two Writing Teachers invited me to join the team, I was overwhelmed. When Julie Johnson asked me to co-author an iBook through the Columbus Area Writing Project, I was again submerged in fear. I found myself wondering if these writers had read my writing. I mean, if they had read my ramblings on my personal blog they wouldn’t be inviting me, right?
Do writers ever lose their doubts?

When to Pop Out of the Notebook

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As much as I LOVE notebooks, even I have to admit there is a time in every writer’s process when it is time to pop out of the notebook and onto a laptop or lined paper.

Living the Life of a Writer

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At this point of the school year, your writing workshop is probably in full swing.  You are chugging along through your writing curriculum, and you are probably using checklists and rubrics to assess… Continue reading

Enticing Kids to Revise, Revise, Revise

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One of the biggest challenges you might face in writing workshop is this: getting kids to see the power and purpose of revision. Here are a few tips for helping kids understand how important and rewarding revision can be, organized by writing process phases.

An Eraser-Free Workshop and the Language We Use for Talking About It

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When I visit a classroom, one of the first things I often say to kids is, “Today, please don’t erase. I want to see ALL the great work you are doing as a writer. When you erase, your work disappears!” Often, this is what kids are accustomed to and they continue working away. But sometimes, kids stare at me as if I’ve got two heads.

Trudy Ludwig: True Confessions of a Professional Writer

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Trudy Ludwig is an award-winning author who specializes in writing children’s books that explore the colorful and sometimes confusing world of children’s social interactions. Today, we are honored to share Trudy’s thoughts about the writing process.

Work Smarter: Use checklists throughout a unit of study …and beyond

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I’ll begin by being honest – I don’t like checklists. It’s a personal thing.  Checklists make me anxious, they fill me with the fear of impending failure. As soon as I’ve taken the… Continue reading

Sometimes we don’t write in writing workshop

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On our first full day of sixth grade, I hand each of my students a reading and writing survey and ask them to tell me a little bit about themselves as readers and… Continue reading

Sharpen Your Workshop Routines: The Importance of Talk Within the Workshop Process

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Writing is hard. Letting our ideas float in the space around us makes the words come to the page more easily.

Role reversal: Writing Workshop with Linda Rief at the Boothbay Literacy Retreat

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As a writing teacher, I know that I must write – and I do: blog posts, book reviews, a Slice of Life every Tuesday, letters to my students in the reading journals and… Continue reading

An End of the Year Writing Check

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At the end of the school year, we are often faced with pages and pages of student writing. Most of it may have gone home already, but now is a great time to… Continue reading

Writing Fiction? Author Megan Jean Sovern Provides a Host of Inspiration

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Today’s interview holds a host of insights into the way in which Megan Jean Sovern, author of The Meaning of Maggie, develops characters, brings themes to the fore, and plans plot trajectory. Suffice it to say, I came away more than a little inspired.

What’s Your Process?

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Listen to a group of 6th graders discuss their writing process.

Writing Unapologetically

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One of the lines from the Voices Strong class mantra, taught by Christy Rush-Levine is Write Unapologetically. I love these two words side-by-side standing for genuine marks on the page. Today, I planned… Continue reading

Best First Draft

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When students move from their notebook to draft, I encourage them to write their best first draft. (Click here to see other posts I’ve written about best first drafts.) Something that I’m always… Continue reading

Documenting Our Learning

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Sometimes I think about the amazing work happening in writing workshops, and then wonder if anyone else notices. Sometimes the things that are most amazing are small bits that pack big meaning. Sometimes… Continue reading

An Interview with Maribeth Boelts + a Giveaway of Happy Like Soccer

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Maribeth Boelts will be the visiting author for the graduate course I’m teaching about children’s literature and the teaching of writing this summer.  I’m SO EXCITED to meet her in person since I’ve… Continue reading