The writing process is not always linear, it is not a circle of steps, it is not something that needs to be done the same way twice. The writing process might be different everytime a writer sits down to start. It might be different for someone writing a poem one day and an essay a week later. The writing process is as unique as the writer. Embrace the process and its endless possibilities as students move forward.
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… Continue reading
How can we teach our students to trust the writing process?
Your students should work and feel like real writers.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
Writing is hard. Letting our ideas float in the space around us makes the words come to the page more easily.
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
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
Listen to a group of 6th graders discuss their writing process.
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
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