The beginning of the school year is perfect timing for the classic cautionary tale, an anecdote shared with the intention of saving others a difficulty I created for myself. My purpose is to both teach and entertain, as I humbly recount the thing I should not have done (and will be mindful not to do again).
In those quick moments between minilesson and work time, as writers are settling in (or not), I pay attention to what is—the current reality. I seek leverage points to both know writers better and to support writers in continuing to grow. Over time, I notice as more and more writers find the processes and strategies that work for them.
As I considered what to write this week, I decided to share a piece I was crafting for back to school, as an instructional coach/remote kindergarten teacher this year. The process helped me to focus on what families might need, as they experience writing workshop in new ways (i.e. at their kitchen tables).
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.
There are some routines that are more important to teach than others during the first six weeks of school. In the midst of building classroom community and starting to teach curriculum, there are a dozen routines one can model with students so writing workshop runs efficiently.
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.
All writers seek feedback. All writers write for an audience. All writers question themselves. And for these reasons, writers long to bring their work to another person-- another set of eyes, another pair of ears. Hence, the writing partner in writing workshop. When working well, partnerships can help grow the confidence of each writer in our classes by providing support, authentic peer feedback, and a sounding board for ideas. Here are a few ingredients to consider when creating a community of writers...
Three strategies to use so that students develop their own ability to monitor themselves as writers.
Writing Workshops have important structural components.
Building a community of writers is likely a goal for all writing workshop teachers. But what are some ways to be intentional about bringing such a goal to fruition?
Classrooms need to be places where students can take risks, solve problems, and learn to work through the hard parts. But sometimes anxiety and worry get in the way of learning.
Poetry month in my opinion (and my students’) is a celebration of writing! It’s a time when we writers welcome new beginnings and hone the art and crafting of our writing skills. I watch my students take wings and write with grace and confidence during poetry month.