Category Archive: writing workshop

Writing on the Walls

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What we place on the walls of a classroom tells students, or any other person who enters the room, what is valued most, and what we should value most in our classrooms is student work.

Thinking Big About Writing

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The writing work in our building is transforming, and it is exciting to be a part of the change, to witness the impact on kids as we make our workshops increasingly authentic and compelling.

We are constantly reflecting on what’s working—what’s leading to measurable shifts in how we plan for writing (and how kids experience writing)—as well as where we might be getting stuck: places there is genuine motivation to transform the task, and yet, our best intentions are still missing the mark in some significant way.

Overview of the 13th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge

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This March, we’ll host the 13th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge.

Engaging a Writer’s Emotional Awareness

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I’m on a path to understanding how emotions connect to engaged writers. Today I’m sharing some resources to bring you along with me.

A Peek Into the Start of an Information Unit

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When we show students examples of what they should be creating before and during their writing, we are, in many ways, providing them a figurative ride up the chairlift with many good skiers in front of them. In two separate classrooms, I introduced an information writing unit with a classroom teacher with a pile of books and writing samples and the students sitting in a circle. “Your job,” I said, “is to look at these books and pieces like writers. What did the author do? How did they do it?”

The Importance of Audience

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When we create space for our students to have authentic and meaningful experiences, we shift the learning and growing of the writer. Something extraordinary happens deep inside a writer that excites and illuminates purpose when publishing for an authentic audience.

Write. Share. Give.

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It’s a great day for a slice of life story! What stories must you share today?

Interview with Teacher and Author Kate Narita + Giveaway

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4th grade teacher and published author, Kate Narita, answers my questions today about being a writer and an educator who is currently in the classroom. Be sure to comment for a chance to win a copy of Kate’s book 100 Bugs! A Counting Story, a class set of bookmarks, and a 15 minutes Skype with Kate!

Three Ways To Make Your Conferring More Effective

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I’ve been trying to improve my own skills as I sit down next to writers throughout my years of teaching writing, and there is so much more to conferring than the three ideas that I’m sharing in this post.

Six Essential Acts of Kindness

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Kindness is an essential part of teaching life. According to Fred Rogers, “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”

Focus Lessons: A Review and Giveaway!

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Reading Ralph Fletcher’s newest book, Focus Lessons, revealed memories of my childhood much the way photos can be revealed in a pan of solution. Slowly, vividly, and magically.

Turn and Talk

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One of the greatest benefits I have had in my classroom, that encompasses all things literacy, has been the addition of purposeful talk. When it comes to inviting students to think and learn… Continue reading

In Case You Missed It: Reaching Your Writers

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Our hope is that this blog series helps to bridge the divides between how we teach writing and how students learn writing because we all believe not only in the importance of writing, but also that all children can learn to write– and learn to write well– and even like writing!

Communication, Collaboration, and Clarity: Reaching Your Writers

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The more we can communicate, collaborate, and empower the people we work with, both adults and students, so that they know and understand the learning that should be happening in our writing classrooms, the more we will see that learning happen. When we all know what we’re working on and we have the tools and systems to support our pathways, great things happen!

Rituals and Transitions: Reaching Your Writers

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When writing workshop rituals become woven into the daily grooves of the writing community, cohesive safe zones develop. The consistency of rituals in a classroom helps students transition within the workshop environment smoothly… Well-established rituals create the space for students to concern themselves less with movement and more with the work of a writing.

Paper Choices for Opinion and Argument Writing: Reaching Your Writers

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Providing options for paper allows all your students to do the same type of writing (opinion, persuasive, or argument) in many different ways. Differentiating the materials makes it possible for all your students to do the work–without having to resort to a formula or fill-in-the-blank worksheet.

Entry Points to Build Independence: Reaching Your Writers

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Where are the places your writers find themselves stuck? Identifying our writers’ sticky spots can help us determine entry points for writers to pull themselves out of being stuck and instead strive!

Helping Students Who Don’t Want To Write: Reaching Your Writers

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How do we reach our writers who come to us from traumatic backgrounds? How do we help writers who have painful stories they don’t feel comfortable sharing? How do we help children feel safe to write something when they prefer to sit and write nothing? Please share your ideas and experiences in the comments so we can learn from each other and reach more of our writers.

Reaching Your Writers Blog Series

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All week here at Two Writing Teachers we will be sharing how to reach ALL of your writers.

Sitting Side By Side With Standards

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There is power in knowing and understanding standards because within them, we can extract teaching points, learning targets, and even success criteria. In this post, we’ll thing about how we can use the standards so set up anchor charts, as well as learning progressions in order to establish clarity and navigable pathways for writers.