When it comes to working out, there are definitely times when I appreciate the break I get during the transition times, and I’m sure that students, maybe even unintentionally, have figured out that longer transitions lead to shorter working time. Yet time on task is critical to move forward on goals, no matter what the goals are. Maximizing time– in exercise or writing– leads to progress.
Let’s turn our attention to the classroom, to the kids in our care.
Like many of us, they need a space to release burdens, to feel the same connection and validation that has kept us afloat.
This, my friends, is where we begin. THIS is where we claim our power as writers, as teachers of writing.
No matter the age of our students, no matter their readiness level, no matter the constrictions of a mandated writing system, there are ways to create and protect a nurturing, supportive community of young writers.
Actually doing the work of writers is where writers strengthen their skills—and this takes at least two thirds of the total minutes in any workshop. The more clear we can be while unit planning, the more strategic our instructional time will be, leaving more time for writers to write.
My hope is that you win or order this book and take on a challenge or two– maybe even create your own.
As I think about returning to school, I want to be excited about the week to come. I want students to feel happy to be back together. Writing workshop is my favorite part of the day, and it’s the perfect place to infuse some intentional joy for all of us. I have a two part plan to do just that.
“If kids see writing as just another avenue of self expression, if they realize that craft and skill are necessary for all areas of self-expression, then perhaps they might use these understandings as a foundation for their writing.”
Just as hoses tend to kink, so do the writing processes of students, leaving teachers to figure out where those kinks are and what the effective twist will be in order to get those students writing.
As we move forward this season, near concluding a challenging 2021, I aim to respect the messy writing process for myself. We will share with our students over and over that getting your ideas out doesn’t have to look one way; that they can move forward and backward and around again. They can toss out ideas and start anew. And while I do that, I’ll hold Jasmine and Olugbemisola’s thoughts close: as educators, let’s not stifle by virtue of supposed tos. There’s no wrong way. The final product need not look the way we initially imagined.
Learn more about a word prediction tool that can assist writers with Dyslexia as they draft, revise, and edit their writing.
In order to understand what emergent writers can do, you have to understand that writing is more than handwriting and spelling–it is storytelling, composing, and communicating.
Need a writing resource that has something for all ages, yourself included? Look no further than Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft: A 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story
The co-authors of TWT sincerely hope you enjoyed last week’s blog series on Expanding the Reach with Small Groups! ICYMI, here are the links to all the posts from our blog series. Congrats to two lucky winners of the Candlewick Press giveaway! Read on to see who the winners are…
Pattern-Seeking Strategies to Optimize Efficiency and Effectiveness: Expanding the Reach With Small Group Work
Pattern-seeking is one of the ways that I keep planning for small group instruction manageable in writing workshop. When I can both anticipate common needs and plan for ways to learn which kids share those needs ahead of time, then I can be much more strategic and efficient with small group instruction.
Even in the best of teaching times, a student’s work is rarely completely one level since there are so many elements that constitute effective writing, and it’s also rare for the same sequence of lessons to meet the learning opportunities of all students. With such variation and discrepancies, small group instruction is more critical than ever in order to address and nurture the range of learners in classrooms. We hope that this blog series inspires you to lean into small group instruction with intention and confidence!
Ever feel like you just need a nudge to give your students time for low-stakes writing? Here you go!
When we start the year off with publishing in mind, we think about the authors.
My litmus test for the work we do in the classroom pivots on an understanding that collecting one’s own ideas and practicing ways to communicate them will serve students outside classroom walls. And it is with that framing in mind – with children reflecting on their journeys, in carefully selecting the language I use, and in sharing feedback on growth as opposed to the final alone- that I hope to continually communicate the importance of process over product.
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.
On Tuesdays throughout the year, we invite you to share a slice of life story here at Two Writing Teachers. Write your post, share it in the comments, and be sure to leave some comments for other slicers on their blogs.
Last week, I wrote about getting to know students by thinking about their academic knowledge and skills, as well as their use and understanding of language. This week, I shift and consider cultural and social-emotional aspects of students’ identities.