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Categorywriting workshop

Minimizing Transition Time: Maximizing Writing Time Blog Series

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.

Writing as Social-Emotional Development: Maximizing Writing Time

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.

Ruminating Process Alongside Kidlit Creators: Centering Our Why

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.

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.

Expanding the Reach with Small Group Work: A Blog Series

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! 

Three Ways to Exalt Process for Young Writers

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. 

Mining the Moments Between Minilesson and Work Time

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.

Getting to Know the Writers in Your Classroom- Part 2: Cultural and Social-Emotional Domains

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.