Category Archive: writing workshop

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.

Conferring Notes: The Key to Unit Planning

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Crafting a system for conferring notes can be a catch-all of sorts, a strategy for ensuring that teammates engage in the highest leverage instructional conversations before the unit begins—even if they haven’t had extended time to unit plan together.

Trying It Out! Using Ideas From Professional Resources

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How do you keep learning and growing as a teacher of writing? How do you apply what you’ve learned from reading professional texts? Today I am sharing the way I am applying my learning from professional texts with my third grade students.

A Book That Will Inspire Better Talk and Listening– and a Giveaway

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Every now and then, a professional book comes along that has the potential to really change how I teach. You have a chance to win a copy of Unlocking the Power of Classroom Talk by Shana Frazin and Katy Wischow, and I know you will love this book!

Three Keys to Writing Partnership Success

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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.

Living the Writerly Life in School

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We say to kids, “Here’s your notebook! Now you are writer!” We want kids to write in school and beyond. Maybe there are things we can do in school to keep their writerly lives going–even when our units of study and minilessons have moved on to other aspects of the work.

Intentional Practice In Our Writing Classrooms

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Intentional practice leads to better performance. Writing instruction follows a similar pattern, and by about six weeks into the year, teachers know their students. Just like soccer coaches, teachers can start to develop some responsive instruction, both from the figurative sidelines, as well as through direct instruction.

Questions to Reflect, Expand, and Select

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If we are not intentional, we can easily rush into many teaching points, instead of only one. We can overwhelm ourselves and our students. If we are not careful, we can miss the most important reason we sit with a student―the opportunity to listen and learn.