Category Archive: writing

Using Your Own Writing as a Teaching Tool

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It seems appropriate that today’s post should be related to using your own writing in the classroom. We are, after all, in the midst of the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. And what… Continue reading

Behind the Scenes at the White House: A Q&A with Nonfiction Author Katherine L. House

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Just in time for Presidents’ Day, I chatted with nonfiction author Katherine L. House about her recent book, White House for Kids. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of her book.

Setting the stage for writing about nonfiction

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Writing about nonfiction elicits the same initial lack of enthusiasm from my students as reading about nonfiction – a nonfiction affliction that seems, at first, impossible to overcome.    It’s the “dead Presidents and… Continue reading

A letter to my departing student teacher

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Six weeks have passed by in flash, it seems, for it is already time to bid my student teacher goodbye. As I compile book list recommendations, photograph charts and student work, and gather… Continue reading

Getting Unstuck

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“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” -Jack London

Work Smarter: How To Wrap Up A Unit of Study

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This week my colleagues and I are writing posts that we hope will make your life a little easier. We’re sharing some ways to work smarter, not harder.

Teaching Writing in Middle School: Notes from the Saturday Reunion #TCRWP

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By the time I arrived at Cornelius Minor’s TCRWP workshop, State-of-the-Art Workshop Teaching of Writing in Middle School, harnessing Methods Specifically Described in the New Units of Study, I had been up since… Continue reading

Unworkshop

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Wouldn’t it be great to escape for a few days to just write? Oh, do I have a place for you! You won’t have to cook a single meal, it’s tranquil, there’s wifi, AND it’s affordable.

Reading Fuels Writing

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Need some inspiration to write? Fall into a great book and read like a writer!

Good for the Brain

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Want to help your students focus better during independent writing time? A recent NY Times piece by Daniel J. Levitin may hold the key to making this happen in your classroom.

How About a Critique Group: Fostering Teacher Writers

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Are you ready to join a writing critique group? Take the plunge and sign up as we start you on a new writing journey!

The Writers’ Exchange

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The Writers’ Exchange makes writing fun for kids while building their confidence. Want to know how they’re doing it? Read this Q&A with the organization’s co-founders.

Five on Friday: Travel Edition

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A recent visit to San Francisco inspired me to think about oral story telling, publishing, an persuasive writing. Here are five things my trip left me thinking about. PLUS, leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win a copy of a new picture book from Chronicle Books.

My Writing Work Space

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I want to know where do you write. At a computer or on paper? At a desk or on a couch? At home or at a coffee shop?

Five on Friday

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Five things I’m reading, enjoying, and thinking about this Friday.

Top Ten Ways to Keep Minilessons from Turning into Maxilessons

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We’ve all been there. You’ve gathered your students into the classroom meeting area, nice and cozy, with the intention of doing just a quick l’il minilesson. Just a quick tip about writing and… Continue reading

The Opposite of Loneliness + a Book Giveaway

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I rarely read collections of short stories or essays, but I made an exception for The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan. It’s a book written by a debut author. Unfortunately, it’s her final title since she died tragically in 2012.

Creating mini-units of study in writing workshop: writing to bear witness.

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In my sixth grade class, we cycle through a set of genres every Writing Workshop year: personal narrative, memoir, feature article, poetry, profiles, and persuasive letters and research based essays.  Taken together, these… Continue reading

Sharing Some Exciting News

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I’m proud to announce my second professional book with Stenhouse Publishers will be coming to you in the winter of 2016.

So you say you want to write children’s books?

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Last weekend I took a major step forward towards my dream of publishing children’s books. I attended the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Annual Conference in New York. This post includes highlights from the keynotes and breakout sessions.