writing workshop

a litmus test.

Sometimes my background as a science major leaks out.  Today, allow me to share my "litmus test" for minilessons: Is this lesson relevant for students to use again and again and again in their lives as writers and communicators? This is one of the biggest differences in my teaching now that I've embraced Workshop philosophy.  I'm… Continue reading a litmus test.

writing workshop

Take off the Top of Your Head!

After all of the writer's notebook work and the storyboard work and the oral storytelling, it sometimes seems as though students don't realize how they then need to craft their draft.  I've found that explicit teaching of this idea is important. Today I did just that with some third graders.  I showed them my storyboard… Continue reading Take off the Top of Your Head!

drafting · focus lesson · minilesson

Moving from Storyboards to Drafts.

In Keith Bollman's fifth grade class, students are beginning to consider moving into drafts.  They've envisioned their writing and are moving out of the rehearsal stage and into drafting.  Today I taught them how to stretch a scene.  The Great Pumpkin Switch by Megan Mcdonald and Ted Lewin  is one of the texts in play in the… Continue reading Moving from Storyboards to Drafts.