academic choice · choice · middle school · process · units of study

Designing Writing Units Where Students Choose the Product

Many of today’s students crave choice, freedom, and the excitement of exploring something new. This year, as you prepare to roll out your writing units, you may also want to reconsider the level of constraints within each unit. How and when might you invite students to choose the product that best fits their personal preference and intended audience?

authors · big picture · character development · collecting · narrative · writing process

Flailing and Feedback In Writing Process As Critical: KidLit Authors Share Why

Slowing down the brainstorming part of the writing process and recognizing the emotionality of feedback has big rewards for two published authors, in addition to our young classroom writers.

assessment · challenges · narrative · observations · writing workshop

Making the Most of Pre-Assessments

 We spend a week or so sharing stories, and building excitement for writing stories. We hand out notebooks with fanfare, and writers happily personalize them. They brainstorm ideas for stories they could write. And then we stand in front of the class and explain that today is the day we want each of them to… Continue reading Making the Most of Pre-Assessments

charts · scaffolding charts · writing workshop · writing workshop routines

Sometimes we only write in writing workshop

My sixth graders have been busy drafting their feature articles this week, and I had a series of mini lessons planned to begin each writing workshop day. My students, however, had other ideas.

digital writing · olw · slice of life · Slice of Life Story Challenge · SOLSC Classroom Challenge · writing workshop

Keeping a writing blog: taking our writing workshop online

With the  Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge  just around the corner, perhaps some of you are thinking more than ever about starting a class blog just for writing.    Over the past few years, we have taken our writer's notebook  online in my classroom, not just for the month of March, but for the entire… Continue reading Keeping a writing blog: taking our writing workshop online

authors · quote · video

Saturday Mornings

This is my vision of you on Saturday mornings: A mug of something warm -- coffee, tea, or chai -- in your hands Snuggled in a comfy chair Allowing peace to replace the stress from the week Happily thinking about the power of words and education to change the world Wait a minute -- maybe… Continue reading Saturday Mornings

writing workshop

First Draft Writing

When I was first learning about Writing Workshop, it was difficult for me to wrap my head around the process each student would be going through. I spent a lot of time thinking and re-thinking the writing process and the way it would become individualized. Going from idea to notebook to draft to publication seemed… Continue reading First Draft Writing