“If kids see writing as just another avenue of self expression, if they realize that craft and skill are necessary for all areas of self-expression, then perhaps they might use these understandings as a foundation for their writing.”
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.
Need a writing resource that has something for all ages, yourself included? Look no further than Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft: A 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story
If you’re trying to reach reluctant writers with “nothing to write,” pushing students to use craft and voice in writing, or just hoping to make the writing process creative and fun, storytelling may be your answer. Taking the leap is easier than you think!
When writers feel empowered to write for their own personal catharsis, it matters. When writers know they will have the opportunity to strengthen their writing alongside peers, it matters. When writers have greater degrees of choice around topic and genre, it matters. And when, at times, there’s a wider audience for writing, beyond classroom walls or the teacher’s eyes alone, there is often deeper motivation.
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.
Ever since I read this post by Katie Kraushaar, I’ve been thinking about personal narrative and wondering why it is that students, particularly in middle elementary grades and beyond, are sometimes less … Continue Reading Shaking Up Personal Narrative
How can we help writers develop solid ideas before delving too far into the work of persuasive writing?
Melanie asked the students, “What makes you feel like a writer?” Read the voices from the classroom. YOUR writing matters to YOUR students.
Contests and publication opportunities for young writers have potential to motivate and inspire.
Many of us are fast approaching the sixth week of school. Many of us consider that the first of countless milestones in our school year. Six weeks in, routines are … Continue Reading The Six Week Check-in
Small group instruction is a powerful way to reach and teach more students in your classroom!
You can learn a lot about students when you give them a chance to tell you want they know!
During the last week of school, I met with a group of fourth graders to have an end of the year reflective conversation. We can learn so much about what … Continue Reading Straight From Students: Why Teachers Should Write
Over the summer, a few of us at TWT all received questions about how to manage extra adults in the classroom. Today and tomorrow, Deb and I have begun our … Continue Reading Maximizing the Adult Resources in Our Classrooms
I’ve been thinking about why young writers struggle with personal narrative and realistic fiction writing.
The first thing I did when I learned that we had access to Google hangout in our classroom, was to schedule an author visit…
A joyous celebration of what writing workshop could be with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater.
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.
Making my writing thinking visible to my students has given them another tool to “get unstuck”…