One Little Word: Silence

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Did you pick one little word this year? How’s it going?

Writing About Reading Begins With Thinking About Reading

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Some weeks ago, when the school year was brand new, I wrote about setting up our Reading Journals for a year of writing about our reading.  Now we are approaching the end of… Continue reading

Write, share, give: It’s SOL time!

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  “Writing is like breathing, it’s possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.” ― Julia Cameron, The Right to Write: An Invitation and… Continue reading

Two New Mentor Texts I Adore + Book Giveaways

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I’ve always been a diary and letter person.  I have loads of journals from my childhood and post-college years.  To this day, I relish letters I saved from my childhood since they’re a… Continue reading

More on Student Self-Assessment

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What factor has the most notable effect on student achievement?

The “Share” Time

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Long ago, most teachers I knew had a ritual that they held near and dear to their hearts. At the end of every writing workshop, a child sat in the Author’s Chair and… Continue reading

Oral Mentor Texts + a Giveaway!

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Assuming that children understand the elements of a story is assuming too much. These elements must be taught if they are meant to be used in the writing process.

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

Write, share, give: It’s SOL time!

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“Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?” ― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and… Continue reading

Picture books are art forms.

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I spent a weekend in the woods learning about picture book art and design at a workshop led by educators from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the Highlights Foundation.

What Do You Know About Being a Writer?

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Listen to these kindergarten students respond to the question, “What do you know about being a writer?”

Happy National Day on Writing 2014

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Happy National Day on Writing!

Positive Post-It Day

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Inspired by a story about a brave high school student, I left a positive post-it note for each teacher I worked with earlier this week.

From Shared to Independent Practice: Drawing Lessons Continued

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Last week we looked at a couple of students who were working on the visual plan and the use of drawing lessons. Let’s peek in and see how that work is coming along in the shared and independent practice of writing workshop.

Writing through the visual arts: an “in between” unit of study

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We are in that in-between stage right now in writing workshop, having  just completed our Personal Narrative unit, and pausing briefly before we begin our unit on memoir.  These in-between stages are often… Continue reading

WRITE, SHARE, GIVE: IT’S SOL TIME

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WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE a link to your post in the comments section. GIVE comments to at least three other SOLSC bloggers. “It’s misleading to think… Continue reading

10 Topic Choice Mentor Texts + 10 Book Giveaways

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Do you have students who claim they don’t know what to write about in their writer’s notebooks? Here are 10 new picture books to inspire them to write.

Written Conversations

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Another strategy for writing about reading: Written Conversations

Free Professional Development! Tweet All About It.

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I admit, when I first heard about Twitter, I thought the concept was ridiculous. Shooting a message of 140 characters or less into the world? Why? Who would care? Since my initial incredulity,… Continue reading

Conversations About Standards-Based Report Cards: Do Your Students Know How They’re Doing?

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And with November, comes report cards.