Author Archive

“Write Beside Them,” said Penny Kittle. And so I did…

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After reading Write Beside Them, Tara Smith realized she had to connect her teacher and writer identities. No longer would it be enough to share mentor texts and confer. She realized she needed to share her writing life with her students and walk them through her thinking as she wrote.

Slow and Steady

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Nicole Frederickson, a middle school teacher, doesn’t believe in diagnostic writing assessments at the beginning of the school year. Find out why she builds a community of writers before she assesses her students.

Inspiring Independent Writing in a Jam-Packed Curriculum

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Kristen Robbins Warren honors her middle school students’ independent writing lives by incorporating three literary rhythms (Monday Morning’s Muse, Wednesday’s Writing Window, and Friday Favorites) into the school week.

Letting Go As Student Interests Take the Wheel

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Kindergarten teacher Valerie Geshwind helps her students find their passions and their voice by honoring their interests, engaging them in a play-like writing workshop, & by supporting them as individuals.

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR: PUBLISHING PARTIES

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Beth Moore offers a collection of ten publishing party ideas you can use to celebrate your students’ writing.

Launching a Year of Writing With Poetry

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Jenny Maehara believes poems are wonderful as a launching point for writing because students can write many poems in a unit and feel like prolific writers from the start. Find out how students can learn the habits of writers and the routines of writing workshop while crafting meaningful pieces using a balance of different details and thoughtful structure in Jenny’s guest blog post.

Anchor Charts in the World Language Classroom? Mais Oui!

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Learn how literacy coach Mindi Rench has helped middle school world language teachers to construct charts with their students, which has helped students’ writing in French and Spanish.

What Would They Say?

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What would your students say if they were asked what writing workshop means to them? Find out what a group of first graders value about writing workshop in Betsy Hubbard’s guest blog post.

I don’t know what to write. Really? Really.

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Sarah Picard Taylor provides you with five ideas to get K – 2 writers writing when they find themselves stuck.

Teaching Reflective Writers

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Dana Murphy shares some thoughts about the expectations we place on students when we ask them to reflect on their writing.

What’s in a Name?

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Christy Weisiger believes in calling students “writers”. Calling students writers gives students automatic entry into the classroom writing community. And that sometimes changes the way they will feel about writing for the rest of their lives.

Teaching Toolkits: Making Instruction Visible

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Anna Gratz Cockerille provides tips for organizing and developing teaching toolkits you can use across the school year.

Sharing Voices by Blogging: A Guest Blog Post by Amy Rudd

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About four years ago, I heard of a wonderful tool, Kidblog, that could be used as an ad-free environment when blogging with students and the key word that caused me to perk up when… Continue reading

A New Way To Learn About Teaching Writing

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It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.
 - Isaac Asimov I began a writer’s group last year at… Continue reading

Where is Poetry? It’s Everywhere! {Guest Post by Betsy Hubbard}

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i’m happy to host Betsy Hubbard today with some of her thoughts about poetry. During one of my first memorable experiences with poetry I was asked to memorize a poem of my own… Continue reading

Slicing Through the School Year

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Tara Smith shares how she launched, maintained, and celebrating the writing slice of life stories and comments — all year long — with her sixth grade students.

Using Evernote to Confer with Writers

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Today’s guest blog post by Cathy Mere will help you jump on the electronic record-keeping bandwagon. Learn how to use Evernote to keep conferring notes on all of your students.

Thoughts on Writing from the Author of The Mighty Lalouche

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NOTE FROM STACEY: Matthew Olshan wrote The Mighty Lalouche specifically for illustrator Sophie Blackall to illustrate since he was familiar with her fascination of turn-of-the-century boxers.  My interest was piqued by this author-illustrator… Continue reading

How the Finns Create a Sense of Community in Their Schools

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How do we compare a country with a fairly homogeneous population of five and a half million people, with less than 5% of the population in poverty, to the United States? Well, forty years ago, when Finland was overhauling their education system and studying models from other countries, they could have followed our lead and jumped on our No Child Left Behind bandwagon, eventually moving to high-stakes testing and teacher assessment as a means to improve education.

Not Just Your Run-of-the-Mill Biography Unit Study

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4th Grade Teacher (& Slicer) Noor Shammas writes about her students’ Community Member Biography Project.