Work Smarter: Commenting on Student Writing

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Seven tips to streamline the process of commenting on student writing.

Share Your Slice of Life: It’s SOL Tuesday!

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Welcome to November everybody!

Work Smarter: 5 Tips for Checking Writer’s Notebooks Efficiently  

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Grace Chough led a session, “Turning Writer’s Notebooks Into Workbenches, and Using Them to Work Deliberately Towards Big Goals,” at the June 2014 TCRWP Writing Institute.  She shared lots of smart thinking about… Continue reading

Preview: Work Smarter, Not Harder Blog Series

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Welcome to our “Work Smarter, Not Harder” Blog Series.  Contrary to what your students may think, we know you don’t live at school.  If the teaching of writing feels cumbersome to you, then… Continue reading

What’s Your Writing Tic?

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Read about writers’ tics, and share your own.

Using Assessment Tools to Teach Transference

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Valuable lessons can be learned when an assessment tool designed for one genre is used to assess another.

A Quick Guide to Workshop Lingo

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Call it jargon, call it terminology, call it what you will. We have our own made-up words for things sometimes.

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.