Inquiry-Based Centers in Grades 3-8

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Inquiry-based centers introduce kids to mentor texts while helping them find their own mentor texts.

Wild Things! Review and a Giveaway

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I enjoyed this book as a fan of children’s literature, but it is also a valuable resource to teachers of literacy.

Sharing the Work: Assigning Teacher Leaders for Unit Planning

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There is an adage: if the teacher is working too hard, the students aren’t working hard enough. There are many cases where this is true: in a writing conference when the teacher is… Continue reading

Top Five Lessons to Teach to Writing Partners of All Ages Right Now

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Writing partners can be an important source of inspiration and support for your kids. It’s the rare kid who truly wants to work alone all the time. Writing requires an audience, someone to give… Continue reading

Critique Group Check-In

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How is your critique group going? See what others are saying!

Share a slice of your life.

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Last call for Slice of Life t-shirts. Remember, all of the proceeds from the sale of the shirts will benefit the Pajama Program.

Sometimes we don’t write in writing workshop

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On our first full day of sixth grade, I hand each of my students a reading and writing survey and ask them to tell me a little bit about themselves as readers and… Continue reading

The Story of the Giant Sequoia + a Giveaway

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Tony Johnston and Wendell Minor’s new book, Sequoia, will be published later this month. Recently, both of them were gracious with their time and granted me interviews. Hear what they have to say about writing and illustrating. Get a sneak peek at this exquisite text you can use to infuse your students’ informational writing with poetry.

The Perfect Word

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Have you ever been in the midst of your writing and you have to stop in order to find the perfect word?

Volume Matters

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Each morning, my husband and I stumble bleary-eyed toward our espresso machine. His drink is a single shot, the shorter and blacker the better. My drink is an Americano, the taller and milkier the… Continue reading

Remembering the Miracles of 9/11/01

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“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” -Harry S. Truman

Fox’s Garden Book Review and Giveaway!

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Give a wordless book a try during your next writing workshop and see the possibilities.

SOL Tuesday

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We’re still selling Slice of Life t-shirts ($20) on Ink to the People. All of the proceeds from the shirt will benefit the Pajama Program.

So, what does it take to be a great writing teacher? Students’ point of view.

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For the past many years, writing workshop in our middle school ended in sixth grade.  They would, of course, continue to write in seventh grade, but that every other day of writing workshop… Continue reading

5 Ideas to Create a Classroom of Writers

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How do you help your students establish their identity as writers?

More Ways to Write About Reading

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I remember now why it is important to keep a reader’s notebook.

Information Writing: Upping the Ante on Text Features

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It’s likely that in many writing workshop classrooms, the year is launching with narrative writing. Coming just around the bend, perhaps very soon for teachers who began the school year in early August, is expository… Continue reading

Okay, But What Would You Do?

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This week has been full of writing workshop conundrums and dilemmas!

Chalk-A-Bration: Poetry and Chalk Celebration

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Celebrate Chalketry on the last day of each month!

Would You Like a Slice of Life T-Shirt?

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Do good while professing your love of Slice of Life Story writing. All proceeds from the sale of this t-shirt will benefit the Pajama Program.