Beginning Year Read Alouds

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A list of beginning of the year read aloud books to set a positive climate and kick start your workshop.

Table Conferences: An Important Coaching Move at the Start of the Year

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Over the summer, we catch up on professional reading, we organize our classrooms, we make plans. In our reading and our planning, we imagine the very best possible scenarios. We see our children working… Continue reading

There Are More Ways Than One To Teach A Minilesson

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Last week I wrote a post titled How To Plan A Minilesson From Scratch, and I outlined a very simple way to plan minilessons, based on the work of my wonderful colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Now, I am going to backtrack a bit and revisit just a teensy weensy bit of what I said. I wrote, “Every minilesson can pretty much go the same way.” And this is absolutely true, most of the time. Except for those times when it’s not true.

Interactive Writing: Don’t Close the Door

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Interactive Writing? Yeah, I wasn’t a believer. I will admit this openly; I had kind of fought against it and did not see it working in my classroom until many years ago. What… Continue reading

It’s Tuesday! Write your Slice. Share your Link. Give your Comments.

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Please write your Slice of Life Story, share your link, and give at least 3 comments to other Slicers.

Reading Fuels Writing

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Need some inspiration to write? Fall into a great book and read like a writer!

Good for the Brain

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Want to help your students focus better during independent writing time? A recent NY Times piece by Daniel J. Levitin may hold the key to making this happen in your classroom.

If You Ask Them

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Stop lurking and start writing. It is the single most important thing you can do as a teacher of writing. It matters.

Writing History in Many Forms

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Want some fresh ways to channel your students to write about history? This post offers some light and fast tips that could easily be turned into weighty and meaningful instruction.

How to Plan a Minilesson from Scratch

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Minilessons are actually really easy to plan, and fun to teach. What? You don’t believe me? Let me show you, right now, how to do it.

My Re-Programming Process

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Sometimes you just have to start over.

WRITE. SHARE. GIVE. IT’S SOL TIME.

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It’s Tuesday – time to share your Slice with the Two Writing Teachers Community. Here is a chart from last week’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project August Writing Institute at Columbia University.… Continue reading

Visual Writer Introductions

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Fostering a nurturing writing community at the beginning of the school year means taking the time to build a community of writers. Here’s an artistic way you can have students introduce themselves, and their quirks, to their peers.

RECAP: Sharpen Your Workshop Routines Blog Series

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ICYMI: A look back at our blog series about sharpening workshop routines.

Sharpen Your Workshop Routines: Don’t Skip Share Time

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A menu of possibilities for share time

Sharpen Your Workshop Routines: Conferring Best Practices

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When we watch experts confer with student writers, we are often stunned at the way in which they seem to pull teaching points out of thin air. Not all of us confer so effortlessly. Preparation, organization, and data collection will each go a long way toward ensuring your conferring is stronger than ever this year.

Sharpen Your Workshop Routines: Writing Centers to Organize All Your Materials

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Every year, around this time, I start having dreams about setting up my classroom. In the classroom of my dreams, I’m moving around small circular tables, unfurling a brand new rug for the… Continue reading

Sharpen Your Workshop Routines: The Importance of Talk Within the Workshop Process

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Writing is hard. Letting our ideas float in the space around us makes the words come to the page more easily.

Sharpen Your Workshop Routines: 5 Secrets to Great Meeting Areas

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Are you looking to make the most out of your classroom’s meeting area? Find out how to create and maintain a meeting area that will function as the focal point of your writing workshop.

Tuesday Slice of Life

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Serve up your slice of life story today.