Category Archive: informational writing

Starting with Story

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I recently had the pleasure of attending the 25th Annual Comprehensive Literacy and Reading Recovery Conference in Illinois.  One of the sessions I attended was led by the brilliant and endearing Christopher Lehman.  His session centered… Continue reading

I’m Trying to Love Spiders: A Review & Giveaway

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When my principal handed me a copy of Bethany Barton’s I’m Trying to Love Spiders, I was intrigued.  She had chosen this book as our Everybody Reads title for the month and I was… Continue reading

Quality Reading Instruction Leads to Better Writing: A Review of Jennifer Serravallo’s Independent Reading Assessment 

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When I tested Jennifer Serravallo’s Independent Reading Assessment (Scholastic), I was an immediate believer. Finally, here is a reading assessment that gives rich, clear information about upper grade readers, using an authentic reading… Continue reading

New Mentor Texts for Information Writing

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The books featured in this post, all of which were published in 2015, represent a variety of information writing. All of these are texts that can pull double- and even triple-duty in your classroom, thereby allowing you to use a text during read-aloud time so you can revisit it during a writing workshop minlesson and/or in a content area.

Infusing Information Writing Throughout the Day: Diving Into Information Writing

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A recovering hater of information writing, this post is my first step towards bringing information writing to life for my third graders! It is a vision and collection of possibliities for infusing information writing across the curriculum through the day.

Teacher-Written Mentor Texts: Diving into Information Writing

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I’ve long believed teacher-written texts can serve as excellent mentor texts during a unit of study. While I’m a huge advocate of student-written mentor texts, sometimes student writing doesn’t have everything we need… Continue reading

Allowing Student Choice within Information Writing: Diving into Information Writing

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How do you encourage students when beginning the writing process for information writing? Give them choices!

Preview: Diving into Information Writing Blog Series

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We are thrilled to launch our latest blog series, Diving Into Information Writing. Click on for a preview of the week to come on Two Writing Teachers.

Give yourself a pat on the back!

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Take some time to celebrate what your students have accomplished, thanks to your teaching, in writing workshop. Name something — big or small — you’re proud of from this school year.

Goals & Techniques Cards

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Reflecting on my first experience using TCRWP’s goals & technique cards for informational writing with a small group of writers.

Q&A with Robert Burleigh + a Book Giveaway

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I’ve been a fan of Robert Burleigh‘s writing for the past few years. I was delighted to receive an advance review copy of Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue, his newest picture book that’s out later… Continue reading

Concluding Information Writing and Tailoring Instruction

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Recently, Stacey and I were chatting via email about why the teaching of conclusions isn’t presented as a separate minilesson in Bringing History to Life, the information writing unit in the 4th grade Units of… Continue reading

Throwback Week: Information Writing – Upping the Ante on Text Features

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In almost every classroom I have coached in, kids get really excited about adding text features to their informational writing. They love adding pictures, labels, maps, and table of contents to their writing.  But… 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.

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

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 Do First Graders Choose Narrow Topics?

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We will be starting a unit on informational writing to wrap up the school year. I wanted to demonstrate a different way of finding a topic, a narrow topic. I find that young… Continue reading

First Graders Get Crafty

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First graders use a mentor text to get crafty during a unit on informational writing.

Interview with Susan VanHecke + a Giveaway

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I’m always looking for exemplary informational mentor texts. When Under the Freedom Tree crossed my desk, I knew I found one I wanted to share with you.  It’s the story of the first contraband… Continue reading

New Blog Series: Tailoring our Teaching / Assessment-based Strategy Groups for Expository Writing

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When I first began teaching using a workshop model, I spent forever planning my minilessons. I wanted to make sure that my language was exactly right, and that I got to each part… Continue reading