We use mentors to help students become better writers. We want these mentors to teach them and inspire them and moving their writing forward in ways that our mini-lessons and conferences alone could not accomplish. But we also want to use mentors to help students develop a thriving and lasting writing life. If writing is […]
I was surprised to see him in the doorway of my classroom, holding a piece of computer paper. “Steve! It’s so good to see you. How’ve you been?” It was 3:00 on a Tuesday. I wondered why he wasn’t at practice. A star baseball player, Steve isn’t the kind of student who hangs around after […]
All year long we have been working backwards. In our genre-driven workshop, we have always begun with a genre, figured out how it works, and searched for an idea to fit it. But now that my students have a command of several genres and an understanding of the varying purposes and audiences of each, they are […]
As our students end the year, they are preparing their final assessment — a portfolio of their work this year. Writing portfolios are nothing new, but as we thought about how we should structure the portfolio and what it should include, we considered, Since our students have submitted all of their work digitally this year, […]
You know those last two weeks of school when you feel like you’re in limbo? It’s not enough time to start another unit, and yet what to do during class while students are prepping for exams and compiling writing portfolios? I am spending two weeks (nine, 45-minute class periods) on a workshop on mentor […]
In April, my returning creative writers choose from one of two projects: write a novel, screenplay or book of poems in 30 days, or revise their novel from November. Catie, a senior, was the only student who chose revision. I wasn’t surprised. It’s hard to motivate students to revise! So I pressed her a bit, […]
Watch this short screencast below (click on the picture) to learn how to access and add to our Mentor Text Dropbox Project!
Teaching writing is not for the faint-hearted. Assessing writing is even less so. For years, I have struggled in vain to find the perfect system — “objective” one-size-fits-all trait-based rubrics, rubrics I have created, rubrics my students have created. None ever seems to accurately measure what I see in a student’s writing. And while I […]