Mentor Text Wednesdays: Let’s Rank The Things We Love

Mentor Texts: All 115 of Taylor Swift’s Songs, Ranked by Rob Sheffield School Days and Parisian Nightsuits: Every ‘Freaks and Geeks’ Episode, Ranked by Jennifer Wood Writing Techniques: Criticism Considering Appropriate Length Recognizing good writing Background:   One of this week’s mentor texts was a total must read for me based upon the subject material. […]

Punctuation Study: A 5-Day Writing Study to Set the Tone for the Year

This year, I am teaching two new grades in a new classroom in a new school with new colleagues and a new schedule. And with all that comes the delightful insecurity that comes with every new school year to some degree — the feeling that I’ve never taught anyone anything before, the fear that I […]

Organizing Instruction for Effective Feedback: Strategies for Teachers and Students

As any writing teacher knows, one of the hardest things about teaching writing is getting meaningful feedback to students. And in a writing workshop model where students are constantly writing, the task can be even more daunting. But as Kelly Gallagher has reminded us, our kids need to write much more than we can grade. […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Studying Structure & Genre Mixing with Nicola Yoon

Today’s Mentor Text Wednesday post comes from Amy Estersohn, a middle school English teacher in New York.  She blogs over at teachingtransition.wordpress.com and tweets @HMX_MSE. Mentor Text: “We don’t make princesses in those colours” by Nicola Yoon in The Guardian Writing Techniques: Structure Craft Genre mixing Background: The Guardian is one of my favorite online magazines for […]

Organizing to Communicate: Open the Door of Your Writing Workshop to School Families

I’ve just moved to a new city, and with a move comes lots of conversations with strangers, small talk with new people who I hope against hope might become new friends. Inevitably, that small talk turns to work, and when I tell those potential new friends that I teach high school, inevitably someone in the […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: The Poetry of Small Moments

Mentor Text: The Taco Boat by Al Ortolani Writing Techniques: Idea Generation Memoir Poetic Form Voice Background: In  Twitter edchats, I’ve been part of discussions about what should be part of a teacher’s Twitter feed. One of my go-to recommendations is always poetry. Following poets, literary magazines and other sites that focus on poetry. The […]