After a few more deep breaths and some reflection, I’m ready to think about what I hope sticks from this time period we are all so eager to put behind us.
Teaching grammar is my instructional nemesis. I’m sure I am not alone in feeling this way. For nearly twenty years now, I have worked at teaching grammar in the context of writing, without skill-and-drill worksheets, and every year I tweak my approach, often some variation of Harry Noden’s creative Image Grammar approach. But it’s still […]
I am proud that under normal circumstance I can choreograph a lot of “movement” into a single class period, but for this year, I am learning to embrace the fact that I cannot. I need smaller, simpler moves in a writing workshop that we can learn together and execute well. Otherwise, frustration will prevail.
For many teachers, this fall has been a time of mourning. We mourn for the teaching strategies we can’t use right now, for the trickles of conversation before and after class that we used to enjoy with our students, for our feelings of self-efficacy in our chosen profession. Most of us are facing challenges that […]
And these days, when my students’ physical proximity to each other and their teachers is more tightly controlled, I can still provide a space for physical proximity to their ideas: the ink and paper and smeary graphite, the texture of it all.
My greatest hope is that amid this newness, the “I-feel-like-a-first-year-teacher-again” of it all, we can all learn some things about teaching writing that we may never have otherwise explored.
In our writing classrooms, 2020 has been a year full of surprise. In Pennsylvania, we had a warm, nearly snowless winter and sudden, snappy late frosts in in the spring, so it’s been a year of surprises in the garden just outside my back door as well. Recently, I started taking some photos of striking […]
One key idea threads through my series this year about poetry as part of the writing process for other genres: poetry sharpens our diction. Frequent practice in reading and writing poetry tunes our eyes and ears to what works and does not work in our choice of words, the same way practicing guitar helps train […]
The good news is that words bind us together and can help us to create collaboratively with our students even as we all adjust to our new, socially distant ways.
Writing poetry is a rite of passage for many teens. Some discover it on their own, crafting lyrics or daily musings in dog-eared notebooks. Some discover it in English class when a teacher invites them to write beside the beautiful words of published poets. This year, when we returned from winter break to start 2020 […]