A Conversation that Nudges Students out of Embarrassment

If you’ve ever taught a bunch of self-conscious middle schoolers, you know that adolescents are perpetually embarrassed about anything and everything. You also know that they don’t just “get over it” when they realize that embarrassment is an impediment to their learning. In that state of biological and emotional upheaval, the rational voice (even when it exists) is drowned in the fear of embarrassment. 

Fostering Environmental Storytelling: Making an Eco-Zine

The question—What kind of access to environmental news stories do we have?— is one that arouses concern in my classroom.  According to my high school students, unless you’re taking an AP Environmental Science class, chances are slim that climate change is being addressed, let alone mentioned.  This is troubling for students who are mindful of […]

Stigma in the Writing Workshop

On being asked if they would risk being stigmatized so that they move forward in their learning, the majority of the students said, “Yes, I would.” How many times in the last week/month had they taken such a risk? “Almost never,” they admitted. Even though students may be consciously aware that they must put their learning over their fear of stigma, very few are able to do it at the moment it matters. Isolation and ridicule are scary, especially during the teen years when the need to belong is paramount.  

Inquiry Lab: Teaching Students to Nudge Each Other Toward Deep Learning

Welcome to the Inquiry Lab! In this series, we’re thinking through how we can use the workshop model to teach inquiry work, in any subject (writing included, of course). For the last year or so, I’ve been rethinking the way we teach into group work and partner collaborations. To that end, here at Moving Writer’s, […]

Bios, Threads, & Retweets: Moving Writers with Twitter Simulations

We know that writing strategies are everywhere. And, I am amazed at the amount of writing skills and strategies that are embedded into social media platforms. Although the student writer may not actually notice the author’s craft and intention that goes into well-crafted tweets, they are there in abundance, and I realized recently that these […]