Group Work: Solving Problems and Raising the Level of Discussions

This series is called “Just Like Starting Over” because there are points throughout the semester (breaks, starting new units, abandoning disaster situations, etc.) in which we are given the opportunity to start over. In this series I’ll be asking a few important questions of myself, and in turn, of you, dear reader: what if you […]

Mini Conferences, Major Payoffs: Why You Should Confer About Low Stakes Writing

We are back with another buddy post! The more we talk about what building authentic relationships with our writers looks like in our classrooms, the more we realize we have similar strategies that work with our different populations.  This month we’re tackling low stakes writing and how we use it to create a culture of […]

“The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle” (and How to Help Your Writers Deliver it with Assessment Reviews)

I came across one of those well-intended but ultimately wrong-minded tweets today while scrolling through Twitter.  It offered advice for “ELA teachers” from someone who isn’t one. It suggested encouraging students to try out a new Microsoft Word feature that will basically auto-suggest (or replace, if I interpreted the gif correctly) segments of student writing […]

Conferencing Through Chaos…by Maybe Embracing the Chaos of Conferencing?

For those who’ve been following the ongoing adventures (exploits?  misadventures?) of my focus student, Troy, and me this year, be aware that I’m taking a blog off from that beat.  Troy and I are kind of in a holding pattern right now, and we’re also in between writing assignments as a whole class, so as […]

Writing Workshop Communication: Showing Classroom Visitors What to Look For

  I want to take the reigns of my classroom narrative by showing anyone who visits what successful learning looks like in my classroom and what they can do to positively interact with the learning that’s happening. Essentially, I am communicating my expectations for me, my students, and I am communicating my expectations for them as a […]