I used to be the proud mother of this beautiful beast: He crossed the rainbow bridge a few years ago, but I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately because I have some writers who remind me of him. Before you get offended on their behalf (She’s comparing children to a dog?!), I need to […]
Writing alongside our students is one of the most important instructional moves we can make – both for our students and for ourselves.
Before I leapt into writing workshop years ago, the biggest thing holding me back was my fear of writing conferences. I was so afraid that I wouldn’t know what to say or that I couldn’t help or that a student would bring me a problem I didn’t know how to solve. Years have passed. Now, […]
Conferring with writers has always been the hardest part of workshop teaching for me. When it goes well, a writing conference is where the energy is, where the lightbulb turns on, where the writing and the writer move forward. But it takes a lot of work to train writers to have a meaningful, energizing writing […]
Can you picture the student who has just said this in a writing conference? He smoothes the pages of his notebook to reveal countless scribbles and doodles that he has spent the past few days getting down. He has generated multiple ideas for his next writing project. He has done his homework. But he sits […]
Somewhere, in my busy week of Halloween, my daughter’s birthday, teaching and student led conferences, I found time to do some marking. As I marked, I tweeted a picture of one of my marking sheets, sharing a couple of the reasons that I still use an analog marking model. I don’t do the math in […]
“It doesn’t solve anything in an overly neat-and-tidy kind of way; rather, it honors the fact that sometime we are in a place where we are not okay.”
Last year, I began to notice a curious but recurring pattern — students’ final papers lacked many of the elements we noticed in the mentor texts. It was as though students had forgotten that we studied the mentor texts for days and days and made grand lists of noticings. It was as though they had […]
Hi, Elizabeth! First, thank you for asking this important question! We know how important it is to find ways to give meaningful and timely feedback to students. But we also know how limited our time is—there are only so many minutes in a day, in a class, during prep periods, after school, before school. Finding […]
Sometimes we need to scaffold the thinking that goes into writing more than we need to scaffold where a topic sentence goes in a paragraph. Mentor texts can help with that!