“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 […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Sincerely Yours, The Breakfast Club

Mentor Text: The Breakfast Club’s letter from The Breakfast Club Techniques:  Self-expression Choosing Form Collaboration Background: This time around, I have something different for you. In our English department, we teach thematically. Each course has an overarching theme which connects the things we do. It’s a wonderful way to organize a course, and has paid numerous dividends over […]

Navigating Vulnerability Part 1: Content-Related Skills

Anyone who takes on a coaching role likely finds themselves navigating the deep waters of vulnerability several times a day. It’s tricky and oftentimes uncomfortable. Vulnerability can manifest itself in many different ways. We’re all learners, and we’re all human, after all. Some of us shrink back; others get defensive. Sometimes, as a coach, I’m […]

Workshop Process Non-Negotiable (Part 2): Revision & Determining Importance

Last month I wrote Part 1 of this topic. It focused on the “messiness” of the writing process. Actually, it focused on the necessity of it. For it is within the messiness that student engagement and ownership over their writing increases. This post is about what comes after that messiness…what to do with all of […]