(Sorry for the grainy sound today, folks!) Having students create documents that compile the writerly work in their notebooks has been a huge win! Students are able to share an often invisible process with their parents, they are able to share their reflections with me, and they are able to show themselves how far they […]
Two weeks ago, I wrote about one of the very most foundational elements of any writing workshop: student choice. I gave you some ways to wade in; I gave you some ways to try something new with choice if you’re already a veteran. And then I asked you for lingering questions and concerns, a record […]
The idea that “everything’s an argument” seems almost too obvious these days. After all, talk to almost any adolescent today and it’s clear how aware they are of the ways in which they are constantly being persuaded, whether it’s an editorial from the Wall Street Journal or The New York Times, the latest newscast from […]
We recently received this email from Angela in South Dakota: I am writing about a podcast interview that you did with Talks with Teachers. You had mentioned you did a unit on using text evidence, and it hit me at my heart as my students struggle with providing relevant evidence in their writing. I searched […]
Starting with blank space allows for more collaborative instruction throughout the year.
One of my favorites things about the end of the school year—aside from summer vacation, of course—is the opportunity to reflect on another year gone by. And as I look back on this particular year, I see many bumps in the road: lessons gone awry, students I didn’t quite reach, and material I didn’t get […]
The beauty of Jay’s Mentor Text Wednesday posts is that they give us an instant idea — something to take back into our classrooms immediately, something to tinker with and fit to our students’ needs, and something to expand the way we think about mentor texts and the possibilities for our students’ writing. It’s easy […]
Sticky notes and index cards can help overwhelmed writers take things bit by bit.
Sometimes, no matter how good our routine, we need to shake it up. This is true in exercise; our muscles and our minds need to be surprised occasionally with a new move in order to achieve maximum results. It’s also true in writing. And it’s true in teaching. Sometimes the very thing we need to […]
You know how the greats always make it look easy? This is the way I feel whenever I get to listen to Katie Ray or Tom Newkirk — they say something clear and simple and beautiful and even common sense, but it absolutely rocks my world. So it was when I read Dan Feigelson’s Reading […]