I kept trying to get better at giving students more independent writing time and ensure I conferred with every student every day. Yet, my ELLs continued to struggle in both their language proficiency and productivity. They wrote the least number of pieces every year.
ESSENTIAL QUESTION: How do we provide students with the opportunities and space to write “sin miedo”? ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What does it mean to write without fear? Where does fear come from in the context of writing in the classroom? What kinds of classroom traumas create or worsen this fear? How do we help […]
A little context to preface this post… I teach high school English at an international school in Abu Dhabi (in the United Arab Emirates). The curriculum in grade 9 and 10 uses the Common Core Standards, and we offer both an IB and AP stream in the upper grades. This year I teach grade 10, […]
You might remember that this fall, on a whim, I jumped into a year long independent writing routine with my students. I did it because I know that students needed more time to pursue their own writing interests, because I know it will build students’ writing muscles, because I know some of my own teacher […]
I started a practice of nightly, independent writing with my students this year on a whim. (For the record, if you are ever going to start a giant, year-long project with students on a whim, do make sure that the idea came from Nancie Atwell. I think that makes a difference.) And so, since September, […]
I love a giant leap. A big swing. I want to tell you that I carefully research, weigh, and plan each and every instructional decision that rolls forth from my desk. But I don’t. More often than not, I don’t think all that much. I come up with a wild “What if?”, jump, and see […]
This past fall at NCTE, I think startled Colleen Cruz when I gasped and, like a true fangirl, exclaimed, “Ohmygosh! Independent Writing! I read it on the plane! That book is major. REALLY major.” She was completely lovely to me but probably surprised to hear me raving about one of her older titles. I picked […]