In August, I gave myself permission to leave walls blank to make way for instruction. Halfway through the school year, I’m checking back in on that work.
In our 9th grade Reading Writing Workshop, most writing studies are genre-based. Occasionally, we center our writing studies around a writing technique. But in my 12th grade IB English class, things are a little different. We still use a workshop approach to writing — we move through writing processes in different ways and at different […]
I love swimming in writing studies for weeks at a time with my students — immersing ourselves in mentor texts, gathering information, writing off the page, talking out our ideas, drafting, revising. But when the average writing study lasts 3-5 weeks, it’s hard to keep the momentum and excitement of seeing a piece through to […]
Mentor Texts: First few paragraphs of “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe Various photographs of your choice “After I Was Thrown Into the River and Before I Drown” by Dave Eggers Big Idea: Writers use syntax purposefully to create meaning and a desired effect. What’s ahead in this post: A 3-day lesson series […]
Today’s guest post is from our friend, Betsy Reid. Betsy is a colleague of Moving Writers founders Rebekah and Allison at Trinity Episcopal School, where she teaches AP Language and Composition and serves as the head of the department. For the past 20 years, she has taught all grades and levels in both public and private settings in Virginia […]
This fall, I’m teaching two classes. One starts with fiction and narrative writing, and the other launches with informational and persuasive texts. I committed to teaching each with a mentor text approach to analyzing our reading and crafting our own choice text. Within the first weeks, our narrative work was on a roll, but our […]
Teaching is often a balancing act. We’re constantly balancing, sometimes battling, the seemingly opposing forces of lesson planning vs. grading, eating the cake in the workroom vs. not eating the cake in the workroom, literature study vs. writing study. But why can’t we have our cake and eat it, too? And by cake, I mean writing. […]
Imagine you’re eating at your favorite go-to restaurant, that small table for two in the back corner by the window. You place an order for dinner without the menu. You have been here more times than you care to count. You don’t need a menu! Now imagine that the head chef at this restaurant has […]
When writers use what they learn from mentor texts to create tools that invite experimentation, they’re making writing with mentor texts.
Last week I participated in a Twitter chat hosted by @TalksWTeachers and this blog’s creators: @AllisonMarchett and @RebekahODell1. It was a fast-paced flurry of awesome ideas and thought-provoking questions, but one question in particular kept me thinking the next day. Allison posed the following question: What do you struggle to teach and how might mentor […]