Writing Workshop Communication: Showing Classroom Visitors What to Look For

  I want to take the reigns of my classroom narrative by showing anyone who visits what successful learning looks like in my classroom and what they can do to positively interact with the learning that’s happening. Essentially, I am communicating my expectations for me, my students, and I am communicating my expectations for them as a […]

Writing Explorers: 4 Ideas for Approaching Writing as Discovery in Your Class Tomorrow

Have you read Donald Murray? In my career, I had read a lot about Donald Murray. Tons that was inspired by Donald Murray. Oodles that has flowed out of the legacy of Donald Murray, but I’m ashamed to say that until the last month, I had never read the man himself. Until Penny Kittle told […]

Writing Conference Road-Show (or Small Conferences with Big Payouts)

Writing conferences used to scare me. Big time. In fact, for me, it was the most-dreaded element of reading and writing workshop. How would I even start? What would I say if the student had a question I couldn’t easily answer? Would the other students really be working while I moved around the room discussing […]

Showing-Versus-Telling & The Walking Dead

The first twenty minutes of the pilot episode of The Walking Dead is virtually silent. I hadn’t remembered that when, out of desperation and end-of-October exhaustion, I agreed to show the episode to my ninth graders on Halloween. They begged. I was weak. In a lame effort to sound educational, I grasped wildly for one of our recent mini-lessons. […]