Everyone who writes for Choice Literacy loves teaching writing, because we all write ourselves. We know it is "hard fun," as Donald Murray famously said—exasperating and exhilarating at the same time. The writing workshops you will read about here and see in our videos are busy, noisy, vibrant places. And most days, we wouldn't want to be anywhere else than in the midst of 'em! Here is where you'll find our latest discoveries, insights, and occasional boneheaded mistakes in teaching writing.
Gretchen Schroeder makes the leap to digital notebooks and finds new life in a tried-and-true practice.
Dana Murphy outlines the teaching practices that she learned from remote teaching and plans to carry with her upon returning to a physical classroom.
Melanie Meehan shares how a short dip into fan fiction can be a wonderful way to inject some play and raise engagement in writing.
Melissa Quimby leans in and asks her students to define their celebrations as writers. Rather than always naming the celebration for students, Melissa helps students gain ownership of the writing process by learning to celebrate every stage.
Tammy Mulligan offers tips for creating shared-writing texts online.
Bitsy Parks shares the ways in which class books help students work as readers and writers, as well as build a community.
Bitsy Parks shares the celebration within the publishing process. Learn to find the joy in uplifting young writers’ approximations by sharing their works with a larger audience.
Ruth Ayres suggests four notebook pages to help students balance facts and emotions when writing persuasively.
Ruth Ayres observes a writing workshop that is remote. She reflects on the ways students offer feedback and how their community of writers is established.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills give a step-by-step guide for creating choice boards in writing workshop.
Kate Mills and Tara Barnett pinpoint common difficulties in sixth-grade memoir. They share teaching points and student writing samples before and after revision.
Tammy Mulligan finds shared writing is her go-to strategy for teaching young learners online.
Melanie Quinn reconsiders how she teaches spelling in her fourth-grade classroom, establishing a new whiteboard routine.
Teaching parts of speech is viewed as dreary work for most teachers. Melanie Meehan shares how you can infuse some fun into it with a little bit of humor.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find that book clubs succeed when students are given thoughtful tools to prepare for them.
Shari Frost explains why the simple act of “seeing” students can have such a potent effect in building a community of learners.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills give guidance and support for varying the structures and routines in literacy workshops.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills explain how they use examples from YA authors of how to mine everyday life for powerful ideas. They then help students move from ideas to blurbs as they start their realistic fiction drafts.
Stella Villalba teaches young writers about writer’s craft. So how come evidence of learning from the minilessons isn’t showing up when she confers with her students? She decides to develop a plan to help students link craft lessons with their writing.
Christy Rush-Levine shares the strategies she uses to help her middle school students take ownership of their literary analysis essays.
The zone of proximal development (or ZPD) is the sweet spot for learning—just enough challenge with just enough support to take on the challenge. Melanie Meehan shares how teachers can create scaffolds in their classrooms that help students find their own ZPDs.
Bitsy Parks leads a writing share early in the year, presenting three student examples of writing and highlighting different aspects of writer’s craft linked to minilessons.
Polysyndeton, asyndeton—if you are a writer and a word nerd, you will love Gretchen Schroeder’s suggestions for helping your students create lists with style in their writing.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share the power of teaching writer’s craft in bite-sized chunks, through careful study of mentor sentences in read alouds.
Tammy Mulligan contemplates the unique pleasure of finishing a piece of writing, as well as the challenges of helping students figure out what’s next.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills write about the challenge of creating meaningful print-based packages of materials for students who don’t have internet access for remote learning.
Journals? Writers’ Notebooks? Shari Frost shares tips and strategies for explaining the difference between the two for teachers, as well as professional development resources.
Jennifer Allen upends the normal routines in a primary writing workshop to introduce students to a compelling character.
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