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.
Becca Burk guides us in using self-portraits as an assessment tool for early writers. Becca shares a rubric, self-portrait samples, and practical next steps for her kindergarten writers.
Stella Villalba noticed her students were so busy writing quickly, they were not paying attention to crafting language. A student, Gabriela, turns to a book and asks for help to make her writing sound like the book. Stella uses this moment to slow down the class and create space to be inspired to write in beautiful ways.
Julie Cox deconstructs craft moves—literally and figuratively—with her high school writers. If you are looking to move conversations about craft beyond “The author used a lot of good details,” then you’ll want to try Julie’s suggestions.
Do struggles with handwriting matter? They do when a student can’t even decipher his own words. Katherine Sokolowski confers with fifth grader Sauvi to help him find solutions to the problem.
Students often question how long a piece of writing needs to be. Gretchen Schroeder shares a strategy that changed the focus of writing projects from length to meaning.
Becca Burk reflects on creating a classroom where everyone wants to write. She offers timely advice for creating a community of writers.
Vivian Chen tackles the difficult topic of helping students become independent as writers. She offers tips for before, during, and after writing time to uplift student agency.
Melanie Meehan shares three tips on helping students be independent and productive writers. She also includes a hefty list of craft moves from mentor texts to use while teaching writers.
Ruth Metcalfe tapped a plethora of resources to help her first-grade writers understand how to communicate meaning with illustrations.
Melanie Meehan shares the immersion process of writing graphic novels with middle grade students. You won’t want to miss the incredible student writing that shows the power of offering choice to young writers.
Ruth Ayres shares three mindsets to help teachers prioritize connection over correction when teaching writers.
Jennifer Court shares the celebrations that propel students to engage in the Young Authors Program.
Heather Fisher shares a process to help teachers learn to admire student writers and find the beauty in their work.
Ruth Metcalfe suggests several layer of supports to uplift young writers as they begin to write their opinions.
Josie Stewart and Hannah Tills expand their view of opinion writing to taking a stance, and are reminded of the power of choice and honoring student passions and interests. At the same time, students are reminded that their voice is heard and their opinions matter.
Ruth Ayres shares the importance of giving students choice when planning their writing projects.
Stella Villalba questioned her choice for silent writing time when she began listening to students. In this thought-provoking article, Stella gives direction in how to meet the needs of all students—those who need time to talk and those who need a quiet writing space.
Kate Mills and Tara Barnett pour their hearts into teaching writers, but when Tara loses her family dog, she is reminded that writing is the thing that helps us understand what’s most important.
Julie Cox offers three questions to determine authentic audiences for high school students to share work.
Patty McGee pays attention to how students work as writers to find the teaching points for how to learn to work as writing partners.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share a process for empowering students to be teachers in partnerships and small-group instruction.
Cathy Mere outlines ways writers can position themselves to hear (and use) feedback.
What do you do when students won’t write during class? Gretchen Schroeder offers a creative, practical, and effective solution.
What to do with writers who catch errors in isolation but not in their own writing? Cathy Mere suggests three ways to help students self-correct their writing.
Gretchen Schroeder addresses the negative and positive perceptions of rural people with her high school students through readings, discussions, and analytical writing. Download a guide for Critical Rural Perspective Analysis to use with your students.
Becca Burk asserts that every child can become a writer when given materials, opportunity, and authentic glimpses into what it means to be a writer. Most importantly, though, children need adults who believe they are writers.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills show how to infuse poetic techniques into writing other genres.
Instructional coach Holly Wenning shares the importance of the workshop model, and especially work time, for high school students. See the transition from minilesson to work time in a 10th-grade English class.
Dana Murphy reminds us of the power of an anchor chart in a digital world.
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