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.
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.
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.
Melissa Styger shares an end-of-year letter writing celebration that allows students to reflect on the year and provides an invitation to next year’s students to be excited about the future.
Jen Vincent strengthens the authenticity of a share session in writing workshop by building and tending to relationships that honor a circle process that originated in Indigenous communities.
Bitsy Parks shares a Picture of the Week routine that builds real-life literacy skills, and documents and celebrates important moments throughout the school year.
Matt Renwick reflects on the importance of building students’ identities as readers and writers and the power of a daily status of the class. Download a template to put this routine in place in your own classroom.
Melanie Meehan makes a case for the power of pictures to provide a foothold and access point for students to enter the writing pathway. She shares an example of using images to engage in persuasive writing strategies.
Leigh Anne Eck shares a tool to help students develop their persuasive voices, build community, and expand their perspectives. Included is a download to put opinion journals to work in your classroom.
Melanie Meehan shares insights to emphasize the importance of responding to emergent writers and understanding the progression of young writers.
Inspired by a stranger on a walk, Jen Court clarifies the importance of sharing our writing lives with others. She identifies three important qualities of a writing community.
Julie Johnson shows how saying yes empowers students to do the work of writers: make decisions, experiment, build relationships, and be confident as a writer.
Matt Renwick gives five phrases every writer should put at the top of a draft, and then explores the way doing so can help develop creativity.
In this video, Austin reads his writing and shares his next steps by self-recording a video to upload to the Learning Management System.
Tammy Mulligan promotes independence in her student writers by supporting them in creating writing plans. A download of a planning template is included so your students can create writing plans, too.
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