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 explains the way image, text, and sound work together to create meaningful writing. She helps us consider where the writing carries the most meaning, as well as how these modes work together.
In this second installment, Julie Johnson guides the process of creating multimodal fairy tales, as well as discusses producing the final product.
Julie Johnson outlines the groundwork for creating multimodal fairy tales in writing workshop.
Melanie Quinn uses her fourth graders love of drama to create a fun activity for learning how to integrate quotations into writing.
Gretchen Schroeder discusses grammar tools and the reasons students should use them as writers.
Jen Schwanke outlines ways to make substantial cuts to a draft in order to have confidence in the clarity of a message.
Gretchen Schroeder shares a summative assessment inspired by Song Exploder in which her high school students craft an argumentative essay defending a choice of a great song.
Nawal Qarooni Casiano is inspired by her yoga practice to provide a guided reflection to consider if workshop practices are progressing to a transfer of learning.
Melanie Meehan shows how pictures offer ways to expand access to students as writers by providing scaffolds and inspiration.
In her high school writing workshop, Julie Cox noticed that students wrote eagerly, but struggled to give and accept feedback. To increase student ownership and trust, she started Writers’ Club, and it affected transfer of learning in big ways!
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.
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