Results
Charting Mentor Texts

Using mentor texts is one of our favorite things to do with our students in writing workshop, because it pushes them to try things in their writing they wouldn’t have...

Drawing and Learning in Kindergarten

Max Brand demonstrates basic drawing strategies early in the year, and then has his kindergartners attempt similar pictures. He explains how the exercise builds basic skills both in literacy and...

No Pictures Stinks!

All of us teachers have recollections of cringe-worthy moments from the earlier years of our careers. Well, maybe one or two from later in our careers, too. We all painfully...

Talking Through Characters

Our sixth graders are getting ready to write realistic fiction stories, and one of the important parts of the process is getting to know their characters. In the past, I...

Student-Centered Notes

I wrote my first research paper when I was in eighth grade. I believe my assigned topic was the death penalty, and I think I probably felt passionately about whatever...

Key Elements of Short Stories

I teach a creative writing elective, and one of the most anticipated assignments of the class is to write a short story. Students get excited about the chance to make...

Growing Toward Stories

At a recent meeting with two teachers who teach combined kindergarten and first-grade Learning Language Disabilities (LLD) classrooms, they expressed concern about their recent training in writing workshop. There’s just...

Alternatives to Graphic Organizers

The first time it happened was on a balmy November day. The room was quiet except for the sound of fingers clicking on keys and a soft baroque instrumental melody...

Writer’s Notebook Tweaks

Have you ever noticed how even the things you love sometimes annoy you? Perfection is hard to come by, and small, niggling issues tend to pop up and overshadow our...

Student-Led Minilession: Planning and Organizing Nonfiction Writing

Katie leads a minilesson in Franki Sibberson’s fifth-grade class on organizing and planning nonfiction writing.

Digital and Disney: Conferring with Ben

It would be easy to zip quickly through a writing conference about a vacation story, especially one about a trip to Disney. Franki Sibberson doesn’t do that. She slows down...

Stretching Writing in First Grade with Details

Bitsy Parks makes the home-school connection with first grader Grace early in the year as she writes about her birthday party. Bitsy encourages Grace to stretch her writing with more...

A Fresh Take on Persuasive Writing

Can I persuade you to take a fresh look at teaching persuasive writing? This genre has become a pet peeve of mine. It is time to bring it up to...

Student-Led Minilesson: Annotating Reading with Sticky Notes

Reagan from Franki Sibberson’s fifth-grade classroom presents a minilesson on annotating reading with sticky notes.

Scaffolding Revision with a Mentor Text

“I’m finished,” Hayden says, waving his arm, clearly proud of his accomplishment. We smile and let Hayden and our other “finished” students place their writing in the basket before we...

Revising Literary Analysis Essays: Supporting Claims

Christy Rush-Levine uses an analogy about putting furniture together to present a minilesson to her eighth-grade students about revising their literary analysis essays.    

Revising Dialogue in Narrative Writing

The more I teach young writers, the more I can predict the challenges they’ll have within various genres. Although some children benefit and learn from mentor texts that are more...

Practical Revision Strategies

We started a recent conference with Kyra by asking a typical question: “What are you working on in your writing?” Kyra pointed to her memoir and responded, “I’m revising for...

5 Strategies for Engaging Boy Writers

I was ashamed. I have spent a good too many years since—too many, I think—being ashamed about what I write.                                                                                                         ...

Analyzing Voice: Conferring with Griffin

Gigi McAllister helps fourth grader Griffin reengage with his writing by pointing out some of the unique qualities of voice and style in his piece.    

Writing Partner Feedback in Fifth Grade

In this video, partner teams in Franki Sibberson’s fifth-grade class share their drafts and ask for specific feedback on their opinion writing pieces.