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Where the Writing Carries Meaning

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...

Fairy Tales with a Multimodal Twist: Process and Product

The lights in the library dimmed. The room, filled with parents and other distinguished guests, quieted. Students wiggled in their seats, whispering excitedly as they waited. It was time for...

Fairy Tales with a Multimodal Twist: Laying the Groundwork

“We picked the name Prince Sparklepants because we wanted people to laugh.” The three girls giggled as they told me about the main character in their twisted fairy tale.   “Tell...

Conventions and Keeping It Real

Conventions. Ahh, the bane of a writing teacher’s existence. How many times have I looked at a student’s writing and seen lowercase letters starting sentences, names not capitalized, end punctuation...

Is Grammar-Check Cheating?

I was recently having a conversation with friends when, as part of a larger story, I mentioned that I had my students install Grammarly, a grammar checker extension, on their...

Editing to Consolidate

Writing teachers spend a lot of time helping students edit their work. Getting words down on paper is the easy part. Choosing which words to keep around? Entirely different, entirely...

Crafting Argumentative Essays

Ever since my dad recorded The Eagles’s Hotel California album onto a cassette tape along with my Sesame Street songs when I was a toddler, music has been a part...

Yoga Poses and Workshop Processes: Honor the Journey

It’s still dark outside when I descend the stairs, careful not to wake my sleeping children with sounds of creaky floorboards. When I arrive at the mat, I cross my...

How Pictures Can Engage and Inspire Writers

One time, I watched a second grader work on an information piece about a favorite farm in town. As she wrote about the buildings, she squeezed her eyes closed. “I...

Writers’ Club

One of the first things I loved about school as a child was the clubs. Not the clubs that teachers led, although those were fun, but the clubs my friends...

Online Writing Notebooks

I have been using writer’s notebooks in some form in my classroom for nearly 15 years. During this time, the notebooks have evolved in my quest to make them as...

COVID Silver Linings: Positive Changes in Teaching Practices

Whether you’re teaching remotely or in a socially distanced classroom (or some hybrid combination of the two), no doubt you have made substantial changes to your teaching practice this school...

Celebrating with Fan Fiction

When I first thought about introducing students to the idea of fan fiction, I wasn’t sure how it would go. I was afraid of copying. I was afraid of shallow...

What Are You Celebrating Today?

A Shift in Celebration Writers asked that the lights remain off as they worked in the presence of our twinkly string lights. Instrumental music danced through the air as pencils...

Tips for Creating Shared-Writing Texts Online

Let’s face it: When we work with emergent readers online, it is hard to get enough texts into their hands. Yes, we can use online texts from Rivet.com or other...

Class Books Build Readers, Writers, and Community

During morning arrival a student came up to me and shared that her family had gotten a new cat over the weekend. I responded with the excitement that a new...

Writing Joy: A Publishing Celebration

End-of-unit celebrations are a norm in a writing workshop, but as the year progresses, I find that I can make the publishing process be the celebration!  In my class I...

Four Notebook Pages to Scaffold Persuasive Writing

“I’ve got that issue, too!” Max exclaimed, and jotted dogs in the skate park on the next line on a page in his writing notebook.  “Those dogs are running all...

Developing a Scholarly Voice

Many students use a casual voice in formal writing. Christy Rush-Levine shares how to help student writers understand and develop a scholarly tone. Planning Resources Click here to download the...

Field Notes: 6 Ways to Respond Remotely to Build a Community of Writers

I’m joining Jen Vincent’s seventh-grade language arts class in a school outside of Chicago. Her students meet remotely, and I accepted Jen’s invitation to observe her writing workshop. Rarely will...

Choice Boards for Writing Workshop

One of the things we love the most about writing workshop is that it builds independence in students. When implemented as intended, writing workshop invites student writers to make choices...