Results
Invitations vs. Accountability

My reading life is full of invitations. A friend recommends a book. I get invited into a book club. I see an announcement for the next #titletalk Twitter chat in...

Getting to the Heart of Theme

When I was in junior high way back in the day, the biggest and most important papers we had to write about the books we read all focused on one...

Writing Routines: Drafting Autonomy

This past year, I’ve taken time to evaluate my role in the writing workshop. One question I’ve asked myself is Am I interrupting students writing by continually conferring with them?...

Conference Records That Stay with Kids

As I waited for the transition to writing workshop, I looked around the kindergarten classroom. It was packed! Not only were class sizes large—34 five-year-olds had prepared their desks for...

Content and Context

For years, my tennis partner tried to get me to change the grip on my forehand volley. She’d rotate my hand, we’d hit a few, and then we’d move into...

Leads Minilesson

This fifth-grade minilesson from Franki Sibberson is a lovely mix of mentor texts, Franki's own writing, and honesty about the writing process.  

Improving Turn-and-Talks

The turn-and-talk strategy is often used during minilessons. During a turn-and-talk, the teacher poses a question or concept and then asks students to turn to another learner and talk about...

Independent Project Hiccups

Some teachers in our school have thrown in the towel on independent projects. Often our colleagues lament the many issues that come up when students are choosing their own genre...

Using Tech to Find Authentic Audiences for Student Writing

Stanford professor Andrea Lunsford organized a project in which she collected and analyzed almost 15,000 writing samples. They included formal (i.e., assignments, essays) and informal (i.e., emails, blog posts) examples....

Managing Independent Projects

If you had been able to walk around our classroom last Friday, you might have paused to see Sophie sketching a picture in a comic strip panel. As you glanced...

A Variety of Share Sessions

Sharing in writing workshop is a powerhouse for producing energy, excitement, and new learning to sustain writers. I’ve always pressed teachers to tap into a variety of share sessions to...

Backward Chaining

For the last few weeks, I’ve been working in a fifth-grade classroom throughout a research-based essay unit. My focus has been on a group of six students who were far...

The Writing Workout

I overuse it as an analogy, but it’s hard to ignore how often principles of fitness and teaching mirror each other. Recently, validation for my tendency came in the form...

Why We Like Independent Writing Projects

It’s Friday morning during writing workshop, and 21 writers are scurrying around our room, gathering their materials: writer’s notebooks, writing folders, special revision pens. Some students take out a Chromebook,...

Object Poetry Lesson in Second Grade

Linda Karamatic explores poetry with her second graders. She displays poems students have written and teaches them about fresh language using a poem about a pencil sharpener.      ...

Grammar Instruction in Fourth Grade

Melanie Meehan coaches a fourth-grade teacher who is trying to improve his grammar instruction.  

Choose Your Own Grammar Adventure

It is winter. You are an English teacher, and you are starting to notice that lazy grammar errors are sneaking into your high school students’ writing. You review a few...

Inspiring Students to Revise

If I had a dollar, maybe even a quarter, for every time I heard a young student tell me they’re done with their writing piece, I think I could retire....

How to Write a Sentence

It was years ago that I sat with a stack of writing folders in front of me and delighted in reading the sweet stories that my first graders had chosen...

An Editing Strategy for Run-On Sentences

Yesterday, we pulled up next to Teddy to confer about the memoir he was writing. Teddy struggles with expressing himself in writing. He typically uses simple sentence structure and has...

Writing Workshop Bingo

On a warm afternoon, with windows open and a refreshing breeze circulating through the room, Jared raised his hand in the middle of our minilesson on how to craft a...