Category: Writing

Help Students Discover Their Writer’s Mindset

Chris Hall wasn’t satisfied with the way he taught revision in MS writing workshop. After much reflection he’s concluded that the best revision takes place in the mind of the writer during the writing process – not after it’s done. Six mindset ‘stances’ help students learn this skill.

7 Fun, Idea-Filled Posts about Teaching Poetry

National Poetry Month is here! If you’re once again rushing to pull together some poetry lessons – or perhaps feeling a bit guilty because you’ve put poetry aside in favor of more high-stakes ELA topics – take a look at these easy-to-use resources.

Enticing Students with New Writing Challenges

Although the writing challenges Writing Workshop co-developer Shelley Harwayne designs aim to be rigorous, she tries to make sure there’s an element of joy attached. “When assignments are enticing and engaging, it becomes rather easy for students to do what they’re asked.”

‘Draft Alongs’ Help Kids Grow Olympic Mindsets

Kelly Owens saw that polished texts didn’t model the struggles writers go through. “It was like showing kids an elite Olympian’s performance and asking them to replicate it.” With her ‘Draft Along’ activity, students now experience the wrinkly reality of the writing process.

Reclaiming the Power of Writer’s Notebooks

A writer’s notebook is a place to write down what you notice and don’t want to forget; a place to record your ideas and reactions to things. Most of all, it’s a place for students to take what they’ve learned in class and make it their own. It’s a place to live like a writer.

Teaching Kids When to Let Go of a Writing Idea

Writers often put unsatisfying drafts on the back burner, but our students seldom have the luxury of time, says literacy expert Lynne Dorfman. They need to take a piece through the complete writing process. Knowing when to let go and choose a new topic becomes a valuable skill.

Celebrate Poetry Month with 5 Fun Activities

Teaching poetry can give students a sense of connection, collaboration, and creativity as they express themselves and read the expressions of others. During National Poetry Month, teacher-author Marilyn Pryle shares fun activities from her classroom that touch on all three.

Freeing Students to Write What They Know

In an era of ‘writing to text’ and responding to prompts, students may not eagerly respond to our invitations to “write free!” ELA teacher and cartoonist David Lee Finkle uses an interest based mapping strategy to convince his writers they have something worth writing about.

Writing Workshop Ideas for the Middle Grades

Writing workshop can be an exciting part of the day for students in the middle, writes author and workshop expert Lynne Dorfman. Even when middle level schedules aren’t a great fit for extended workshop writing, teachers can nurture “writerly” attitudes with daily quickwrites.

10 Actions That Put Student Writers First

How do we put our young writers first? We seek to develop a mindset and actions that provide opportunity, dignity, and encouragement, says literacy expert Regie Routman. Then we carefully tailor feedback that celebrates strengths and boosts each and every writer’s confidence.