How do you make small talk with a stranger when your brother is dead and you can’t even talk to your sister in the same room? Read it
Hear what happened when I looked closely at poems with a handful of middle grade elementary teachers and facilitated a discussion about the use of dialogue in one.
What I learned from visiting consultant Matt Glover that completely changed my thinking about conferring in writing workshop.
Navigating early motherhood is hard. Doing it without your own mother—because she dies unexpectedly while you’re in the throes of it—is perhaps harder. In the wake of loss, middle-aged first-time mom Julie Patterson considers whether grief dramatically changed her children’s personalities, or if her children dramatically changed her grief.
I was everything in those stories that I thought I couldn’t be in real life: a sassy smart aleck with an uncanny ability to insult and/or shame all those who wronged me in any way. I also wrote letters to my mom (my frequent antagonist) and then tore them into tiny undetectable pieces and threw them away. I suppose it was always about the process of writing for me, about how I felt after writing, not about publishing my end products.
I am honored to be a contributor to a blog that I love, Sharing Our Notebooks curated by children’s author and teacher Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. I have given writing teachers a quick peek inside my notebooks in the past, but with Amy’s blog as inspiration, this time I am baring entries that fed the works closest to my heart.
Originally published in April 2015 and updated this month, teacher/consultant Mary Roderique and I offer five quick reminders and how-tos for conferring in writing workshop.
What do you do at the end of unit of study? Your students have spent weeks cultivating their texts through a complete unit of study…What do you do to reward their efforts and emulate “publishing” for an audience beyond the teacher?
With Katherine Bomer’s book HIDDEN GEMS in mind, I take a close look at a text by an upper grade student and offer my analysis of what’s going well, what I’d teach next.