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.
Good narrative writers don’t rely on punctuation to convey emotion. Good writers know that characters convey emotion. Their body language, their actions, and their speech reveal what they feel.
On the third anniversary of my mom’s death, I was visited by more than a dozen red cardinals […]
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.
Get a step-by-step tour of how you might teach a poetry unit. Sample mini-lessons, noticing charts, conferring videos, conferring notes and more are included. Also includes “Teacher Try-Its” to help you fill your own writer’s notebook with material that you can teach from!
Here are five notebook strategies that can support your poetry unit. They also fit or could be adapted to other units of study. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to teach the same notebook strategy in multiple units—that demonstrates how valuable the strategy is across genres, subject matter, audiences, purposes, etc.
To me, endings are all about the take-away. What do you want readers to know, feel, do, think or wonder about after they finish reading your story? You can’t write an ending until you decide that.
When I first read stories with students and ask them to identify the climax, they tend to point to a small amount of text, often two sentences or less. This is one of a handful of common phenomena that still baffles me — where did so many of us get the idea that climaxes are small?
More accurately, the climax is often the most important part of the story, and, consequently, it gets the most space.