Author Archives: Sarah M. Zerwin

Best kept secret at NCTE17: poetry

Were you aware that for the last very many years, people who love writing poetry have been getting together Saturday night at NCTE to read poetry, workshop poetry, and talk about writing? Going to Fountain of the Muse was the … Continue reading

Posted in #NCTE17, #StopGrading, gradebook, gratitude, making change, not grading, presenting, things made of awesome | 1 Comment

“Don’t mess with the teachers, dude.” #NCTE17

Well we’re here. St. Louis. In the shadow of the arch. Surrounded by our people (that’s the best part). Like I’ve done for NCTE the last several years, I’m writing this evening to pull together what I thought about today … Continue reading

Posted in #NCTE17, presenting, professional development, teaching writing, things made of awesome, workshop teaching | 4 Comments

A moment of clarity that helped my AP Lit students see exactly why I don’t put grades on their writing

This will have to be quick. I need to get some other writing done. But there was a moment this week with my AP Lit students that really clarified why I don’t put grades or points on my students’ writing. … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, 21st century teaching and learning, assessment, feedback, grading, not grading, teaching reading, teaching writing | 5 Comments

A Workshop Teacher Takes On AP Lit

Whoever says teachers don’t work in the summer has no idea what they’re talking about. I’ve spent most of the last week at my computer in various locations working to wrap my head around my new prep for next year: … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, balancing, gradebook, making change, not grading, planning, teaching, teaching literature, workshop teaching | 4 Comments

Unpacking focused, engaged silence, and how not grading made space for it #StopGrading

A palpable silence descended in room 811. Three classes in a row the silence fell, at the same moment in my plan for that day. It wasn’t a silent reading silence, or a working on a writing task silence, or a … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, community, feedback, grading, motivating students, not grading, teaching writing, workshop teaching | 8 Comments

And the best way to take conference notes is…

I don’t actually know what the best way is to take notes on my reading and writing conferences with my students. But a new method (to me) has recently descended upon me that is working pretty well. It all came about … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, conferring, feedback, gradebook, teaching reading, teaching writing, Uncategorized, workshop teaching | Leave a comment

Some poetry, a broken bone, and gratitude that winter is over

I write this from my dining room table on the Monday of spring break. I can hear my husband typing away in the office. My daughter is working out an Adele song on the piano downstairs. I can hear rain–sorely … Continue reading

Posted in balancing, life and death, muddling through, poetry, reflections, time, writing with students | 4 Comments

Step Ten: #StopGrading and ask your students to evaluate their own learning

  I’ve had this post on my to-do list for months. To be honest, this is the piece of this whole process that I have the most questions about, so I just kept putting off writing it. I’m in a … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, 21st century teaching and learning, assessment, blog series, fall 2016 blog series, gradebook, grading, making change, not grading | 2 Comments

Ways to keep your students working without points (#StopGrading)

  In conversations with teachers about alternatives to traditional assessment, especially skeptical teachers, I often hear, “there’s no way my students will work without points.” I get it. I do. My journey to here has been lengthy. Paradigm shift does … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, blog series, fall 2016 blog series, gradebook, grading, motivating students, not grading, workshop teaching | 2 Comments

An Incomplete List–Writing with Students

At NCTE last week, the other Paper Graders and I discussed this blog space and what we want to do with it from here on out. One thing we thought we’d add is some of our own personal writing, the … Continue reading

Posted in #UNHLit16, cultivating real learning, life and death, mentor texts, teaching writing, writer's notebooks, writing, writing with students | 2 Comments