Author Archives: Sarah M. Zerwin

Focusing Class Discussion on What Students Want to Talk About #WorkshopWorksForAP

In a reading workshop, students often read their own books at their own pace, books that they choose themselves. While there is space for this kind of independent reading in AP Lit, whole class novels are also important. Discussion surrounding … Continue reading

Posted in #WorkshopWorksForAP, 21st century teaching and learning, AP Lit, blog series, cultivating real learning, engagement, literacy, reading, summer 2018 blog series, teaching literature, teaching reading, workshop teaching | Leave a comment

Inviting Students to Read Required Books in AP Lit #WorkshopWorksForAP

To the right is the grade distribution that describes how my students did last fall on the multiple choice exam over their summer reading books. What would you conclude if presented with that set of data from your students: did … Continue reading

Posted in #DisruptGrading, #WorkshopWorksForAP, AP Lit, blog series, gradebook, making change, motivating students, summer 2018 blog series, teaching literature, teaching reading, workshop teaching | 9 Comments

Heading to Houston for #NCTE18

We look forward to this conversation with you in November:

Posted in #DisruptGrading, #NCTE18, #StopGrading, gratitude, not grading, on the road again, presenting, teaching writing, workshop teaching | Leave a comment

The importance of writing with your students… #WorkshopWorksForAP

I’m teaching AP Lit for the first time in about fifteen years this year. And I’ve started doing something that I never did in those years before: I’m doing the timed writings I ask of them. When they sit down … Continue reading

Posted in #WorkshopWorksForAP, AP Lit, blog series, summer 2018 blog series, teaching writing, workshop teaching, writing with students | 3 Comments

#DisruptGrading

One reason I go to NCTE every year is to listen. There are people I try to see every year, just to hear what they are thinking about and working on. Just to hear what they think the rest of … Continue reading

Posted in #DisruptGrading, #NCTE17, #StopGrading, gradebook, grading, not grading, reflections, the system, things made of awesome | 2 Comments

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 | 2 Comments

“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 | 6 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 | 5 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┬ásilence, or a … Continue reading

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