Category Archives: teaching writing

“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

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

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

Step Eight: Build your classroom community of writers to #StopGrading

I am one teacher in a room of thirty (or more) writers. They need copious amounts of feedback to grow, more than it is humanly possible for me to provide for them. But yet, we teachers of writing often feel … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, balancing, blog series, fall 2016 blog series, feedback, grading, not grading, teaching writing, time, workshop teaching | Leave a comment

Step Six: Use conferences to focus on feedback instead of points to #StopGrading

When people find out I don’t put points or grades on individual pieces of writing, one of the first questions I get is what I do instead. I focus on feedback–as much as I can provide, and conferences are a key … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, blog series, conferring, fall 2016 blog series, gradebook, grading, not grading, teaching reading, teaching writing, workshop teaching | Leave a comment

Planning a Scaffold #UNHLit16

One Year One Unit One Class This is the planning framework that Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher used today to walk us through their thinking about how to make sure they increase the volume of their students’ reading and writing. It was … Continue reading

Posted in #UNHLit16, collaboration, engagement, literacy, making change, not grading, planning, professional development, reflections, teaching reading, teaching writing, time, workshop teaching | 8 Comments

A blog post about why there haven’t been blog posts

In my head I’ve started many blog posts over the last several weeks. There was this blog post idea: This article claims (based on research) that kids who use computers in school daily have lower test scores. But it doesn’t say … Continue reading

Posted in balancing, gratitude, muddling through, on the road again, presenting, teaching writing, technology, workshop teaching | 1 Comment

Student Feedback: How my students said my class helped them as writers

July. And I’m working. Who was it that said teachers take summers off? I’m perusing the data I collected at the end of the school year regarding my students’ feedback about my class. It’s great information. I think I finally … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, making change, reflections, student feedback, teaching writing, using data, writer's notebooks | 9 Comments