Category Archives: teaching writing

Letting Go of Control for More Authentic Writer’s Notebooks

Today my students and I got started on writer’s notebooks. In the past I have given students a set of guidelines to tape into their writer’s notebooks, which is a perfectly normal thing to for a teacher to do, but I … Continue reading

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Going Gradeless and Getting Better Writing Conferences!

I had my first more formal writing conferences today with students under my new gradeless regime. (Read about it here, here, and here.) So they all wrote complete rough drafts. I gave them all feedback. I provided rubrics (just a … Continue reading

Posted in CCSS, education, first gradeless series 2013-2014, grading, literacy, making change, not grading, teaching writing | 1 Comment

Going gradeless: rubric ruminations

I’ve had several people ask me in the past week or so how the gradeless experiment is going. Since nothing was really that different yet from how things had been before, neither my students nor I have noticed anything new. … Continue reading

Posted in CCSS, first gradeless series 2013-2014, grading, making change, muddling through, not grading, teaching writing | 2 Comments

Going Gradeless

For the last couple of years, Mr. S and Mr. B have been moving away from grading writing in their classes and instead focusing on feedback and conferencing instead. It’s been a slow process–starting with simply taking the numbers off … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, assessment, CCSS, engagement, first gradeless series 2013-2014, grading, making change, not grading, teaching writing | 4 Comments

The answer is not to stop assigning papers…

I just ran across this in my Facebook feed: The End of the College Essay. It makes the argument that because college students hate writing papers and college teachers hate grading them, professors should simply stop assigning them (except for … Continue reading

Posted in teaching writing, writing | 3 Comments

Learning more, ‘teaching’ less.

Oooof. The end of the school year is never easy, for me, for the students, for the parents, for anyone. And this one has been particularly tough. I have had some things happen this semester which have been really challenging … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, collaboration, cultivating real learning, education, engagement, making change, teaching, teaching paradigm, teaching writing, writing | Leave a comment

Reflections on NCTE 2012, looking back from a dining room table in Iowa

Okay so I didn’t write yet for conference day three. I blame the Las Vegas strip. After the last session we attended Saturday, we headed out to explore the strip. That means that we walked from the MGM Grand all … Continue reading

Posted in engagement, Haiku, literacy, making change, professional development, teaching reading, teaching writing, things made of awesome | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Critical Mass presentation slides (NCTE 2012 E.45)

Critical Mass: A Department Works to Effect Change in Writing Instruction (click on the link above to see the slides)  

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Adventures in Parent/Teacher Conferences, Part 1 (of 3 we hope)

I’m tired. Parent/Teacher conferences do that to me. It seems like it takes a few days to recover. And my recovery days this time around were an all-day field trip the next day, an evening conference the day after that, … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, assessment, grading, teaching writing, technology, things made of awesome | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

More than a Number: Why Class Size Matters

For a while now, the good folks at NCTE have been fighting the good fight on class size for language arts teachers. This link goes to their policy statement on class size: More than a Number: Why Class Size Matters. … Continue reading

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