Writing for Authentic Audiences #3: Youth Writing Contests

A sense of audience—knowing that someone beyond the teacher will read what the students have written—is crucial to the success of writing workshop.  – Nancie Atwell, In the Middle  In her book, In the Middle: A Lifetime of Learning about Writing, Reading, and Adolescents, Nancie Atwell suggests seventeen ways student writers can go public. Number one on the […]

Getting Started with Reading-Writing Workshop

This year I’m experimenting with a workshop approach to reading and writing instruction. In my mind, this means three things: Student choice in what they read and what they write. Time for students to read and write in class. Authentic writing tasks—Students write for real audiences and purposes. Logistically, trying a workshop approach means I’ve had to make major shifts […]

Redesigning Learning Spaces for Twenty-First Century Students

It’s the year 2015, so why are we still talking about innovating for the twenty-first century? I mean, it’s been fifteen years already. Maybe it’s because we are still teaching in rooms built for the industrial model approach to education. Desks are still mostly in rows. The teacher mostly talks for way too long and usually […]