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writing workshop

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Yesterday was my work anniversary! One year ago, I accepted a position as an instructional designer at Daemen College. I’ve been designing a sociolinguistics course that I’ll be teaching remotely soon as well, and I get to teach advanced composition again! If you would have told me one year ago that my life would look anything like it does today, I wouldn’t have believed you. And I’m profoundly grateful for where I am right now.…

I’ve written about our gnome home and fairy tree before. And yesterday, I sent off the first of what I am certain will be many submissions to publishing houses that are accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Some of you told me I should write a picture book about the events that transpired around here last spring and summer, and so I did that. I have no idea how to do that well, but I did that. I…

Those of us who are privileged enough to publish books and engage a platform that grows a little (or by leaps and bounds) each year must take care to protect the commons. Those commons are filled with talented people who share not for profit, but because they know that when we share, we all grow better–together. Each time I publish I book, I make it a priority to elevate the voices of those teachers whose…

It was a rainy afternoon, long before anyone was really thinking about global pandemics and civil unrest. We were visiting my favorite art store, and I noticed this notebook on the clearance table. “That’s massive,” my husband John said. “What would you fill it with?” I didn’t know then. Now, I do. The first pages of this notebook document my work and what I learned from it during the last lesson studies I led in…

What’s Culture Got To Do With It? Before I share some of what I’m learning here, I need to make myself clear: When I use the word culture, I’m not referring to race alone. That very fact—the fact that I’m not speaking to race specifically–is problematic, too. I know. I knew it when I was drafting today’s post. I will write that piece separately, I thought. I will write that one next. Why? Well, because…

Last week, I started a conversation that I promised to continue throughout this month, one post at a time. It’s about privilege, power, and print inside of our writing workshops and classrooms. Where we’ve been, where we need to be going, and what I’m trying to do, in order to help people get there. My ideas are a small contribution. I know this. I have much more to learn and others have so much more…

When we embrace diversity, we strive to make the demographic of our schools and classrooms diverse. When we embrace inclusion, we ensure that diverse people are seated at the tables where learning is happening and decisions are being made. And when we embrace equity, we create environments and cultures where diverse people can show up authentically, as their complete, and wildly diverse selves, in order to be seen and appreciated, and in order to make…

Last week, I shared some thoughts about how we might speak with makers about the things they create in our writing workshops, in order to help them improve their writing. If you’re new to these parts, then you might be wondering: Why would anyone make anything other than words in workshop? Well, because quite a few of us who have been doing this teaching writing thing for quite some time now have found that when…

This week’s post is written especially for those who are making writing with their students and eager to elevate the quality of what writers build, before they help them transition to print. What do I mean by MAKING writing? Well, this is what I mean.  And why would we do this, anyway? I offer some brief thoughts on this here. —————————————————————————————————————————– If you’ve been experimenting with making inside of your own writing workshop or classroom,…

“Because she laughs so much, and when she laughs, it’s like music,” she explained when I asked her why she’d built a series of music notes to represent her grandmother. Fifth graders were developing characters for their personal narratives in that day’s writing workshop. “What kind of music?” I wondered aloud. “Gospel,” she said, without hesitation. “Her laughter is big and loud and rockin’. It makes everyone stop and listen. Yeah, it’s definitely gospel.” I…