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Documenting History, Documenting Our Learning

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 […]

How to Say Goodbye

When my youngest was still in elementary school, she began the countdown to summer vacation with so much eager anticipation that one would have thought she hated school. She didn’t. […]

School Isn’t Closed, and I’m Still Here

Last week, a teacher that I typically get to work with face to face reached out to me through email to let me know that I was still needed. “We’re […]

Making Extended Metaphors to Elevate Writing

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. […]

101 Ways Young Writers Might Publish for An Authentic Audience

I’m often asked what young writers can do to seek and connect with authentic audiences. Sure, writing for themselves, their friends, their family members, and their teachers might be rewarding, […]

A Few Quick Tips and Tools for Student-Led Writing Conferences

If you’ve been hanging out in the Building Better Writers Facebook group this month, then you know that I’ve been sharing daily posts intended to help teachers of all grade […]

Narrative as a Vehicle for Centering the Writer in the Workshop

Alignment matters. Defining the standards we expect students to meet, making them accessible to the kids we serve, and assessing and supporting progress toward them–this matters. Much. I’m not merely […]

Confronting Print Barriers in the Writing Workshop and Leveraging Loose Parts

There are many reasons and many ways to make writing in our classrooms and workshops. And there are many things that should give us pause here, too.  For instance, if […]

Writing Isn’t Print.

“I miss my house,” she told me. “I came here from Puerto Rico with my family, after the storm.” I nodded and laid my eyes on her build. “I never […]

Why I’m Going to Hustle Hard in this New Year

  I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my purpose lately. In September, my nest emptied. I miss my kids, but anyone who knows me well knows that I […]