Hand Writing

Writing about someone’s hands is a great way to describe a person or a character without making it sound like a list. When I introduce hand writing to students, I show samples of pieces I have written and also pieces from other students. We take time to talk about what sticks with us about the writing. Sometimes I will show a sample of hand writing that sounds listy or boring so they can talk about what the writer could do to make the writing interesting. I tell students that they will have a chance to write about hands in their writer’s notebooks. When the kids head back to their seats to have a go at hand writing, I ask them to think of a person that they care about and tell what their hands look like. I encourage them to write about what the person did with their hands and how it felt to hold their hand. Here is my latest hand writing.

I hadn’t held her hand in a long time. I imagined it would feel a lot like mine. My daughter, Sam, didn’t wear rings much or paint her nails much. Her nails were barely visible, chewed down so far that sometimes they bled. Wherever she went, she left little piles of skin behind that she had gnawed and peeled from her nail beds. I figured that was why she could text so fast. She didn’t have any fingernails to get in the way. I held Sam's hand a lot when she was small. I remember gripping her hand so she wouldn’t run away from me. My daughter was a hard child to keep nearby. She ran away at Food Town. She ran away at the mall. She ran down the sidewalk. One time during a garage sale, she ran right down our driveway and into the road. I got ahold of her hand just as the car brakes squealed. I cried hysterically as I dragged her back up that driveway. I think my screams scared her more than the car. I always knew when Sam was going to run. She’d laugh crazy and her eyes would get all wild and dark. I’d like to hold her hand again without her pulling away. Maybe when she gets older. Maybe when she has a little runner of her own.

Here's the Run Down

I saw the idea for this post while reading nurturing curiosity and I thought I would give it a try.

Today: February 25, 2011

Weather: 30 degrees with blowing snow, just enough to cause schools to close.

Brewing: In the morning, freshly ground coffee with cinnamon. Later in the day, hot green tea with a clove.

Reading: Emails, newspaper, and What the Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause by J. R. Lee.

Wondering: Will the snow plow make it down my street today? If the snow plow makes it down my street, does that mean I have to go to the gym? Do I really want the snow plow to make it down my street?

Hearing: A pair of cardinals and several house finches fussing at the bird feeder by the window. Cat purring in my lap.

Noticing: It's almost 10:30 and I'm still in my pajamas.

Thankful for: Time to do nothing, and not feel guilty about it.

The Best Laid Plans

Having a map helps me when I don’t know where I’m going. Last week I created a weekly blogging plan to help me map out a week’s worth of writing that I want to post on my blog. I wanted to participate in the March Challenge from 2 Writing Teachers but posting everyday felt overwhelming. I thought a plan would help with that panicky feeling that comes over me when I don’t know what to write about. I found the plan helpful even though I veered from it frequently. My plan for next week includes an idea I got from nurturing curiosity that rocks. Check it out.

Sentence Smack Down Becomes Sentence Tape Down

Maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought. A few days ago I blogged about a Sentence Smack Down lesson that I attempted in a third grade classroom. It didn't go so well. I finally got a chance to meet with the kids today.  Between President's Day and ice storms, I haven't been able to follow up with the kids or the teacher. Very frustrating. My goal when I met with the kids was to get their impressions of the lesson, find out what they learned, and also model for the teacher that it isn't a waste of time to collect this kind of data while teaching. In a way, our debriefing was a formative assessment that my co-teacher and I could use to continue to plan our next instructional steps. I gathered the kids to the carpet and asked them what they thought of the lesson. When I asked what they learned about subjects and verbs, some that could tell that a subject was the who or what and the verb told what they did. Some students loved the music and others didn't. I took a few notes and we moved on to a quick lesson about breaking down mentor sentences into 2-word sentences.

Seven Chapters

As March 1st gets nearer, I'm growing slightly concerned about being able to come up with an idea for a slice everyday.  When I was reading Michelle’s post about Choice Literacy, I went back to check out the site a bit before I went to bed. The first time I learned about Choice Literacy was after attending a literacy coach training a few years ago in Columbus Ohio, led by Jennifer Allen. She had us write about our life in 7 stories. She also said we could think about our lives as a book with 7 chapters. After listed the titles of our 7 chapters or our 7 stories, we had to pick one and just write. I’ve done this activity more than once and each time I've had different chapter titles.  I thought I would begin again today and list 7 stories and use them as fuel for the coming month.
1.    Ballet shoes
2.    Mulberries
3.    Oops, I thought I was talking to Jennifer!
4.    Mom’s piano
5.    Ali McGraw Hair
6.    Mustache
7.    The Crabapple Tree

Ice Storm

 I first noticed the sound of the ice the night before. My daughter and I were making a last minute run to Kroger’s. I was surprised at how loud it was. I could hear the trees creak and clap over the sound of the car’s engine as it warmed. Stronger winds made the claps louder. Spooky in the dark. The sound was back the next day. The cold overnight temperatures had kept the ice glued in place. In the morning sun, the trees appeared like they had LED lights in the tip branches. And the sound. Each tree clacked and squeaked with the breeze. I found myself turning quickly with each breeze, trying to figure out which tree was making the different clacks. It was like standing in the middle of a bunch of randomly playing percussion instruments.

No Laughing Matter

It hit all at once. I could tell because I had been staring at him. The medication they had injected into his IV wiped over Mitch and he began cracking up uncontrollably. His face was red from trying to hold it back. It was a weird contrast to the baby crying in the background. It was surreal watching him all out of control with his eyes glazed over. I think I would have laughed if it had been my husband, but seeing my almost 14 year old son wasted felt odd. I looked at my husband and he wasn’t laughing either. The nurse anesthetist came in grinning and said, “If he ever comes home acting like this, you’ll know what he’s been up to.”
I laughed lightly out of courtesy but I still felt very strange seeing my son like that. He was enjoying himself way too much for someone who was about to have catheters stuck into veins in each groin.

Smack Down Hysteria

I could tell by their feverish faces that I had crossed the line. You know the one. The line where a lesson somehow moves from excitement to near hysteria. I've been experimenting with some of Jeff Anderson's lessons lately, and the AAAWWUUBBIS lesson using Jamie Lee Curtis' book, When I Was Little, rocked. The kids loved it and wrote up a storm. So I figured, why not try Sentence Smack Down. The lesson wasn't the problem. Anderson's lesson is awesome. I just screwed up. I read over the lesson countless times and carefully planned modifications that seemed to make sense for 3rd graders. It bombed. The classroom teacher was very kind and didn't give me the you're-the-coach-you're-supposed-to-know-what-you're-doing look. But now I've got to repair the semi-disaster I created and help the kids and the teacher make sense of it.

 I'm thinking I will gather them up and just tell them what I thought of the lesson and ask them what they thought and what they learned. From there I want to read them Satchel Paige Don't Look Back by David A. Adler. I got the idea by visiting Book Savors. There is one page in the book that has 2-word sentences that are perfect for teaching how a sentence contains a subject and a verb. We can also talk about how the author used those short sentences to slow down an exciting moment. The book also has lots of mentor sentences to teach AAAWWUBBIS, commas in a list, and dashes.

Conferring is the Main Course

Conferring during writer's workshop is like the main course of a delicious meal. Mini-lessons are more like appetizers. Simple appetizers that aren't too filling are the best. Sharing time functions like the dessert we shouldn't skip. And who is to say that you can't have dessert first or have some meals that consist of little else but appetizers or desserts. But over the course of a week, you need a balance.

Lately, I've had several teachers want help with conferring. The first thing I like to do, is look at their instructional schedule. A teacher can't confer if she has not blocked out time daily to devote to workshop. In elementary school, teachers that teach multiple content areas often have a lot of power over what their daily schedule looks like. Examining a teacher's daily schedule is a clear window into what she deems important. As I confer with a teacher about her schedule, I can tell if she most likely feels responsible for the growth of all of her students and whether or not she tends to teach with a sense of urgency. 

When teachers come to me wanting help with conferring, usually it is in regard to things like, "I don't know what to say," or "I can't get to all the kids," or "The kids aren't writing while I'm conferring." In order for me to help the teacher, we have to go back to the basics. It starts with time. We can't get to the main course of the meal without first making a reservation at the restaurant.  

Purpose for Writing

I needed a plan. Two weeks ago, I made a commitment to myself that I would write daily. Originally, my purpose in creating the blog was to live a writerly life so I could model that for my students. I wanted to use what I learned about my own writing process to help kids see the writer inside of themselves. But I knew I wanted more. Writing and publishing daily is a big challenge. If I was going to achieve my goal, I needed a plan for my writing. I wanted to be able to practice crafting snapshots, thoughshots, explode-a-moments, informational pieces, and poetry.  I also wanted to connect with other teachers and show how their blog posts or comments spurred ideas for my writing and teaching. Then I thought  about my students and what they teach me everyday. Sometimes their stories were so compelling that they begged to be written about. In other words, my ideas were all over the place. I still kept a small writer's notebook next to the computer. And I liked that I had a record of my stream of thought. But what I needed was a flexible system that worked for me.

So today, this is what I came up with. I created a planning sheet that I can use as my road map for a week's worth of writing. My plan for next week is just a plan. It can be followed, revised, or abandoned. The page numbers in the plan refer to pages in my writer's notebook. Wish me luck!

On Knowing Failure

I flunked out of college my freshman year. And when it happened, I wasn't surprised. I excelled at skipping class, getting to know the local bartenders, and generally avoiding all responsibility other than maintaining my part-time job waiting on tables. I failed myself. Luckily, I had a great step-mom who took me aside and said, "This isn't you. You aren't a failure. You need to get your crap together." And with those words, I began to turn myself around. I crawled out of a deep academic hole and managed to find a major that motivated me. I even won an award for my student teaching.

I had to deal with academic failure again in graduate school. And that experience obliterated my self-esteem. I think there were 12 people in my program. I remember the faculty brought all the grad students in for an initial meeting before the semester officially began. We were all sitting together in a classroom. I could say we were bubbling with excitement but that would be a lie. In truth we were sizing each other up. My graduate program was very competitive and we were all well aware that every year, at least one person in the program didn't make it past the first semester and at least one more person failed their comprehensive exams. These statistics were often recited as a point of pride by the chair of the department.

The year I did my master's, I wasn't the one who didn't make it through the first semester. I remember that student because she had come all the way from Boston. I was the one who failed one of the comprehensive exams. All the grad students had mailboxes and if you failed your exam, you didn't get a letter stating your results in your box. I didn't get a letter in my box. All my fellow students were also aware that I didn't get a letter in my box. In fact, most of them knew I had failed before I did. I understood what I had to do next because the department chair had discussed in detail the procedures to follow in case we failed our exams. 

"I can't write because I don't have a pencil."

It's that time of year. It's time to revisit, revise, or maybe even reinvent your writing workshop procedures. I actually love this time of year. I like getting back into the meat of workshop. Right now, I'm feeling a bit annoyed with elaborate units of study. Especially when it feels like the teacher, myself included, is talking a lot and the kids are writing too little. 

In one classroom I'm working in, the teacher and the kids redesigned the writing center. New paper, pencils, sticky notes, and stapler. The students, along with their teacher, decided how it should be set up, maintained, and how abusers would be dealt with. The kids love it and it has increased their independence.

 Procedures for using items, especially the stapler need to be modeled and practiced over and over. And then there is the pencil issue. Do yourself and the kids a favor and establish how to sharpen, when to sharpen, and what to do if a writer doesn't have a pencil. Take the time to figure out procedures you can live with. Accept that you will have to revisit and practice procedures numerous times. That is just the way it is. Without practical routines, workshop doesn't work.

A writing center doesn't need to be fancy, nor the items in it. But it is a critical element in creating a writing workshop that focuses on the work of writing. Having a writing center, even a small one, communicates how a teacher regards the work of writing. And keep it simple. A writing center should be a tool to help students build agency not a chaotic mess that requires the teacher to leave a conference and shoo kids back to their seats. Writers want and like tools. I like my tools. I have my preferences and so do kids.

Catching Idea Waves

A few days ago I was puzzling over how to model for kids that writing ideas can come from anywhere. It is easy to tell kids this but I really wanted to show them how this happens. When I am working with young writers who are stuck, I wonder if it is because they quickly dismiss their own noticings or random thoughts. I'm not sure they realize that those little noticings are ideas.  Some young writers seem to think that writing ideas are something you "get" just like when they "get to be first in line." I've seen the frustrated looks on kids' faces when someone next to them "gets" an idea. It is almost as if they are thinking, "They got their idea. When am I going to get mine?" So, I've started wearing a very small writer's notebook. I hooked it to my lanyard with my school staff badge. As I am teaching or working with kids, if I have an idea, I stop and quickly jot it in my little notebook. I tried it yesterday and several kids asked about it. It has been fun to see how kids react. Seeing the reactions of other teachers is also entertaining. We'll see how it goes today.

An Uncommon Bond

I always knew this would happen eventually. I farted in front of my students. The afternoon started like most others. My first grade intervention group tumbled in the door, seated themselves, and got right down to the business of re-reading their familiar books. As the trio was busily whisper reading, it happened.

"Awwwwww, somebody is tootin," shrieked Tashawn. He pinched his nose and flapped his hand in front of his face.


Tashawn looked straight at me. I could tell by the grin on his face he knew the truth. I had to come up with a quick defense. "It must have been you Tashawn, " I said quietly.

Tashawn's eyes grew large. "Huh uh, not me! It wasn't me. Not this time."

His eyes narrowed and he pointed an accusing finger in my direction. "It was YOU, Mrs. Martin. I HEARD you. "

My attempt to pin my mishap on Tashawn had failed miserably. By now, my colleague with whom I share the tiny room, was sputtering all over her computer like a lawn sprinkler and Tashawn was howling.The amazing thing is, the other two students continued to whisper read like nothing happened. As Tashawn continued to laugh and tease, the girl in the group, Shaylynn, tried to come to my rescue.

"That's not funny Tashawn! You fart all the time."

And Shaylynn was correct. Usually it was Tashawn. In fact, I have him doing it on tape. I was making a video of the group to use for a PLC and Tashawn leaned over on his right cheek and passed wind, not once, but twice.

I was thinking how sweet is was that Shaylynn had defended my honor. I tried to be serious and mature but then I just let go and started laughing. Eduardo stopped reading and said, "You fart Mrs. Martin?"

"Yup, Eduardo, I farted. Have you ever farted in front of anyone?"

Then came the barrage of stories. Sometimes I couldn't tell if the kids were embarrassed or proud. But there was no doubt about it. My gas had bonded us together forever. Eduardo greeted me with "You fart, Mrs. Martin?" for several days after it happened. My reply was always, "Yes, Eduardo, yes I do." Then he would smile and say, "Me too."

"Mom! Hurry up! I'm gonna be late for football workshop!"

I don't know squat about coaching sports but I'm convinced that good coaches use the workshop model. They gather the players and do whole-class lessons, break up into groups, and also confer 1:1. At the end of a practice, the players are gathered up again for a re-teach. My son has had many coaches and the ones he respects and learns the most from do a lot of conferring and modeling. When he complains about a coach, it is usually because he doesn't understand what is expected of him. Yes, he would like to win but a lot of his motivation during football or basketball season has to do with his relationship with the coach. He wants to learn, feel like he is improving his skills, and contribute to the team. One of my son's coaches this year never conferred with the players during games. He rubbed his eyes while he watched the kids struggle. Mid-season, I began to wonder if this coach had deep knowledge of the sport he was coaching. In practice, they ran drills and practiced plays but the coach didn't seem very responsive to what his players were doing. It was like he was unable to see how to use the strengths of the players on the team to design instruction or create plays based on those strengths. Like I said, I don't know squat about coaching sports but I can usually recognize effective instruction when I see it.

I've seen a similiar workshop teaching structure used by my daughter's best dance teachers. My daughter thought I was watching her, but I was really watching the teacher.  One dance teacher I found fascinating to watch could take a large group of students with a wide range of skills and by the end of the year, all students in the class would make significant gains. I watched this teacher create this success year after year. What was this dance teacher doing that other dance teachers were not?

Writing the Waves

"I don't know what to write."

"I don't have any ideas."

"I'm done. What do I do now?"

Anyone who has traveled the instructional journey with children and writer's workshop has heard these famous lines. As a writer, I have felt the same struggle of trying to fill a blank white page. Thinking that I have an idea is just the beginning. Sometimes my writing starts out all over the place until I figure out the point I'm trying to make or the story I want to tell. 
Most of the time, my writing ideas come in waves or rapidly in clumps and then there is a lull. Sometimes my ideas stack like dinner plates, like when I'm in a hurry to unload the dishwasher.  My ideas tend to flow in phrases or sentences or movie-like scenes. I lose so many ideas because I don't write them down. I swear some of my most appealing ideas come in the shower or the middle of the night.

Kids give me ideas all the time. I let them know that they spurred an idea in my brain but I am not consistent in writing it down. Sculpting an idea into a piece of writing requires great stamina and trust and drive. The same is true for children. So how do we model a writer's internal drive?  How do we model for kids that ideas can come in waves? How do we show them the power of being in the moment with their ideas and writing them down instead of losing them? I think it can be done.


I need deadlines. Deadlines help me create a structure for my day, week, or month. When I think about it, many of my deadlines are self-imposed, even arbitrary. I also have deadlines imposed upon me by the district I work for, local, state, and federal government, my kids, and my husband. I try to write all my deadlines in a calendar. I also make to-do lists. Deadlines give me a sense of control except for when I start missing deadlines. And I've missed plenty of them. I've also created lots of to-do lists that never got done. I don't like missing deadlines but I tend not to beat myself over the head because of it.

My goal to compose and publish a post daily is self-imposed. I created a deadline for my writing.  Although it might seem ambitious, I'm already feeling the benefits of this endeavor. My understanding of my own writing process is deepening with every post. And if I am going to impose deadlines on my students, I need to feel what it is like. I have no idea if daily posting on a blog will positively impact my teaching. But what if it does. What if I figure out how to use what I am learning about myself as a writer to help children light their own writing candle. Sound too lofty? Maybe, but I think it is worth a try.

Cuddl Duds and Corduroy

I don't even want to go outside. Yesterday we started at 6 degrees below zero. Today is better. We are up to zero. Last night, I layed out my clothes, knowing the weather forecast. I chose my clothes based on my growing background knowledge of the school that I am working in. This is my first year in my current school. I thought about the cold hallways and my bus duty. But I also know that the class I will be modeling a Sentence Smack Down lesson in will be warm. We will definitely be moving around. Plus, I will be on the floor conferring with students during both reading and writing workshop. The best solution is to dress in layers. On top, I will start with Cuddl Duds, then a cotton long sleeve T, then a fleece top I can whip off if I need to. On bottom, corduroys with plenty of stretch. I always wear sensible shoes, no heals. I need to be able to truck quickly down the long hallways. Heavy socks but not too heavy or my feet will sweat. Then of course, a warm coat and boots for bus duty. I truly hate bus duty, but that is a different post.

I think effective coaching is a lot like dressing in layers. Every time I start in a new building, it is exhausting. Getting to know all the unspoken rules and rule makers is necessary. It is February and I'm still trying to remember the names of the teachers and where their classrooms are located in a 2-building campus with 1200 students. An effective coach needs to be able to quickly respond and peel off or add a few layers in order to begin to meet the needs of a particular school and its students.  Who I was last year, is not who I am this year. As a coach, I need to be okay with reinventing myself annually. Besides, it gives me a great excuse to buy new clothes.

Charlie's Writing Process

By the time I left one of my teacher's classrooms yesterday, I felt like I had been beaten over the head with a broom. This teacher has a student in her class that challenged every part of my brain, body, and heart. After 30 plus minutes of attempting every teaching trick I could summon, Charlie and I actually connected. It was a wonderful exhausting moment. He went from refusing to write and complaining and running around the room and re-arranging the attendance chart and sharpening pencils and stapling thick stacks of paper and following the teacher around and  whining about wanting his snack, to creating a book about a kid who went around screaming, "I WANT MY SNACK!" I was truly grateful to have stumbled into a topic that lit his writing candle. Seriously. I'm not kidding. I think the teacher could hear my sigh of relief from across the room.

 Today I want to show Charlie some Mo Willem's books to use as mentor texts. I have no idea if we will connect again today. I have no idea if he will want to write. I have no idea how he will respond to anything. I can't get this kid out of my mind. I like Charlie. He is funny as all get out. But, WOW! I wonder what will happen today.

My New Writer's Notebook

I have several writer's notebooks. Mine are pretty messy with lots of papers sticking out. They are all different sizes and colors. Some only have a few entries and others are filled. When I started my blog last week, I noticed I also began writing in a new writer's notebook. It started out as random thoughts scribbled on recycled printer paper. A couple days later, I realized I needed to keep a more formal system of notes to use as I composed posts and commented on the posts of others. It was a great excuse to use one of my many blank notebooks. I have lots of them. I seem to buy them around August, right before school starts. Who doesn't love Staples in August? My breathing quickens when I think about the rows of notebooks and binders and dividers and pencils and, and, and . . . admit it; you know what I'm talking about.  Dollar stores can be exciting too. Lately, I've been attracted to tiny notebooks with colorful covers. I like the ones with the wire binding so they stay flat on a table. I also like pencils. I'm not a fan of writing with pens. I like retractable pencils with good erasers. Purple is my favorite. So next to my computer, I have a purple pencil and a my new tiny writer's notebook, purple of course.


As I was reading with a small group of second graders, one of the little girls, Savannah, touched my hand and said, "You have vines just like my grandma."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Yunno, vines, those bulgy things on your hands. I have vines but you can't really see'em that good."

By now I was chuckling. The other two girls entered the discussion. One was very curious why I had vines. I explained that the vines are actually called veins and that we all have veins, but that my skin was older and thinner and that's why they could see them.

As I was listening to the three second grade girls discuss vines and hands and grandmas, I kept thinking about my mom's hands and my grandma's hands. A few years ago, I wrote a poem for my mom about our hands.

Blogging and Reading Process

Jumping into blogging has required me to do plenty of reading and re-reading. It has been a struggle for me to understand directions when I don't understand all the blogging vocabulary.

The syntax of bloggerease is also a challenge. Lots of acronyms and unfamiliar verbs. Figuring out what the acronyms stand for isn't always helpful. I am working to apply all of my reading strategies but sometimes I am unsuccessful.  I'm guessing struggling readers probably feel the same way. The only reason I'm sticking with it and pushing myself to comprehend is because I want to understand blogging. No one told me I had to. I chose to. Sort of like giving kids a choice about what they want to read and write.

I have many questions about the blogging process but I'm not sure who to really ask. If I spend time talking with seasoned bloggers, it might help. And just like the kids, I'm fine with pretending that I understand, at least for now. I figure as I add to my understanding bit by bit, my pretending will decrease. Is that what struggling readers do? Do they hope that everything will just come together for them like the kid that sits next to them in class devouring book after book. I'm curious about what my running records would look like as I read Blogger's help menus. I wonder if I am over-relying on a particular reading strategy.

My blog represents what I understand about blogging today. But honestly, I have gadgets on my blog that I don't fully comprehend the function for. I need to talk to bloggers that are willing and able to translate bloggerease into english.  And the whole trying to have a conversation with someone you aren't face-to-face with thing is time consuming.

It probably sounds like I am complaining and maybe I am. I have a lot to learn. Blogging has been successful at bringing my awareness of my own reading process to new levels. In a very short time, blogging has given me new insights into what it is like for children who struggle to read and write.

Using Mentor Texts

Recently, a third grade class I am working in, used the picture book, When I Was Little by Jamie Lee Curtis as a mentor text. I got the idea from Jeff Anderson's book, Mechanically Inclined. I picked this lesson because I wanted the most struggling students to feel instant success. I wanted to elevate their position in the classroom as a capable if not skilled writer. This lesson works equally well in upper grades. I've also used it with adult learners as part of professional development. Jeff Anderson's books are chock full of excellent lessons and thinking and humor.

I would like to figure out a way to allow visitors to One Literacy Coach to see the details of lessons other than putting them in a lengthy post. I don't really like reading long posts. Any ideas?

Update: I think I figured it out! I plan on posting a lesson of the week then archiving weekly. We'll see how it goes.

Setting Goals

Yesterday I was reading from Writing Essentials by Regie Routman.  On page 267, she talks about her experiences with The National Writing Project's summer institute and how she learned to trust herself as a writer. In our district, writing workshop is the district recommended model for writing instruction. Unfortunately, we still have subgroups of children, boys in particular, who are not achieving at high levels.

Right now I have the joy of working in a 3rd grade classroom a few days a week during writing workshop. The boys love to write as much as the girls. And they too, like Regie Routman, are learning to trust themselves as writers. The teacher created a safe writing community.  I'm not sure if this group of boys will score any higher on state tests. I'm getting to the point, where I'm not sure I really care. I want boys and girls to love writing and to know their words have power.

So, what does this have to do with setting goals? In order for me to become a better teacher of writing, I need to write. And maybe it is time for me to admit that I just need to write. My goal is to write everyday. That's it. That's my goal. And I will use this blog to document my progress. By the way, it took me 10 minutes of staring at this post before I had the guts to hit publish. I guess I'm working at trusting myself as a writer, just like the kids. Wish me luck.

Blogging and Writing Process

I'm not sure if you will find creating a blog and writing posts in the Michigan Genre Project, but I'm thinking it belongs there. I began reading a few political blogs during the 2008 presidential election and I noticed that I tended not to read long posts or diaries. Some posts were like personal narratives and others were carefully crafted pieces of persuasive writing. Creating a blog and writing posts requires that you read like a writer and think about your audience first. Effective teachers of writing come to know about their own writing process by writing. As teachers, we know writing is good for us but we tend to avoid it, like eating lots of green leafy vegetables or going to the gym. Take a leap with me and start your own blog.

Getting Started

I've been considering starting a blog for a long time. Reading about the blogging challenge on http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/ was the motivation I needed. So here we go.

 Literacy coaches are a pretty diverse bunch of professionals. I've never met two coaches with exactly the same job duties or educational background. For me, being a literacy coach has been the most stimulating, satisfying, and challenging job I've ever had. It feeds my brain and my teacher soul.  I'm interested in hearing about the coaching journeys of others. What experiences led you down the coaching path?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...