Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month, we share conversation about the role and necessity of play in learning.
The value of play does not disappear after early childhood.
Writing with Mentors authors Rebekah O’Dell and Allison Marchetti describe how factors, such as formulaic writing and grades, “dismantle” students’ natural state of play and replace it with fear of experimentation.
In Writing with Mentors, high school teachers Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O’Dell prove that the key to cultivating productive, resourceful writers—writers who can see value and purpose for writing beyond school—is using dynamic, current mentor texts.
In Writing with Mentors, high school teachers Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O’Dell prove that the key to cultivating productive, resourceful writers—writers who can see value and purpose for writing beyond school—is using dynamic, hot-off-the-presses mentor texts.
Adapted from the introduction to The Journey Is Everything, the newest book by Katherine Bomer.
By Katherine Bomer
Whole generations of adults fear writing because they grew up in schools thinking writing means sentence diagrams, penmanship, spelling, and proper placement of that darn thesis statement. Our students deserve better than this. They need essays to help them think in reflective, open-minded ways, to stir their emotions, teach them about life, and move them to want to change the world. And now more than ever, with the hyperattention paid to preparing students for college and careers, young people need practice in finding subjects of interest and passion to write about. They need lessons that show them how to think deeply about these topics and how to write about them in compelling ways.
From dealing with writing workshop skeptics to working with students both gifted and challenged, and of course combating that eternal barrier—lack of time—The Unstoppable Writing Teacher offers tried-and-true strategies to address and overcome obstacles.
For the struggles unique to you, author Colleen Cruz helps you identify your own individual roadblocks. "We can’t solve all the problems we’re faced with in writing instruction," she promises, "but we can choose how to respond to them. And our responses will make all the difference."
If a teacher dares and is confident enough to write in front of students, then maybe you can catch that writing epiphany–the spark of an idea–to inspire students to do the same. In the video below, Colleen has a few ideas on how to capture that.
This is not your typical book on mentor texts. Lisa Cleaveland will show you why in her classroom authors and illustrators do the mentoring, not their texts. While this may seem like mere semantics, it’s actually a singularly powerful instructional shift. “Books don’t make themselves,” writes Lisa, “authors and illustrators do, and my students know this because they make books too.” Here Lisa explains the need for this newest book.
by Lisa Cleaveland
If you are familiar with About the Authors, you may wonder why More About the Authors is necessary. Let me explain a few ways this book extends the work of that one. First, this book is razor sharp in directing attention to mentors in the primary writing workshop. While About the Authors presents an overview of the writing workshop as a whole, this book focuses on a single, incredibly powerful teaching tool. Having a focus like this allows me to go into a lot more depth in the exact spot where there is so much depth to be had.