This week Melanie Meehan and Stacey Shubitz from the Two Writing Teachers Podcast talk about how writing helps us live wide awake lives, discuss why the best teachers of writing, write, and how as authors it’s our responsibility to ask for what we need from a critique.
Want to have more joy in your life? Then be sure to participate in the Two Writing Teacher's Slice of Life Challenge. To sum up the challenge, participants write daily blog posts about their lives and comment on other people's posts. Melanie and Stacey explain how knowing that they need to write every day makes them lead wide awake lives and actively seek out daily activities that will bring them joy. Their podcast episode about this incredible activity intrigued me so much that I just had to discuss Slice of Life so that Chalk + Ink listeners wouldn't miss out on this delightful opportunity.
Stacey and Melanie also chat about how if we want our students to grow as writers, that we need to write alongside our students. They each share various moments from their writing timelines and talk about how they incorporate those growth moments into their teaching. They're so inspiring that you'll want to know more. So be sure to check out their books, Welcome to Writing Workshop and The Responsive Writing Teacher. You'll be happy you opened your wallet and spent the time gathering numerous strategies to take back to your classroom.
As writers, we're responsible for our own growth. If we want helpful feedback, we need to state what kind of feedback we want from a critique. We talk about how to get specific feedback as professional writers and how to teach our students to use anchor charts, with specific questions, to help them get the feedback from peers and teachers so that they, too, can grow as writers.
Melanie recommends that upper elementary classrooms all have Jacqueline Woodson's Each Kindness. We talk about how this book is so important because it has an honest ending, that doesn't sugarcoat life.
Stacey recommends teachers fortify their professional collections with Melanie's, The Responsive Writing Teacher, as well as her book, Every Child Can Write, and the following titles:
A Teacher's Guide to Writing Conferences by Carl Anderson
When a teacher confers with a student on their work, so many windows of opportunity open. I can't wait to delve into this book.
A Teacher's Guide to Mentor Texts, K-5 by Carl Anderson
Obviously Stacey is a huge fan of Carl Anderson! While Stacey's book, Craft Moves: Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts, examines a myriad of ways twenty specific picture books can be used to teach students writing craft moves, Stacey says Carl's book is a broader overview about the power of using picture books as mentor texts.
Both Stacey and Melanie fangirled about Katherine Bomer's book, The Journey is Everything: Teaching Essays That Students Want to Write for People Who Want to Read Them. This book shows how if as educators we want students to live wide awake lives we have to teach them to breakout of the five-paragraph essay format. Delight emanated through Stacey and Melanie as they talked about this book. Full disclosure here, I am a proponent of the five-paragraph essay as a basic writing building block. So, I'll definitely be reading this book with a growth mindset lens.
Stacey ended her book recommendations by circling back to the topic of joy. To attract more happiness and peace, Stacey recommends Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee.
If you want to be entered for a chance to win one of Stacey or Melanie's amazing books, please leave a comment below.
Join us for our first ever Chalk + Ink Chat on the last Wednesday of every month, from September through May, from 8-9 PM EST. Our February 2023 featured guest is none other than the fabulous Melissa Stewart.
Special thanks to Sarah Brannen for Chalk + Ink’s podcast art.
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