About Me

I am a second-career teacher. In my other life, I crunched numbers as an accountant. Probably would have made a great math teacher had the thought occurred to me. No matter, I'm where I'm supposed to be; teaching third grade. Before that, 2nd grade and before that kindergarten. I have 2 grown daughters, 2 poodles, and 1 hubby. I live and work on Long Island.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Behind The Closed Door in Room 301

So many of you are doing such important writing work with your students.  Reading your slices makes me long for days gone by.
I used to teach writing. My district used a Balanced Literacy program. Not any more. Now, we use the very scripted NYS Modules for ELA (Engage NY via Expeditionary Learning aka Pearson). So long, workshop models. Now we have a pacing calendar that tells us which lesson to “teach” and on which day. Writing is done only in response to a prompt. My neighbors are doing the exact same lesson in exactly the same way as I am.

But not today. Today I had my students open up their barely used  Writer’s Notebook and asked them to write. Not one of them said they didn’t know what to write about it. They didn’t want to stop.

Tomorrow I will do a mini lesson like in the old days. I’ll ask them have a go at it and we will share.


I don’t know where to pull the time from for writing but I know I will find it. I will take back my classroom and we will write.

12 comments:

  1. How awesome that they all wanted to write, and didn't want to stop! You are obviously instilling a love of writing in these students. That's huge!

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  2. Good for you! This is something I also need to work on. Teaching writing just has not been what I want it to be. I need some of your courage to take back my classroom.

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  3. I felt very sad at the beginning of your post, but am so relieved that you held true to your beliefs and are finding ways to work writing into your day. Sometimes I wonder just what those curriculum people are thinking...

    Jennifer

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  4. I felt very sad at the beginning of your post, but am so relieved that you held true to your beliefs and are finding ways to work writing into your day. Sometimes I wonder just what those curriculum people are thinking...

    Jennifer

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  5. I can't imagine being forced to teach lockstep like that. So glad my district doesn't do things that way. Really pleased you are forging ahead with something more rewarding for the students - wonderful that they are so invested.

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  6. Frustrating! Good for you. I hope you find that time. Will they blog from home?

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  7. So far in my five years of teaching internationally, I have managed to avoid schools that force teachers to "teach" this way. I'm so happy that you found a window to really allow your students to explore their own writing!

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  8. Good for you - teach writing like you know is best. Find the time, close your doors, and give your kiddos the bliss that is writing workshop! I'm behind you, 110%! :-)

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  9. Yay! Congrats! Teaching is an art and following a script is stifling for us and the students.

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  10. I'm so discouraged that most of the teachers in my building won't teach in a certain way unless there's a manual and script. I get that they're overloaded, but how do you develop teaching as an art? As my close colleague says, "Just close your door and teach like your heart tells you to teach."

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  11. Ugh, upon reading the beginning of your slice I realized that this is the story of many in NYS. It just crushes me. I'm happy to hear you took back your classroom and I applaud you for doing so. Your students are lucky to have you.

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  12. I love that you have the courage to do this. I have friends who are beginning to do the same and the kids will be so much better prepared because of it. Yea you!

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