Peer Response Groups

I’ve just started a Facebook page called The Writing Teacher. This morning, I posted about peer response groups. Here’s what I wrote. Discussion plays an important role in the Writing Teacher’s classroom. It gives students a real audience for their writing, supports the development of ideas, helps students identify non-productive …

Information Literacy

Last spring, I took part in a faculty collaborative group devoted to information literacy. With the support of two intelligent librarians, Vang Vang and Monica Fusich, I adapted an assignment developed by Joanna Burkhardt and Mary MacDonald. They called it the Paper Trails project, a name I really liked so …

Inquiry-Based Curriculum

In January, I co-wrote a grant with two local teachers, Esther Koers-Hansen and Cate Dossetti. We proposed a two year partnership between the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project and Fresno High, focusing specifically on inquiry-based curriculum. Since our project received funding, a group of teachers met about a month ago …

Learning Communities

When good teachers get together . . . collaboration happens. There doesn’t need to be “a teacher” or an assignment. In the Invitational Summer Institute this past month, teachers decided to collaborate across grade levels, asking their students to write for and work with each other. For example, Jeromy’s first …

Collaboration and Learning

This week I was reading a pedagogy book and came across a striking statistic: “In one of the largest studies of its kind ever undertaken in American schools, Pianta and Belsky (2007) found that American fifth graders were spending 91 percent of their school day either listening to a teacher …