July 07, 2004
My suggestion is to invest in two books. They are In the Middle and Lessons that Change Writers. Both are by Nancie Atwell who is a very thoughtful, well prepared teacher who used reading and writing workshop in her classes. The writing level in my class has improved significantly since I have taken much of Nancie Atwell's advice. Among other things, she teaches how to prepare and teach effective minilessons and how to conference with students. Her main goal is to help students become genuine writers and readers for life, and she has amazing insight into middle level students' minds and lives. Atwell speaks from almost a quarter century of constant learning and changing. She tells you what she was thinking when she wrote the lessons and asks you to adapt it to your own voice and your own students. No language arts teacher should be without these. Please find these books and get started right away. You will not be sorry you did.