Our next chat, on 3/24/15, will be our 1 year mark . . .

Posted on

. . . so Lisa and I (Ben) will be leading a conversation about our first year of conversations.  We’re looking back through the archives for special and important moments that we noticed, but we’re hoping that all of us will be doing a little thinking and reflecting for this chat.

SO. . . please take a minute and peruse our archives.  What were some moments that jumped out at you?  What do you remember from our chats?  Were there specific ideas that you pulled from a chat and tried?  Were there ideas that you shared that you think were helpful to others?  Were there sad or emotional moments?  Let us know, please!

Looking for moderators for the Spring 2015!

Posted on

group_leader_ring_image_500_clrIf you’re interested in leading a #TeachWriting chat, please

CLICK HERE to fill out a quick survey.

Thanks for your time!

Draft of Questions for 10/7/14 #TeachWriting Chat – Audience (courtesy guest moderator, Angela Stockman, @angelastockman)

Posted on

1. What makes an audience real?

2. How do you help writers determine who their best audiences are and where they might find them?

3. When does it make sense for writers to connect to a wider audience? When does it make sense for them to firewall their works?

4. Protecting time for authentic writing is critical. How do we do this in the face of high stakes testing?

5. How do you respond to writers who are reluctant to connect with wider audiences?

6. How do you help writers consider the unintended consequences of making their work public?

7. Please recommend markets, contests, communities + other outlets where young writers might connect with audience.

8. As writers strive to connect with audiences, how much support is too much for teachers to provide?

9. What are you currently writing? Who is your audience? How do you connect with them?

Questions for 9/23/14 #TeachWriting Chat – Motivating Writers

Posted on

Q1 – How do you motivate writers to work through the writing process? What are some pitfalls you’ve encountered? #TeachWriting

Q2 – What strategies do you feel work well to inspire writers to develop writing stamina? #TeachWriting

Q3 – How do you increase the volume of writing your students are producing? #TeachWriting

Q4 – What assignments/tasks do you use to energize the writing your students are doing? #TeachWriting

Q5 – What genres of writing do you find the most difficult to motivate Students to write?How do you support your struggling writers? #TeachWriting

Q6 – What mentor text have you used to increase student excitement to get writing? #TeachWriting

Q7 – How do you use technology to support writers in developing fluidity in process and craft? #TeachWriting

Q8 – How do you celebrate and honor the writing in your classroom/Writing Workshop? #TeachWriting

Draft of Questions for 9/9/14 #TeachWriting Chat – Differentiating for Struggling Writers

Posted on

Q1 – What part of the writing process do you think is most difficult for your students – planning, composing, or revising? Why?

Q2 – What tools or strategies do you use to help students who struggle with the initial stages of the writing process (planning)?

Q3 – What tools or strategies do you use to help students who struggle with the middle stages of the writing process (composing)?

Q4 – What tools or strategies do you use to help students who struggle with the final stages of the writing process (revising and publishing)?

Q5 – What about students who struggle with “putting it all together” – using the whole process? How do you help them?

Q6 – What strategies do you use to differentiate for different writers in a writing workshop?

Q7 – How do you use technology to help you differentiate for different writers?

Q8 – How do you measure the effectiveness of your differentiation strategies, especially with your struggling writers?

Questions for 8/26/14 #TeachWriting Chat

Posted on

Q1 – What are your biggest priorities with new writing students at the start of the year?

Q2 – What are some of your favorite introductory lessons and activities you use at the beginning of the year?

Q3 – What are some ways you build community among the writers in your classroom or workshop?

Q4 – What do you think are some common obstacles to a supportive writing community? How can we avoid them?

Q5 – How do you incorporate digital tools into building community among writers, at the beginning and throughout the year?

Q6 – What are your hopes and dreams for your writers this school year? For yourself as a teacher of writing?

Q7 – What are some tips to offer new teachers of writing about cultivating community at the beginning of the year?

Questions for #TeachWriting Chat – Tues, 6/17/14 @ 9pm ET/8pm CT – Reflection and Revision

Posted on

Questions and Resources for #TeachWriting Chat – Tuesday, 6/17/14 at 9pm ET/8pm CT

TOPIC: How can we encourage more reflection, and more revision, in our students (and ourselves)?


Q1 – What’s the value and purpose of reflection as a teacher, student, and/or writer? #TeachWriting

Q2 – What are some obstacles to reflection and revision?  (If we think it helps w/learning, why don’t we do it all the time?) #TeachWriting

Q3 – Do you think there’s a “best way” to reflect/revise, in general, or is it individualized?  What’s YOUR best way? #TeachWriting

Q4 – What are some effective ways to get students to reflect and revise in writing? #TeachWriting

Q5 – What are some effective ways to get students to reflect/revise verbally/orally? #TeachWriting

Q6 – What other ways have you used to encourage your students to reflect/revise?  Which worked, and which didn’t? #TeachWriting

Q7 – What’s the best way to assess/provide feedback on reflection/revision?  How do you help students struggling with it? #TeachWriting

Q8 – Does failure produce better/more meaningful reflection/revision than success?  Why/why not? #TeachWriting


Draft Questions for the 6/3 #TeachWriting Chat on Portfolios (9pm ET/8pm CT)

Posted on

The moderators for this chat will be Lisa Hughes (@lisahughes196) and Paul Solarz (@PaulSolarz)

Q1 How do you use portfolios to support writers in the classroom? #TeachWriting

Q2 What types of portfolios have you used? What challenges/successes have you had in the process? #TeachWriting

Q3 What writing assignments & tasks work best for portfolios? Is writing collected across the curriculum? #TeachWriting

Q4 How have you incorporated digital tools into the portfolio process? #TeachWriting

Q5 How do you assess/grade writing portfolios? Do you assign grades/provide feedback? If so, how? #TeachWriting

Q6 How do you foster Ss collaboration and self-reflection through the portfolio process? #TeachWriting

Q7 What other strategies/ tools/resources do you use to enhance the portfolio process? #TeachWriting

Please join us!

Draft of Questions for the 5/6 #TeachWriting Chat on Process/Product (9pm ET/8pm CT)

Posted on

The moderators for this chat will be Beth Holland (@brholland) and Shawn McCusker (@shawnmccusker) – here is a ROUGH draft of the questions (that means they might change – a lot!):

  1. How do you currently define your writing process?
  2. What tools have you used to focus your students more on the process of writing?
  3. What tools have you used as a teacher observe and comment on the process of writing?
  4. What are are some effective procedures to increase teacher and peer feedback in the writing process?
  5. How does teaching/observing the process of writing enrich student learning?
  6. What are the limits of grading only the finished product? 

Please join us to discuss these questions tomorrow night! (5/6 at 9pm ET/8pm CT!)

Draft of Questions for 4/22 #TeachWriting Chat on Creative Writing (9pm ET/8pm CT)

Posted on

Here are the questions for our Tuesday night, 4/22 chat about Creative Writing.  Your comments and questions are appreciated!  Please join us!  

Q1 – What do you see as essential components of creative writing? 

Q2 – How do you think creative writing fits into the curriculum in the age of Common Core/high-stakes assessment? 

Q3 – How do you incorporate creative writing in your writing instruction? Writing workshop? 

Q4 – What 21st century skills do you think creative writing develops? 

Q5 – What are your students’ favorite creative writing assignments? What are yours? 

Q6 – How do you motivate writers to get creative and take risks? What resources do you use? 

Q7 – How do you use props and visuals to motivate students to get creative? 

Q8 – What technology/apps/media do you find helpful in supporting creative writing?