#SOL19: Writing Matters

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A connectedness

A relationship

An opportunity

A process

A product

Two sides of a coin.

Can be used to learn or

Can be used to demonstrate learning.

Is thinking out loud

Typically on paper.


Sometimes painfully etched

Sometimes spewing out voluminously

Faster than any ability to capture.

Can be long

Or short,


Or creative,


Or public,

With form

Matching the purpose,

Reveling in the need

To create,

To rise like a phoenix,

To leave shadows,

Whispers in the wind,

Songs in the air.

Writing . . .

a compulsion

a living/breathing requirement

a necessary component of life

What purposes do writing serve?

Consider these:

  • The Magna Carta
  • The Articles of Confederation
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The Constitution
  • The Bill of Rights

What do they stand for? 

Why were they written? 

Why do they matter?

A survey of Americans resulted in a list of these Top 10 Milestones in US history.  Do you agree?

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Writing Matters.


I am missing the #TCRWP Writing Institute. It’s hard to not have #TCRWPEnvy so I revisited some notes from last year’s Writing Institute to consider for my own writing this summer.

In last year’s keynote, Lucy Calkins addressed levels of writing workshop.  Link 

Where are you?

“Level 1:  Start and Stop.  Do a few days of minilessons.  Do a few worksheets to ‘master the skill’, and then back to some stale writing. No investment. It feels like pulling teeth.”

“Level 2:  The Good Student Writing Workshop filled with compliance. Open any notebook and you will find that students are doing the work. Safe work. They respond to all school assignments, but they never take any risks and share themselves.”

“Level 3: Passion and intensity flow through the notebook, drafts and published writing. There are notebook entries that do not come from a response to day to day instruction.  Students want to write. It’s an ALL IN Writing Workshop.”

What level was your 2018-19 workshop? 

What is your goal for 2019-20 workshop? 

Where will you begin?

(And don’t forget to follow #TCRWP this week for highlights from 1200+ Writing Institute participants!)

(#cyberPD – Welcome to Writing Workshop by Stacey Shubitz and Lynne Dorfman)

Celebrate that your journey has begun and focus on Learning!

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers and readers here.

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17 responses

  1. Catherine Nash | Reply

    Your post has convinced me to book my tickets for NY for next year’s institute. Food for the soul!

    1. Catherine,
      There is often a long wait list as well as a list of “no” for applicants. I wish you well. It is amazing “food for the soul”!

    2. Oh Fran, your post reminds me why I am back doing a bit of “personal” writing this week even though I really should be doing a million other”more formal writing” things! Our writing matters and makes a difference in our thinking and perception of our world. It matters for our students and IF we can empower them to be writers, we can empower them to think and to wonder.

      1. Anita,
        So much to learn from writing for ourselves. I have been outlining an argument for a couple of weeks that has gone on an on until I discovered, through writing that it is a heptagon. Too many facets to reduce to a Yes/No or Go/No Go. And so much more “fun” than the dreary other things I should be doing! THANKS!

  2. Fran,
    I’ve been ignoring my writing a little lately. Your post reminds me that I need to make time and space for it. Being a writer is the best way to serve my student writers.

    1. Margaret,
      So hard to balance life, BUT . . . over time, how can we model that for our students?

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. Purpose and audience – the two most driving factors in writing.

    1. Yes, powerful factors that are so important to students if we want to move beyond “assigned” writing!

  4. I, too, am missing the institutes this summer. It’s nice to be able to follow along on Twitter, but it isn’t the same as being there and absorbing it first-hand.

    1. So true, Stacey. Twitter is better than nothing and yet, increases the longing when I really want MORE!

  5. “Why were they written?… Why do they matter?” Thought provoking questions. Thank you, Fran.

    1. You are welcome, Marina! Always thinking . . . as a reader and as a writer . . . Both matter!

  6. Love your lyrical thoughts and truths on writing – and sorry you will miss TCRWP. I know your heart is there. In response to last year’s highlights here: YES students need to take risks – that’s how they grow – and YES they DO want to write! They just need to get a taste of the power that’s in it. And there’s so much power in this post.

    1. Power, choice, voice . . . they are so connected . . . for students and teachers. Writing can be freeing or confining. Which version do we choose? Thanks for reading and commenting, Fran.

      1. I say – freedom:)

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