PUSD Writing Project - Volume 1 Issue 15 - December 7, 2015

Writing Workshop November Goals

  • To implement daily writing conferences using the Research-Decide-Teach format.
  • To create a system to keep track of daily writing conferences.
  • To take time once a week during independent writing to write (collect, plan, draft, revise, edit...and not necessarily in that order) alongside your students.
Big image

Shout Outs

Check out what's happening in our PUSD Trailblazer writing workshops. Send us photos from your workshops to share!

It's That Time of Year! The Best Of Book Lists Keep Coming!

Starting in November the Best of lists starting coming out. I love looking at all of these lists to see what books different organizations have selected and if I agree or disagree with these lists. Here are some to check out:

NSTA's Outstanding Science Trade Books 2016 (Books Published in 2015)

NY Times Best Illustrated Books of 2015

NY Times Notable Children's Books of 2015

Publishers Weekly Best of List (along the top you will find links for Comics, Middle Grade, Young Adult, and more)

School Library Journal's Best of 2015

Horn Book's Fanfare 2015

Kirkus Review - Best of 2015 for Children and Young Adult Literature

YALSA's 2016 Finalist for Nonfiction for Young Adults

Minnesota Public Radio Best Books for Children 2015

Best Multicultural Books of 2015

NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Winners

NCTE Charlotte Huck Winners

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

In 2011, I (Alyson) attended my first NCTE Annual Conference. It was one of the most amazing conferences and I have attended every year since. Jamie has attended many of them, too.

Just before Thanksgiving, I once again attended NCTE and enjoyed attending many fantastic sessions and interacting with teachers and literacy leaders from all over the country. You have heard Jamie and I speak about Penny Kittle, Nancie Atwell, Lucy Calkins, Lester Laminack, Kylene Beers, Donalyn Miller and more. All of these amazing Literacy Leaders and more present regularly at NCTE.

If you have not checked out the NCTE website or resources or membership, please place this resource on your learning radar. The 2016 NCTE Annual Conference will be in Atlanta.

National Inclusive Schools Week: December 7-11, 2015

The focus of Inclusive Schools Week is on "supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preferences and other factors."

Websites & Blogs Worth Following

Columbia University's Teachers College Reading & Writing Project has a collection of classroom videos on Vimeo that take you inside reading and writing workshops at various grade levels. Check them out here:

Books You Won't Want to Miss

Important Dates - Mark Your Calendars!!!


Join us for our 2015-2016 Trailblazer Writing Labs! You won't want to miss these ongoing opportunities to come together as a community of writers and teachers of writing to dive deeper into various aspects of writing instruction.

These labs will be held on the B Mondays listed below from 2:00 to 3:30 P.M. Attendance is voluntary. Goodies will be given away at each lab to those who participate. Let's keep the energy alive!

#3 January 25, 2016 ~ Mentor Texts (Location: NCES 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.)

#4 February 29, 2016 ~ Small Group Work

#5 April 18, 2016 ~ Student Work & Resource Share

WRITING UNIT PLANNING RELEASE TIME (see calendar invite for details)

December 8, 2015 ~ McKinley Grades 2, 3, 5

December 9, 2015 ~ Norma Coombs Grades 1, 2

December 10, 2015 ~ Madison Grades K to 2

February 16, 2015 ~ McKinley Grades 2 to 5

February 17, 2015 ~ Norma Coombs Grades 1, 2, 4, 5

February 18, 2015 ~ Madison Grades K to 2

Note: If you don't see your school or grade level listed, we're likely still working out the details.


We have finally secured subs to provide each of you with a day to visit a school that is deep in writing workshop implementation. You will see writing workshop in action in the classroom, walk-through a handful of classrooms to get learning environment/room arrangement ideas, and participate in a writing PD with us. It will be a great day of learning together! More information to come in the calendar invite.

December 3, 2015 ~ McKinley & Wilson Middle School Trailblazers (To Be Rescheduled)

December 15, 2015 ~ McKinley Gr. 2-5 Trailblazers + Madison Gr. 1-2 Trailblazers

Writing Lab #3

Monday, Jan. 25th 2016 at 2pm

2600 Paloma Street

Pasadena, CA


  • To energize a community of teachers to explore the teaching of writing
  • To develop a deeper understanding of what mentor texts are and how to use them

RSVPs are enabled for this event.