Every Wednesday at 4 PM PT/7 PM ET educators from near and far come together to discuss why writing matters to them and how they can best support their student writers. Each week a guest host and leader in the teacher-writer community joins #WritingMatters to lead the discussion and share their favorite tips, tricks, and resources for growing great writers.
Twitter has been used by educators for many years as an extension of professional learning. Did you know 2019 marked the 10th Anniversary of the first Twitter chat created exclusively for educators, #Edchat? Fun fact: Steven Anderson, one of the #Edchat founders is on Season 2 of the Writing Matters Podcast!
Why did we create the #WritingMatters Twitter chat? Because we want to provide meaningful and authentic professional learning for literacy educators. The chat parallels the popular podcast, Writing Matters with Dr. Troy Hicks, by creating a space for all educators to join in on this important discussion.
Twitter chats are a perfect way for educators to continue developing professionally. They promote resource sharing and collaboration. They help to expand participants’ PLN (Personal Learning Networks) and are a great way to reflect and grow in practice. Finally, and one of our favorite reasons, they are fun!
Week of March 25th, 2020
Greg Garner hosted this week’s #WritingMatters Chat and discussing the importance of relationships, but with a twist! “Building Human Connections, Remotely! ”
Week of March 18th, 2020
Author, Katie Kelly hosted this week’s #WritingMatters Chat and shared her expertise with educators offering advice and considerations for virtual learning. The topic, #RealWriting: Support for Remote Teaching & Learning, was timely as many educators have found themselves transitioning to remote teaching because of school closures.
Question #1 set the tone of this delightful conversation, having educators reflect on their personal and professional writing, as well as different ways to engage children remotely!
Week of March 11th, 2020
Bret Gosselin, Sheltered Instruction Expert from Texas, hosted this week’s #WritingMatters Chat sharing all about Mentor Texts to Teach Writing and Build Vocabulary and Language Skills! Bret stressed the importance of supporting ELs during the writing process with his favorite teaching method – the Mentor Text! Bret defines a “Mentor Text” for educators in the chat.
Educators also shared the when and how when it comes to using mentor texts!
Throughout the 30 minutes, many participating educators shared their favorite resources when considering Mentor Texts:
Week of March 4th, 2020
“Writing Across Disciplines” was the topic for the discussion on this week’s #WritingMatters Chat hosted by Steven Anderson (creator of the popular education hashtag #Edchat). Question #1 kicked off the thoughtful conversation asking educators what, “writing in different disciplines looked like”.
Question #3 focused on how to support teachers in the area of writing. This is something many schools struggle with because oftentimes, the teachers themselves often struggle to balance the need to teach their specific content or discipline while also growing students in the area of literacy. Many in the chat offered solutions to this question including a text characteristics chart created and shared by Shaelynn Farnsworth!
Week of February 26th, 2020
Shaelynn Farnsworth hosted this week’s #WritingMatters Chat with a conversation on “Designing High-Impact Writing Assignments”. The 30 minutes flew by quickly as many returners, as well as new voices, joined the chat. Question 1 focused on what writing curriculum if any, people were using.
As the questions and ideas continued throughout the chat, educators shared a variety of frameworks used when designing curricula. From OER (Open Educational Resources) to Writer’s Workshop, designing a high-impact writing curriculum could take many different forms!
To increase student motivation when writing, everyone agreed that choice and relevant and engaging content were at the top of the list!
Week of February 19th, 2020
This week’s #WritingMatters Chat was hosted by David Buck, a Professor of English at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD. David is not only an expert in the teaching of writing but has vast knowledge in assessment, which was the topic for the chat.
“The Essentials of Writing Assessment” was composed of thoughtful questions, along with educator voices sharing their ideas and resources when it comes to assessment and writing. Question 1 kicked off with a personal reflection.
- Meet the students where they are
- Punctuating Feedback!
- Active reflection
to Heather’s comment which listed a few thoughts.
Throughout the 30 minutes, educators shared their assessment obstacles, hopes for meaningful feedback, and opportunities for students to contribute to society as a whole. This chat is one that definitely needs periodic revisiting and reflection to help us all keep out “Essentials” aligned!
Week of February 12th, 2020
LDTechnologist, Author, Chief Technology Integrator, and Assistive Tech Guru, Sharon LePage Plante, guest hosted this week’s #WritingMatters Chat with a focus on “EdTech to Support ALL Writers”. The voices in the feed ranged from returning, seasoned educators to a handful of preservice teachers! Everyone shared the best #EdTech resources to support students in the writing process.
Here are the Top 5 Tweets of the night:
Week of February 5th, 2020
“Teaching Argumentative Writing” was the topic this week for the #WritingMatters Chat with host, Shaelynn Farnsworth. The first question asked what the differences are between Persuasive, Opinion, and Argument writing & how has it impacted instruction. While many answers were shared, Shaelynn shared this table to distinguish between the types.
Topic choice was something many educators felt their students needed support with because they often resorted to choosing one that was not relevant or debatable. Many offered ideas and resources to get kids thinking:
At the end of the chat, educators shared different platforms and modes students could share their writing outside of the four walls of the classroom!
Week of January 29th, 2020
Inspiring and creative are the two words that come to mind for the #WritingMatters Chat this week. Paul W. Hankins guest hosted a discussion on “Purposeful Play in Writing Workshop”. Even before the chat started, Paul provided educators creative inspiration in the form of “Reading Remixes”, colorful notebooks, and Taylor Mali’s Metaphor Dice!
The first question of the night had participants focus on self and students and what “purposeful play looked like” for their own personal writing and in their classroom.
Question #3 asked for resources and technology to support purposeful play in writing workshop. Here are a few of our favorites:
Week of January 22nd, 2020
This week’s #WritingMatters Twitter chat was hosted by 3rd-grade teacher, Yanisha Daniel-Jeffers and focused on “Writing ‘FUN’damentals”. At the start of the chat, there was a discussion on the importance of the teaching of grammar and mechanics. While most voices in the thread felt it was important, many also agreed that emphasis should not be placed in these areas.
The conversation proceeded to discuss the difficulties educators find in teaching writing.
Educators also shared ways to increase student engagement in writing and small steps everyone can take to improve their craft.
Week of January 15th, 2020
What are your must-haves when it comes to teaching writing? What are your nice-to-haves?
This week’s #WritingMatters Twitter chat was hosted by Fran McVeigh and focused on “Writing Instruction Non-negotiables”. Questions focused on a productive environment, time, routines, and conferring. The 30 minutes flew by with advice and examples from some of the best literacy minds on Twitter.
Week of January 8th, 2020
Author and educator, Troy Hicks kicked off the new year as guest host for this week’s #WritingMatters Twitter chat. In keeping with the spirit of the season, the topic, “New Year’s Resolutions on Teaching Writing” drew educators from around the globe. Expert teaching advice was given for audience and purpose when designing writing assignments. Thoughtful Tweets on digital writing, multimodal assignments, and the sharing of new resources were also part of the lively conversation.
Check out these ideas:
Week of December 11th, 2019
How can teachers support their English Learners when it comes to writing? This week, the #WritingMatters Twitter chat focused on “Writing Instruction for ELs” with host Emily Francis. Not only was the conversation fast-paced and lively, but it was also flooded with ideas from expert teachers in this area.
Question 1 started off asking what it took to help ELs become successful writers. Here is one of our favorite responses:
Another question that garnered much attention and advice dealt with scaffolds to support ELs in writing:
This important discussion included great ideas for the classroom environment, as well as favorite #edtech to use in writing instruction for ELs. Make sure to check out the full transcript linked below and bookmark all of the wonderful suggestions from these fellow educators!
Week of December 4th, 2019
This week, the #WritingMatters Twitter chat focused on the role teacher–librarians/media–specialists play in supporting student writing and a tweet in response to Question 1 via Tess Reiche summed up the conversation, “Librarians are human Wikipedias.” Not only do teacher–librarians work tirelessly to ignite a spark for reading, but their role is multi-faceted most schools.
Sarah Staudt, a teacher-librarian from Iowa hosted the lively chat and shared a list of resources she curated throughout the chat. Access the document HERE. From Information Literacy, publishing, multimedia creation, modeling mentor texts, and digital citizenship; teacher-librarians support writing in many ways and reinforce the reading-writing connection.
Week of November 20th, 2019
Brianna Hodges hosted the #WritingMatters Twitter chat this week with a focus on “Multimodal Literacies to Inspire, Encourage, & Enhance Writing”. The conversation kicked off defining multimodal and quickly turned to the relevance and engagement realized when using contemporary communication modes and multimedia in the classroom. Check out a few of our favorite tweets:
An archived transcript is below; read about more ideas, resources, and ways to use multimodal writing in your classroom!
Week of November 13th, 2019
Shervette Miller–Payton hosted the #WritingMatters Twitter chat this week with a focus on “Using Diverse Mentor Texts to Support Students’ Writing Skills.” Educators shared their thoughts around the purpose of a mentor text, challenges that arise, as well as examples and resources for locating Mentor Texts. This list contains a few of the Mentor Text resources that were shared:
- Nerdwriter Videos
- This I Believe
- Moving Writers
- NY Times Learning Network Mentor Texts
Week of November 6th, 2019
Shaelynn Farnsworth kicked off our first #WritingMatters Twitter chat with a focus on “Writing Strategies that Work.” The conversation included educators from around the globe sharing experiences, strategies, and even examples. Check out these highlights: