Become a Better—and More Authentic—Writing Teacher

When was the last time you shook up your writing instruction? Shawna Coppola’s new book is built on the premise that our students are ever-changing, and so is our global landscape. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with relying on instructional strategies that have worked in the past, Shawna challenges writing teachers to rethink and revise their practice regularly—leading to the renewal of their professional lives.

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By looking at whether a practice matches students’ needs and interests and examining whether it fits into what we know about children and learning and then adjusting our teaching accordingly, we can nurture students to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, and risk takers in the writing classroom and beyond.

Shawna uses a framework of Rethinking, Revising, and Renewing to examine the most pervasive educational practices in writing instruction and to help ask the questions necessary in order to revise those practices so that they are effective for all students. She describes why it’s vital to engage in this challenging work and goes on to examine some of the most ubiquitous practices, including what it means to write, the tools typically used to teach writing, and how writing is often assessed. She also offers ideas for how teachers can nurture their own writing lives and thus reinvigorate their instructional practice.

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Relax and enjoy an afternoon's reflection on how to break out of rigid prescriptions and orthodoxies that limit writing instruction.... This book helps cut through the clutter of rules and materials that obscure good writing instruction.

Thomas Newkirk
Shawna Coppola
Shawna Coppola reflects on the importance of teacher mentors.

About the Author(s)

Shawna Coppola has taught in public schools for almost two decades. She currently works as a national literacy consultant and speaker and is a volunteer teacher of 11-17 year-olds at a self-directed learning community in Dover, NH. When she is not teaching, she can be found dabbling with watercolors, writing comics, or exploring the beauty of her natural surroundings alongside her family.


Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Thomas Newkirk
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Why It's Important to Continually Rethink, Revise, & Renew Our Practice as Teachers of Writers
  • Chapter 2: Renew How We Teach Writing Process
  • Chapter 3: Renew What It Means to "Write"
  • Chapter 4: Renew the Tools We Use to Teach Our Student Writers
  • Chapter 5: Renew How We Assess & Evaluate Student Writing
  • Chapter 6: Renew Our Role as Teachers of Writers
  • Afterword
  • References
  • Index

Product Details

Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Media: 128 pp/paper
Year: 2017
Item No: 1104
ISBN: 978-1-62531-104-7
Hashtag: #RenewTeach