Tag Archives: Ralph Fletcher

What Kind of Writers Do We Hope To See In Our Classrooms?

E08880_Fletcher_Bookcover_9201Adapted from the introduction to Joy Write: Cultivating High-Impact, Low-Stakes Writing, by Ralph Fletcher


In the autumn of 1983 I started the MFA writing program at Columbia. This led to a famous first encounter, at least for me. In September I wandered uptown from 116th Street to 120th Street, walked into Teachers College, and met Lucy Calkins for the first time. She was a brand-new professor. I signed up for Lucy’s first course on the teaching of writing. Soon after that I took a position with the TC Reading and Writing Project as a consultant in New York City schools, helping teachers find wiser ways of teaching writing.

I didn’t realize it then, but more than taking an interesting job, I had embarked on my career. I have spent most of my professional life speaking, demonstrating, and writing books about the teaching of writing. Recently I ran into a teacher, a man in whose classroom I had worked twenty years earlier.

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Your One Stop Shop for Recent Podcast Highlights

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Each week on The Heinemann Podcast we bring you concise, relevant and thought-provoking interviews with Heinemann authors and educators in the field. We know teachers are very busy people and it can be hard to keep up with all of your favorite authors, so, as we wrap up another school year we thought you might enjoy a recap of some recent Heinemann Podcast highlights. Enjoy!  

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Teacher Appreciation: Ralph Fletcher Thanks His Writing Teachers

Ralph quotes his mentor and friend Don Graves who once said to him "It only takes one teacher to inspire a kid to become a writer", and goes on to thank the many wonderful writing teachers he was lucky to have over the years. 

Ralph Fletcher is the author of Joy Write.

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The Heinemann Podcast: Joy Write with Ralph Fletcher

Joy Write Ralph Fletcher

On today’s podcast, putting the fun back into writing. Ralph Fletcher says nothing helps writers grow like practice, but not just any kind of practice will do, you’ve got to bring the joy! In his new book, Joy Write, Ralph shares the whys and the how of giving students time and autonomy for the playful, low-stakes writing that leads to surprising, high-level growth. Ralph talks about how the element of fun has disappeared from classrooms, so we started our conversation with why that is. 

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The Big 5: Lindsey Moses on the Books That Most Influenced Her Teaching Practice

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Every so often we like to ask our authors about the books that most affected their teaching, the books that served as turning points in their practice or opened their eyes to a new way of approaching their work, thinking about education, or seeing children. In this installment, we bring you the professional book top five of Lindsey Moses, assistant professor of literacy education at Arizona State University, and former elementary teacher. Lindsey is the author of several Heinemann books. Her most recent book, "What are the Rest of my Kids Doing?" Fostering Independence in the K-2 Reading Workshop is now available, and can be ordered hereContinue reading

Standing on Shoulders

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By Jennifer Serravallo

The Writing Strategies Book started shipping this week. I’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the positive responses and enthusiasm from so many. Before you all get this book in your hands, though, I need to get something off my chest:

This book would not exist were it not for a community of friends, mentors, colleagues and teachers—giants—whom I’ve been lucky to know. I want you all to know them, too.

My most immediate teacher and mentor around the teaching of writing is Lucy Calkins. I first read her books in college, leaned on them heavily throughout my years in the classroom, and eventually was lucky enough to spend years with her at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Her contributions are deep-reaching—not only in writing curriculum and workshop methods of instruction but also as a mentor to so many who have gone on to inspire others. If you asked Lucy, though, she’d probably tell you she stands on the shoulders of her mentors, chief among them Don Graves. I came to Graves’ books, such as Writing: Teachers and Children at Work, many years after being introduced to Lucy’s books, but through Lucy, I was learning from this work years before going directly to the source.

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