Tag Archives: Nancie Atwell

Grant Assistance: The Global Teacher Prize

The Heinemann Resource Support Team is here to help educators who are looking to purchase Heinemann Curricular or Intervention Resources but do not have the funding available to do so. Our new Grant Assistance portal provides the support you need to apply for grants. Click here to visit. This post looks at the Global Teacher Prize.

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Introducing The Writing Masters Blog Series


"The real questions for writing teachers are, 'How do we help our students develop a repertoire of approaches to writing? How do we help all writers identify problems, solve them, and take charge of their writing and thinking?'"
—Nancie Atwell

Writing is a complex, nuanced, and sometimes mystical journey. Ideas take shape in ways we wouldn’t expect—and sometimes they struggle to take shape at all. As teachers, we strive to guide our students through this process—to encourage, support, and challenge them. Now imagine having master teachers mentor you along the way. Imagine being invited to pull up a chair and sit shoulder-to-shoulder as they detail their learning goals for a unit, outline a powerful way to present a challenging concept, or expertly confer with a student?

Join us this fall for our Writing Masters blog series with classroom-tested tips from our Curricular Resources authors on how to improve your teaching of writing at any grade level. Each installment in this series will share author insights and practical suggestions on teaching writing in the classroom that you can use the very next day.

Check the Heinemann blog each Wednesday to see the next installment in this series—and sign up below to be notified by email when each new blog is posted.

To explore more resources by these master teachers and others, visit our Curricular Resources page.

Your Heinemann Link Round-Up for the Week!


Welcome to the second entry in a new series on the Heinemann blog! Every week we find around five interesting links for you to take into your much deserved weekend. These links are interviews with educators, posts from our authors' and friends' blogs, and any interesting, newsworthy item from the past seven days. Check back each week for a new round of finds!


At Two Writing Teachers, Tara Smith wrote about a presentation Ralph Fletcher gave called "Making Nonfiction from Scratch: How Can We Give Students the Time, the Tools, and the Vision They Need in Order to Create Authentic Information Writing?"

Ralph began his presentation with a spirited defense of keeping narrative writing at heart of our writing workshops, reminding us that what is remembered is connected to and embedded in story. The elements of surprise and suspense draw us into stories, he said, they keep us on our toes and hold our interest.

—Click through to read "Learning from Ralph Fletcher: Teaching Authentic Information Writing" by Tara Smith at Two Writing Teachers.


Nancie Atwell appeared on PBS NEWSHOUR on Wednesday evening, in a segment called, "'World's best teacher' does not believe in tests and quizzes."

Click through to watch the video clip.


Author Penny Kittle has won the Exemplary Leader Award from CEL and will receive it at the NCTE Annual Convention in Minneapolis!


Teacher ​Jianna Taylor wrote a review of Upstanders: How to Engage Middle School Hearts & Minds with Inquiry by Harvey "Smokey" Daniels and Sara K. Ahmed.

Of all of the professional books I have read, this is the first that felt as if it were written directly for me and the type of teacher I am.  I could see myself as a teacher in the pages, but more than that, I could see a better version of my teacher self in the pages.

Click through to read Jianna's review at Oakland Schools Literacy.


Amy Ludwig VanDerwater finished off an incredible 30-day sing-a-poem project for National Poetry Month. Visit The Poem Farm for more.

Check back next week for more interesting links. Do you write a blog about your experiences in education? Leave a link in the comments below and we'll consider it for future round-ups. Have a great weekend!

View Nancie Atwell’s Interviews with MSNBC, ABC News, People, and The Washington Post

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Heinemann author and Global Teacher Prize winner Nancie Atwell was recently featured on ABC News and People Magazine. See the interview with Nancie below from ABC News and scroll down further for the link to her interview with People Magazine. For more information on Nancie and the newly released third edition of In the Middle, click here.


Read Nancie's interview with People Magazine here: "Winner of $1 Million Global Teacher Prize Donates All to Education."

Read Valarie Strauss' Washington Post story on Nancie and CTL here: "Great books that inspire a love of reading in kids — recommended by kids"

Watch Nancie on MSNBC being interviewed by Melissa Harris-Perry who named Nancie as the foot soldier of the week.

View Heinemann's complete media round-up of Nancie Atwell following her Global Teacher Prize win.

In The Middle: What Will I Find New To The Third Edition?

The most frequently asked question about In the Middle is, “What’s new in the third edition?” The second edition published 17 years ago, so we know a lot is new because Nancie Atwell has continued to innovate since then.

So we challenged ourselves to answer the question. We asked one of our editors to read both the second and third editions side by side, page for page, and report back. In short: In the Middle, Third Edition, more than lives up to the claim of 80% new material. Here’s what fans of the second edition can expect to find new in the third edition:

PART I, Workshop Essentials

  • More how-tos: More minilessons, conferring suggestions, and scheduling and organizational ideas.
  • A deep dive into the Daily Poem: A critical innovation that helps you support close reading, critical skills, and the writer’s craft.
  • More about reading workshop: Nancie puts the writing and reading workshop on even footing as she shows how you can helps kids read 40 books a year.
  • The 12 red flags of writing: You’ll know exactly what to watch for in students’ writing as well how to respond to them.
  • Letter-essays: Nancie replaces her well-known weekly letters with letter-essays that reduce the paper burden on you and create a bridge to expository writing.
  • Handover: Nancie shows you how to release responsibility to writers and, more so than in the previous edition, to readers.
  • Off-the-page writing: A new concept introduced in the third edition is a way of inserting time and reflection into writing.

Part II, Genre Studies

  • New emphasis and minilessons on poetry: A key innovation—Nancie details why poetry has increased in importance in her teaching and why it is the first genre your students should write in.
  • More specificity about memoirs: The third edition provides more craft specifics to teach and more ways for kids to access the language and descriptions of published memoirs.
  • Micro fiction: Another major innovation is replacing short stories with the concentrated power of micro fiction.
  • New details on expository writing: Nancie narrows her focus to four types of expository writing and presents you with more specifics, structures, and examples for each.
  • “Humor and Homage”: A brand new chapter that not only supports improved writing but helps you provide students with experiences in critical/close reading.
  • New student writing samples: All-new samples reflect today’s students and topics.

For more specifics about what’s new, click here [pdf].

Nancie Atwell Shares Thoughts On Current Educational Landscape

In the following statement supplied to EdWeek, Nancie Atwell clarifies recent comments regarding whether she would recommend teaching as a path for young people.

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Teaching has been my pride and pleasure for more than four decades. I encourage anyone anywhere who enjoys working with young people to consider it as a career. The world needs all the smart, passionate educators it can get.

However, every day in classrooms around the globe, teachers face an array of challenges. In U.S. public schools, these include a tight focus on standardized tests and methods, which I feel discourage autonomy and encourage teaching to the test. I cheer for the veteran teachers who find wiggle room, administrative support, or both, and continue to act as reflective practitioners. I also applaud the decision-makers who respect teachers as professionals—who acknowledge our knowledge of our craft and our kids. And I empathize with aspiring teachers. I strongly believe they need to be aware of and prepared for the particular challenges of the current climate.

I have loved my teaching life, whether I was closing the door to my public school classroom and innovating without permission, or founding a non-profit demonstration school, the Center for Teaching and Learning, where innovation for the good of all children everywhere is our mission. It is a privilege to develop relationships with students, develop methods that transform their lives, and be of use to them in this robust yet nurturing way. Winning the Global Teacher Prize has given me an opportunity to not only shine a light on teaching as a powerful profession but also start a conversation about the challenges we face today. I believe that teachers are the people who know what's best for our students and right for our classrooms.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Click here for Heinemann's additional coverage of the Global Teacher Prize.