From Striving to Thriving Writers

I think it's important to read a range of professional books-books that make us think about the big picture of being a teacher (Kids First from Day One), books that help us understand the foundations of content (Who's Doing the Work?) and books that are helpful in the now (Notice and Note).
**Links will take you to blog posts on these books**
Frameworks to support your writers and your teaching with quality lessons that make supporting writers no nonsense and easy to understand.
This post contains affiliate links which means Amazon tosses me some change whenever someone makes a purchase through one of these links and allows me feed my book habit!

From Striving to Thriving Writers by Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger with Stephanie Harvey is definitely a right now book.  I'm so impressed by how the lessons shared in the book are lessons you could teach tomorrow without being surface level instruction.  These frameworks are taught through high quality lessons AND are transferable to real writing.  They offer entry points to support students (and teachers) in their writing.


Because teaching writing is HARD.  There are so many important components to teaching writing it becomes overwhelming to juggle all those balls.  Take a look at this spectrum of writing behaviors shared in From Striving to Thriving Writers:

No wonder teaching writing is so challenging.  Many of us feel like we're bad writing teachers.  You're not.  There are just a lot of aspects to writing and little realistic support for teachers to address that reality in the small amount of time many schools allot for writing instruction.

Aha Moment

This quote was a big one for me, "All students will not grow up to become authors.  Thankfully, some will be accountants, musicians, programmers, builders, plumbers, and middle managers who will be required to communicate ideas in writing."

Raise your hand if you're guilty of spending waaaaaay too much time on personal narratives? (<-- 100% me.)  This book helps push beyond the genre we're comfortable with and gives us ways to support a wide variety of writing.

Don't Miss

There are so many support resources in this book.  One of the main premises of From Striving to Thriving Writers is that striving writers need a bridge-a framework-between mentor texts and writing.  Each of the 27 lessons is based around a framework to support students in the grand canyon between inspirational text and pencil on paper.

Each lesson is supported with online resources that use student friendly language (and teacher friendly language-let's be honest, some pd books are woooorrrrddddddyyyyyy.)  
•Slide with goal
•A brief mentor text
•A student framework
•The mentor text with a little more development

Along the way, you are co-constructing versions with your students and providing opportunities for them to create their own.

You can take a more in depth look at a lesson on my Instagram story.

I Wish

I wish this had been available at the beginning of the school year.  I am a strong believer in the Lucy Calkins writing workshop model.  Unfortunately, my instructional minutes have been slashed.  I'm down to 110 minutes for balanced reading instruction, writing workshop, grammar, word study, and social studies.  That's going real well.
I've tried to use a pared down writing workshop model, and it just doesn't work.  For writing workshop to be successful, you need to have the time to dedicate to all components of it, not a fast forward version.  I'm going to use the lessons that are applicable to my grade level to restructure my plans for the rest of the year.

Good For . . .

I do an internal eye roll when a book claims a lesson is good for 1st-8th.  This book's strength is that the lessons are applicable for a variety of grade levels.  The authors do an incredible job of showing you what a lesson would look like in a variety of grades and (drumroll please) across different content areas.  Reading, math, science, social studies, yep.  They're all represented in this book.  Take a look at the lesson/grade level break down:

It's also great for teachers looking for a quick read.  Not ready to tackle 200+ pages on teaching writing?  The actual "reading" part is only about 21 pages, then, it's on to the good stuff-the framework lessons.

Wise Words

I hope you'll find this From Striving to Thriving Writers a practical resource to add to your classroom instruction! You can take another look at the book in my Instagram story.