Teach Me, Teacher

Teach Me, Teacher

#262 Teaching Elementary Writing with Melanie Meehan (pt.1)

May 08, 2022

Hello everyone! I LOVE WRITING. It’s such powerful tool to learn through and teach with. Because of this, understanding writing is key to employing it well in the classroom. For some educators, this comes naturally. For many others, we have to dedicate ourselves to understanding the craft to be able to teach it to young people. It also pays to know what the grades before you taught and how writing develops of years in individual students.

While I talk about secondary focused writing often, I wanted to bring on someone who could give voice to the elementary perspective.

Today we are chatting with Melanie Meehan, author of The Responsive Writing Teacher and her latest, Answers to your Biggest Questions About Teaching Elementary Writing.

In this episode we dive into:

  • The importance of writer identities and how they are shaped
  • The core aspects of a writing workshop and her latest book
  • The nuance with deadlines

…and so much more! Can’t wait for you to hear this one!



This episode is sponsored by Heinemann—the leading publisher of professional books and resources for educators—and their new book, The Joy of Reading by Donalyn Miller and Teri Lesesne.

What reading experiences have entertained you, provoked you, taught you, inspired you, helped you to see your own life more clearly, or connected you with others?  As teachers, librarians, school administrators, and caregivers who love reading, we know what it feels like to fall into a book and let the world fall away. We have joyous reading memories, and we know how reading can sustain and inspire us.

Now consider: When talking with children about their reading lives at school, are you likely to hear about this transformative reading joy? Or are you more likely to hear about reading logs, book reports, and standardized tests? For too many young readers, reading is joyless. It is something that is required of them, but not something that they choose to do.

Here’s the truth: It is possible to teach children how to read well without killing their love for reading in the process.

The Joy of Reading is a guide for teachers, librarians, administrators, and families to create the conditions for joyful reading. Donalyn Miller and Teri Lesesne draw from their decades of work with students, teachers, and librarians, providing practices that nurture joy while identifying factors that destroy joy, all with a clear understanding of the realities of today’s classrooms and libraries.

There’s more to life than school and work. There’s more to reading than school-based value systems for it. We can aim higher than short-sighted measurements and, instead, become reading encouragers, supporters, and role models for lifelong, joyful reading.