Author of Literacy Books

In addition to consulting with schools and institutions to develop reading and writing workshops, Leah Mermelstein is also the author of four books and a DVD that supplement her consulting assignments.

Self-Directed Writers: The Third Essential Element in the Writing Workshop (non-fiction)

“I’m done. What should I do now?”

If you hear this question all too often during the independent work portion of writing workshop, Leah Mermelstein has a solution for making this time more productive for both students and teachers. Along with making time for writing workshop every day, and planning long-term for it, Leah argues that the “third essential element,” creating self-directed writers, is key to the success of writing workshops.

Using a wealth of classroom anecdotes, student samples and specific teaching language, Leah illustrates how even the youngest students can become self-directed learners. Her explicit strategies include:

  • creating an appropriate physical environment along with daily rituals and routines
  • scaffolding instruction with Write Alouds and Interactive Writing
  • planning units, focus lessons, conferences, and shares that are aimed at helping kids become self-directed.

Leah details 10 qualities that teachers can nurture in students to help them meet and exceed the Common Core State Standards in a high quality writing workshop.

Give Leah’s practical strategies and tips a try, and transform your writing workshop from a chorus of “what next?” to the quiet hum of deeply engaged kids.

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Don’t Forget to Share: The Crucial Last Step in the Writing Workshop (non-fiction)

Published in 2007, this brand-new book will show you how to make your share sessions more instructional.

Traditionally, the writing workshop is a three-part framework: a mini-lesson, writing time, and a share session. Because much attention has been given to lessons and conferencing, the share session has sometimes seemed like an afterthought rather than an opportunity for children to look closely at their writing process and discuss it with others. No more. With Don’t Forget to Share, Leah Mermelstein helps you recognize the importance of this aspect of the workshop and shows you ways to get maximum instructional impact from it.

Don’t Forget to Share is the first book to take on the share session in-depth, revealing why it’s essential to the success of a writing workshop. Mermelstein presents insight and smart ideas for conducting share sessions that honor and reinforce individual kids’ accomplishments, while at the same time offering them a safe way to get input from other writers. From setting up share sessions to facilitating them, she presents shares that promote rich conversations that support students’ improvement in four specific areas of writing, including content, craft, process, and progress.

With in-action transcripts of teachers and students, helpful tips for working with English-language learners and struggling writers, suggestions for matching children to share activities, and samples of effective teaching language, Don’t Forget to Share has everything you need to not only invest your teaching time in share sessions but to make them work for you and your students. So if you’re looking for a new way to ramp up the power of your writing workshop, take the advice of Leah Mermelstein and Don’t Forget to Share.

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Reading/Writing Connections in the K-2 Classroom: Find the Clarity and Then Blur the Lines (non-fiction)

Published in 2005, this book demonstrates how through careful, explicit assessing, planning, and teaching, every student can understand and use the reading/writing connection to become stronger readers and writers at the same time.

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Units of Study for Primary Writing: A Yearlong Curriculum: Launching the Writing Workshop (non-fiction)

Co-authors Lucy Calkins and Leah Mermelstein have helped hundreds of thousands of teachers take their first forays into the teaching of writing. Now they have written an unprecedented series of books on Units of Study for a yearlong writing curriculum.

Published in 2003, this book shows teachers how to launch a joyful and rigorous Writing Workshop in their classrooms. Lucy and Leah detail writing sessions that teachers might conduct at the start of the year. They detail their goals, share their assessment rubric, and even provide the exact words of their teaching.

Get easy access to the magic of Lucy and Leah’s transformative teaching. Enjoy minute-by-minute, live-from-the-classroom coaching as they show you how to refine your lessons to do justice to the curious minds that you teach.

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Quality Writing Instruction (DVD)

Published in July 2010, this DVD will assist teachers with high-quality writing instruction.

Quality Writing Instruction has been designed to help K-5 teachers teach writing. Inside, you’ll find examples of mini-lessons, conferences, and share sessions that can take place during the Writing Workshop. Along with this, you’ll also discover ways to supplement your Writing Workshop through Immersion and Write Aloud with Accountable Talk.

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