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As a full-time writing coach for Wawasee School District in northern Indiana, Ruth Ayres spends her days helping students find meaning in their stories, and encouraging teachers to reflect and refine the art of teaching. "I love documenting ordinary stories from everyday life," Ruth says.
Ruth earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Indiana University. She has taught seventh-grade language arts in Wawasee Middle School for four years. She is currently the district's writing coach.
Ruth says that she wanted to become a teacher because she wanted to have a positive impact on the lives of middle schoolers. "I like helping students see the power of their everyday stories and to learn how their words can make the world a better place. I consider myself among the most fortunate because I spend my days with children and adolescents, teaching them how to make sense of the world through reading and to impact the world with their voice through writing."
In her free time Ruth likes to read, write, take photos, walk, cook, and scrapbook. She and her husband, Andy, have three children.
In her moving and personal book Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers, Ruth Ayres weaves together her experience as a mother, teacher, and writer. She explores the power of stories to heal children from troubled backgrounds and offers up strategies for helping students discover and write about their own stories of strength and survival. She shares her own struggles and triumphs and hard-earned lessons from raising a family of four adopted children. Her experience is invaluable to any teacher who’s met children living in poverty, in unstable households, or in fear of abuse.
Ayres explores brain research and the ways trauma can change the brain and how encouraging all students to write can help offset some of these effects. She believes that all students benefit from revealing their stories, by communicating information and opinion that allows darkness to turn to light in the lives of children. In the last part of her book she offers up practical suggestions for enticing all writers, regardless of their struggles. Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers invites you on a journey to become a teacher who refuses to give up on any student, who helps children believe that they can have a positive impact on the world, and who—in some cases—becomes the last hope for a child to heal.
Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz:::100123
Day by Day
Have you ever wanted your own personal writing coach to help improve your teaching of writing? How about two personal writing coaches? In Day by Day, Stacey Shubitz and Ruth Ayres, creators of the popular blog Two Writing Teachers, guide you through the trials and tribulations of a whole year of writing workshop.
Day by Day is organized around six fundamental components of writing workshop—routines, mini-lessons, choice, mentors, conferring, and assessment. Each component is broken down into ten-day sections. Each section includes a detailed discussion, a challenge that teachers can apply immediately, and questions to help teachers assess the process to see what went right, what went wrong, and, most importantly, why. Ruth and Stacey also provide daily encouragement, support, practical strategies, tips, advice, and everything you need to run an effective writing workshop that meets the needs of all the different writers in your classroom.
Ruth Ayres with Christi Overman:::100123
Writing begins before students even pick up a pencil, but there are many reasons to stop and rejoice between the idea and the finished project. By helping students celebrate each stage of the writing process and applauding success, we help our students persevere through what can be an extended and challenging process.
In their innovative new book, Celebrating Writers, Ruth Ayres and Christi Overman discuss dozens of ways to respond, reflect, and rejoice along the journey to a finished project. This type of celebration nurtures students, makes them better writers, and helps them recognize that writing is a process filled with notable moments, not simply a result where publication is the only marker of success. From traveling notebooks to lunch-table writing, from author interviews with a writing partner to silent reflection, from swapping stories around a "campfire" to tweeting favorite lines, Ruth and Christi share dozens of fun and effective ways for you and your students to commemorate their progress as writers. As the authors write, "It's time to expand the idea of celebration to include the process of writers and the products they create. Let's build an approach that weaves celebration into the heart of all writers. Be ready to learn to refuel the writers in your classroom, even on the tough days."
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion