Posts in FREEBIES
9 Ways to Get Secondary Students to Enjoy Writing

How can teachers help older students enjoy writing? Negativity and reluctance is a mindset that is established early on. However, in middle and high school, certain teaching approaches and strategies can help to change the way students view themselves as writers. Create a positive writing culture and maintain it through the year. These nine approaches can help.

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Prompt Sticks Reflection Game: An Interactive Way to Reflect Back on the School Year

There are lots of creative ways to facilitate reflection at the end of the school year.  Integrating novelty into any lesson makes it more interesting, and the same concept applies to reflection questions.  So I set out to create an interactive "Prompt Sticks" Reflection Question game to get students more interested in assessing their learning at the end of the school year. 

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Writing Thank You Emails to Spread Kindness

Engage secondary students in a meaningful real-world writing activity at the end of the school year - or any time! Writing thank you letters is an important life skill, but it's becoming overshadowed by emails and text messages. Teach middle and high school students about how to spread love and kindness by encouraging others through writing.

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Tone Tunes: Using Music to Teach Tone in Poetry

Being able to decipher the tone of a piece of writing is crucial to being able to decipher the thematic message of a text.  This is absolutely true for analyzing poetry. 

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FIVE Unique Valentine's Day Lessons to Target Essential Skills in Secondary Classes

Valentine's Day provides an opportunity during the month of February to focus on one of the most powerful topics in literature and art:  LOVE.  Love is as polarizing as the Valentine's Day holiday itself: some love it, and some hate it.  Nonetheless...

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10 Unique and Creative Reflection Techniques & Lessons for the Secondary Student

As educators, we know how critical reflection is to the learning process. Getting students to reflect- deeply and meaningfully- is often one of the most challenging lessons we teach. I have found that both my middle school and high school students will often scoff at these reflection activities, providing the least amount of effort possible to complete the task they see as meaningless. I have been searching for and creating lessons and activities that will bring interest and engagement to this task. The following

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Three Famous Christmas Speeches to Inspire Writing

It's the "most wonderful time of the year" once again!  Every year, the holiday season inspires new movie ideas, and some of these movies go on to become some of the most beloved films of all time with some of the most well-known movie speeches in film history.  

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Holiday Writing Activities for Fast Finishers

Read about three meaningful ways to keep students engaged in your secondary ELA classroom this holiday season. These writing activities will add value to your classroom culture while engaging students and keeping them focused. They're perfect for fast finishers and station activities.

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The First Step in the Writing Process is READING! Using Mentor Texts to Teach Writing

Understanding the many nuances of great writing can seem like a daunting challenge for teachers and students alike. As educators, we are aware of the strong correlation between good reading skills and good writing skills. This is because students are absorbing the author’s craft as they explore amazing works of literature. This knowledge has given rise to the popularity of mentor texts within the ELA classroom.

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Writing is Recursive, Not Linear: Free Task Cards to Reflect Writing as a Process

Writing goes all ways: forwards, backwards, sideways, over there, and over here.  In fact, the only piece of the writing process that occurs at a set point in time is publishing.

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A Memorable Kinesthetic Writing Lesson for Older Students

Teaching the writing process? Try involving students kinesthetically. Play Doh can work for big kids, too! My high school students absolutely love this writing analogy that walks them through each stage of the writing process as if they were sculptors crafting a masterpiece. Differentiate your instruction with this best-practice, active learning lesson.

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8 Meaningful Ways to Differentiate Prewriting

Teaching writing? Sometimes students shut down before they write a single word. Teachers can address this dilemma by making the brainstorming process meaningful and engaging through differentiation and scaffolding. When students are provided with choices, they feel less helpless, become more confident, and produce better compositions. 

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How to Celebrate Mistakes to Build a Stronger Writing Community

As teachers of writing, we all realize the power one word can have on an audience. This past school year, I discovered the power the word “favorite” had on shifting my students’ mindsets about writing. Instead of feeling discouraged when errors were identified in writing, we started celebrating our “favorite mistakes” as the biggest opportunities to learn and become better writers. Here are four tips for you to celebrate favorite mistakes with your students.

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The Worst Essay of Your LIFE: A Unique Approach to Assessing Writing at the Beginning of the School Year

The beginning of the school year is an important time to assess the writing skill levels of new students in our English classes.  One way to do this is to assign a diagnostic essay in order to "diagnose" each student's writing level... 

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Supporting Struggling Writers: 6 Strategies for Turning Struggling Students into Successful & Confident Writers!

6 Strategies for Turning Struggling Students into Successful & Confident Writers!

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Engage Secondary Writers & Cut Down on Grading with Music-Based Prompts

Secondary ELA teachers can engage students in meaningful, purposeful writing activities at the end of the school year without burying themselves in grading and their students in hours of work -- it's true. Read on to be inspired.

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