We all have our own curriculum, our own teaching teams, our own way of doing things but it's summer vacation and time to ponder other options! This article is meant for secondary teachers who are on the fence about whether to try reading and writing workshop in their class next year. Below you'll find ten convincing (I hope) reasons why you should definitely give workshop a chance!Read More
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.Read More
Here is my personal definition of a writing chart: any information displayed in your classroom to support students in their endeavors as writers. Charts can be small, medium or big. They can be handwritten or typed. They can be written on whiteboards or paper. I believe charts can even be digital and posted in Google Classroom for at home reference!Read More
Teaching high school students to avoid plagiarism is no easy task. Try these strategies from Reading and Writing Haven to scaffold students' understanding and lead them to success.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Every writer begins a new writing piece differently. Some dive in and just start writing, others need to talk with someone first, others start with an enticing title and still others need to do some pre-writing.
No matter which method students preferred, they benefit from experiencing a variety of strategies for generating ideas. There are more ways to generate ideas for writing than bubbles and graphic organizers. This article discusses two methods for idea generation that often get overlooked: listing and conversations.Read More
I love allowing students to choose their own issue for this argument essay, but that can be difficult for students who do not immediately know their topic or issue. I have found two techniques that really get students thinking about the issues that may resonate with them prior to their research and drafting stages of writing.
1. The Chart Paper Brainstorm and Gallery Walk
2. The Cube of PerspectiveRead More
Creative writing is the art of constructing original ideas by synthesizing literary elements and techniques to communicate an overarching theme about life. Oftentimes in our English classes, we spend more time on the deconstruction process, analyzing works of art by taking them apart.Read More
1. Trying to plan your entire year of writing instruction based on one student sample.
Several years ago, after summer PD in data driven instruction, I decided to use these back to school writing assessments to build my writing instruction for the year. I sat down the Saturday after these were collected to write my curriculum based on all 160+ writing assignments. My goal was to create specific mini-lessons for each student’s specific needs.Read More
When planning for the beginning of the year, teachers need to choose writing assignments that allow for collection of pre-assessment data while also engaging students and building a positive writing community.Read More
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...Read More
Every teacher on the planet knows that the first weeks of school are all about routines, routines, routines and more routines. There are the super obvious routines to discuss like what to do when you have to go to the bathroom or get water, what to do when you want to speak, how to turn work in and the list goes on and on and on. There are so many routines in our classrooms that some very important ones go overlooked.Read More
Angela Stockman's book, Make Writing: 5 Teaching Strategies That Turn Writer's Workshop Into a Maker Space, is absolutely unique. In more than ten years in education, I have never read or heard of this idea before. Stockman proposes we let students "make" their ideas before they write them, combining their physical and mental creativity.Read More
Teaching and assessing writing can be challenging, and even more so when you're trying to identify effective ways to scaffold writing instruction for struggling students. Set teenagers up for success by incorporating these teacher-tested, student-approved strategies.Read More
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.Read More
"To be a poet is a condition, not a profession." -- Robert Frost
You may find yourself in agreement with Frost's famous quote when it comes to teaching poetry in the secondary classroom. However, love it or hate it, poetry can play a helpful role in teaching students how to write! Famous poems can serve as mentor texts for students and showcase key literary and rhetorical devices in action.Read More