Posts in Writing Workshop
Five Ways to Target Commentary for Essay Writing

This is a topic that I have spent quite a bit of time on simply because it is the one skill that my students struggle with the most.  You can find more posts from me on this topic here and here. Here are FIVE ways to target commentary in essay 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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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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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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Daily Writing Prompts to Inspire New Ideas

TeachWriting.org has announced a new writing workshop endeavor for the 2017-2018 school year. This year, the collaborators at TeachWriting are creating DAILY WRITING PROMPTS via their Facebook Page for English teachers in grades 6-12. 

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Generating Writing Ideas with Lists and Conversations

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.

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2 PreWriting Activities Your Students MUST DO Before Writing the Argument Essay

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 Perspective

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TEN Writing Assignments to Build a Writing Community in the Classroom

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.

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3 Pitfalls to Avoid While Assessing Student Writing at the Beginning of the Year- and What You Can Do Instead.

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.

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The Best First Writing Lesson of the Year: Email Etiquette 101

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. 

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