Posts in Writing Workshop
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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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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The Ultimate Writing Workshop Routines Guide

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. 

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Writing Makerspaces: 4 Ways to Apply the Maker Movement to your Classroom

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. 

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14 Strategies to Support Struggling Writers: Build Confidence & Increase Success

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.

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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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13 Ways Pictures Can Inspire Students to Write Poetry

What do you call fiction writers who try to write poetry? Prosers.

What does the reluctant poet write? Averse.

I came across these puns on a list from Buzzfeed, and I couldn't help but notice their applicability to teaching poetry in the classroom.

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