Posts in Best Practices
5 Ways Teachers Can Support Effective Writing Partnerships

Let's be honest allowing students to work with each other to discuss writing can be just a tad frustrating, or maybe more than a tad...You know it could be an amazing way to ease the workload, because there are 34 of them and only 1 of you.  In this article you'll learn five simple strategies for how to make writing partners more effective in your classroom...

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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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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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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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Three High-Interest Writing Assignments to Motivate Struggling Writers

Motivating struggling writers can be quite a challenge.  With struggling writers, it is important to create high-interest assignments that students will want to work on, assignments that they will want to put forth the effort on in order to succeed.  If struggling students are bored with a writing topic, they won’t be as invested in it and won’t want to put the time and effort in to make it the best it can be.

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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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The Most Important Essay for High School Seniors: The Personal Philosophy Statement

Teaching high school seniors makes for an interesting group of students because they've mostly already passed their standardized tests and know their next steps in life-- college, work, military, etc.  Because of this, teaching seniors can also make for a difficult second semester in trying to keep students motivated. 

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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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Poetry for Writing Workshop in Grades 6-12:  10+ Devices & Poems to Model Them all!

"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.  

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A Philosophy for Assessing Writing: Aim for Improvement, not Perfection

Over the past 10+ years of teaching high school, my philosophy for writing instruction has changed greatly.  It has been a decade of experimentation and adaptation; a decade dedicated to finding what works and trying out new methodologies...

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