Thanksgiving writing assignments to share with the family. Make memories that will last a lifetime while reinforcing important literacy skills at home.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
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.Read More
Need a fresh idea for getting through to disengaged writers? Reach them with a new kind of prewriting activity, sketchnotes. Check out this post for tips and inspiration for getting started with sketchnotes, plus a fun freebie to guide them through their first sketchnotes paper brainstorm.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
Writing is grammar. Grammar is writing. Sure, there are elements of writing that may not be directly related to grammar, such as word choice, citation rules, and paragraph organization. Still, the ability to take words and play with them skillfully mainly centers around students' mastery of grammar. Teaching writing? When creating a writing culture in my classroom, demonstrating how grammar empowers authors is paramount. As I tell my students, "In this classroom, we do "grammaring."Read More
I have decided to build my own community of collaborative authors within my classroom; I will be establishing a class blog for my students, allowing them to grow together as authors, building a unique platform to showcase/display their works to the world!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
6 Strategies for Turning Struggling Students into Successful & Confident Writers!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
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.Read More
If there’s one thing I don’t want to do, it’s sit my students down for a three hour matching and multiple choice exam at the end of the year. After nine months of creative units and showcase projects, this type of finale wouldn't be consistent with my course or my goals as a teacher.
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
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.Read More