The end of the school year can be chaotic, so keeping students engaged and having fun is incredibly important. I have used the project detailed here every year I've taught and it never fails to keep students loving their school work and writing until the very end.Read More
One of the ways I like to give my students voice to share their opinions is to have them create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) about something they are passionate about.
Even though Public Service Announcements usually don’t require a lot of script writing, they do require students to tell a persuasive story. PSAs are often visual stories that provide information to an audience, evoke an emotion, and often have a call to action.
When the classroom expectation is that students will be collaborating about their writing and sharing what they wrote with others, they begin to take ownership in their written pieces. Learning how to effectively collaborate is a skill that must be explicitly taught, practiced, and then practiced some more!Read More
Grabbing and holding the reader's’ attention is what makes or breaks a story. I don’t know any teachers who get excited to read 30 narratives that begin with the same boring opener. I have taught 2nd - 6th grade and I expect more from my students. The lead is an important element of the story and should take effort and thought.
Let me share some ideas with you about how you can get your kids to write a better hook than, “Do you like dogs? I do. Let me tell you about my dog, Frank.”Read More
Winter Descriptive Writing
One area of narrative writing that my students continue to need practice is with elaborating details. When my students write to tell a story, they generally want to get the information out in the shortest way possible. Getting them to stop the story and elaborate on details is often a challenge. Adding descriptive details is a learned skill in which students need to be given support and lots of practice.
One area of student writing that often gets overlooked is describing the setting of a story. I really enjoy helping my students practice this skill. When given a little structure and support, students can transform their writing. By describing the setting in elaborate detail, the students learn to set the stage and help draw the reader into their story.Read More
Spend some quality time learning, laughing, and talking as you share these Thanksgiving writing activities at your dinner table this holiday season.Read More
Stephanie Moorman from Teaching in Room 6 has been inspiring teachers and supporting student writers for two decades now. She has graciously agreed to share her best tips for motivating students to write here on teachwriting.org! Read this post to find out what Stephanie has to say about motivating students to write.Read More
I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Jenn Larson, also known as The Teacher Next Door, about her top tips for implementing a writing workshop in elementary and the relationship between reading and writing. Jenn has been teaching for over 20 years, and over the course of her career, she has developed strategies to help students produce their best pieces of writing and to help teachers navigate writing workshop.Read More
I love graphic organizers. There is something about the organization and structure they provide. With regards to writing, there is often some debate about whether or not graphic organizers are appropriate for elementary school children. Some educators believe that writing should be totally creative and free flowing. However others believe students need support and structure with writing. In order to be successful writers, I believe students need exposure to both.Read More
During the last couple years, I started to embrace collaborative peer writing strategies. You know the old saying, "Two heads are better than one?" Why should it be any different with writing? With a collaborative, peer writing culture in the classroom, students inspire each other, become exemplars, generate dynamic ideas, increase confidence, and become critical observers.Read More
Back to school. A fresh start. A new year. Oh, the possibilities! In this post, I'll share some of my tips for setting up a writing block in elementary school.
Let’s get this year started right…with writing!Read More
Just like our students, not all struggling writers are the same. Some students struggle with writing because they are stuck for ideas. You know the kid…the one who proclaims, “I don’t know what to write,” then shrugs and stares blankly at you. Those are also often the students getting up to get another drink of water and staring at a blank page. These students struggle with getting started and knowing what to write about.Read More
Teaching writing can be overwhelming to the max! The variety of writing skills (not just six traits) students need to master and the multifaceted competencies our students exhibit can make your head spin! I'm not a fan of labeling students but over the course of ten years teaching writing there are some common characteristics I've come to find among students in my classes every year. Below is a list of these groups of students and strategies for supporting them!Read More
The Undiscovered Author Writing Reflection is a fun end of the year writing activity inspired by Playbill Biographies. During this writing project, students reflect on their writing assignments for the year. This writing reflection makes a great cover piece for student writing portfolios and they are very cute to hang up at Open House!Read More
Writing Cinquain Poetry: Focus on Fossils
I love how poetry blends writing and art. It is so beautiful and creative, yet often a challenge for young writers. I also enjoy taking two unrelated skills and marrying them together.
For this activity, I integrated:
Science + Poetry
What a lovely way to bring the left and right brain together.
Many teachers and students are intimidated by poetry, including me! There is just so much you can do, it is a bit overwhelming. Some teachers might also feel that teaching poetry is just fluff. I completely disagree!Read More
5 Strategies to Build Confidence in Young Writers.
Yes, I love teaching writing. Helping young writers build confidence is one of my teaching passions. However, it's not because I am an amazing writer. In fact, it is quite the opposite: writing is one of my biggest challenges.Read More