Teachers are SUPER busy during the school year and need to be efficient when planning new writing units. It is absolutely necessary to find ways to save time. The thing is you are most likely missing one huge step before you even begin planning your lessons. Listen to the podcast episode above or watch the YouTube video below to find out the ONE thing you need to start doing in order to save time when planning but more importantly, to teach students what they actually need to … [Read more...] about ONE Crucial Thing You Might Not Be Doing When Planning Writing Units and How To Start Doing It!
So you want to excite students about your upcoming writing unit? Before I wrote this post I asked some 7th and 8th grade students this question... What could teachers do to get you excited for a writing assignment? Here's what they said: Blow a kazoo. Buy a confetti cannon. Play a prank. Now, these tactics might make students laugh but eventually you're going to have to break the news to them that they actually have to do some work. Yikes! I followed up my first question to these … [Read more...] about 5 Exciting Ways to Introduce Your Writing Unit!
Don't have time to read this article? Listen here! Grading hundreds of papers is the bane of an English teacher's existence. Don't get me wrong. I love being able to get a thorough look into the minds of my students and their writing abilities. Reading their writing can actually be quite pleasurable. It's slapping a letter grade onto that writing that has always bothered me. So in this article I'd like to go over ten things that have helped me make grading a much easier and satisfying … [Read more...] about 10 Ways to Make Grading Writing Easier
Don't Have Time to Read? Fiction writing is neglected in English classes everywhere for many reasons. We don't have enough time. Or we are afraid students might produce pages and pages and pages and we feel too guilty about not reading all of those pages! Or maybe some of us don't do it because we feel it's just not academic enough... In the TED Talk I've included below, Ken Robinson talks about the hierarchy of subjects and how more "academic" subjects like math and English … [Read more...] about We Need to Stop Neglecting Fiction
Writing and reading workshop are powerful methods to teach English. But, how can secondary teachers, who have less than an hour with their students, do it all?!?! I think I have found the solution! Here are the two different schedule options depending on if you are in a reading or a writing unit. In this article, I'll walk you through the writing unit schedule. Read about the reading unit schedule here. 10 Minutes: Reading Students walk into the … [Read more...] about How I Teach Reading & Writing Workshop in 54 Minutes
This article outlines exactly what I did to launch both reading and writing workshop in my classroom. If you are an English teacher wanting to teach using the writing and reading workshop model, then this post is exactly what you've been looking for! You'll find my exact lesson outline for 14 total school days. Students will get to know each other, you'll build a writing community and begin teaching workshop routines in a matter of 14 days. If you'd like already done … [Read more...] about Launching Writing Workshop: The First 14 Days
Publishing student writing is the cornerstone of a successful writing workshop program. At the beginning of each of my writing units I tell students they will write many different drafts within a writing genre and pick one to revise intensely and then to publish. In this article I'll present many options for publishing student writing, materials you'll need, the steps you need to take in order to implement these options and the best resources I've found to support you in sharing your … [Read more...] about 10 Ways to Publish Student Writing: A Step-by-Step Guide
Most secondary teachers I know, wonderful teachers who are friends of mine by the way, teach information/expository writing using essay assignments. Here's how it usually goes: Read & annotate articles Write an essay in response to the articles Teach how to cite parts of the article in the essay Teach how to write a thesis/claim, introduction, supporting paragraphs and a conclusion Turn the essay into the teacher to grade Okay, I understand students need to be … [Read more...] about Why You’re Probably Teaching Information Writing WRONG