Category: Writing

Rethink First-Day Writing to Better Engage Kids

Literacy coach Shawna Coppola urges us to rethink the familiar start-of-year writing activity – the personal narrative. In its place she suggests a framework of ideas to free students to write about what interests them. As we try new approaches, we also renew ourselves.

Teacher: Step Away From That Red Pen!

Young writers will blossom when teachers trade in their red pens for an appreciative approach to feedback, says consultant Patty McGee. As writing mentors, teachers help students achieve quality writing with originality, voice, and style. McGee includes more than a dozen teaching tools.

5 Ideas to Make Writing More Fun to Teach

Consultant Jen Serravallo often hears teachers say they’re uncomfortable teaching writing. Her solution: promote student engagement and independence. As kids become more excited, she says, “that enthusiasm will spill over to you.” Here are five ideas to get started.

Use Multimedia Writing to Change the Game

When students blend multimedia elements into their writing projects, interest and engagement can zoom up, writes teacher-author Sean Ruday. Ruday highlights a five-step process he uses in PD workshops to help teachers make the tech meaningful and not maddening.

Better Student Writing – Ten MiddleWeb Favorites

We love to share writing about student writing! Here, in no particular order, are 10 of our readers’ favorite articles. You’ll find a range of posts by teachers, authors and writing coaches. And there’s a bonus for teachers who love to help students fuse words and images.

Make Writing a Daily Ritual in Every Subject

Students who write in class every day become more skillful at expressing what they feel and what they are learning, says NBCT Mary Tedrow. Using prompts that connect content and personal experience helps students “write their way to an understanding of curricula.”

Writing: How We Can Achieve a State of Flow

Writing flow, says author and principal Matt Renfrew, is achieved through the habits one builds by regularly participating in the experience. He offers suggestions on how teacher and student writers can establish writing rhythms and find flow in their craft.

PPT: Teach Students about Writer’s Notebook

Middle grades writers can learn about the writer’s notebook used by many professional writers and get tips about creating a notebook of their own in this Powerpoint slide set developed for teachers by literacy coach Juli Kendall.

Paraphrasing Is Key to Deeper Comprehension

Paraphrasing is the first step on Sarah Tantillo’s “stairway” to deep reading comprehension and needs to be deliberately taught early in the school year. She shares a two-step process that can help students paraphrase strategically and offers a tool for student practice.

Involve Hesitant Writers in Co-creating Text

Recent research finds that hesitant adolescent writers seldom respond positively to mentor texts by “stellar” peers. Instead, poet and educator Sara Holbrook suggests a co-creation framework that scaffolds the student writing process in a collaborative poetry workshop setting.