Category: Writing

10 Actions That Put Student Writers First

How do we put our young writers first? We seek to develop a mindset and actions that provide opportunity, dignity, and encouragement, says literacy expert Regie Routman. Then we carefully tailor feedback that celebrates strengths and boosts each and every writer’s confidence.

Staging ‘Story in a Bag’ in Your Room or Online

Get kids engaged in narrative writing using Story in a Bag. ELA consultant Lynne Dorfman shows how this hands-on activity enlivens in-class and distance learning as it helps students build their writing fluency and encourages them to learn problem solving on the spot.

Peer Conferences Keep the Writing Momentum Going

Students need more writing support than we can possibly offer them, writes literacy consultant Lynne R. Dorfman. Peer conferences are a safe, supportive structure that will help writers grow in their problem-solving capacity while experiencing the joy of collaboration.

Our Students Need a New Definition of Writing

The narrow “alphabetic” definition of writing found in many school classrooms actively disengages youth, says literacy author Shawna Coppola. Students simply prefer to compose using forms that incorporate visual, aural, and multimodal texts as a way to make or enhance meaning.

Five-Step, Never-Fail Character Sketching

Why is NBCT Marilyn Pryle’s “never-fail” Character Sketch activity so effective? Because it asks students to use the people in their own lives as inspiration – a parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend. Pryle provides the teacher’s script, complete with student prompts.

Students Write Better for Authentic Audiences

Writing for authentic audiences motivates students to do their best work, says English department chair Kasey Short. Public audiences offer a practical reason to revise and edit and allow students’ ideas to have real impact. See her tips to transform routine assignments.

Why Teachers Need to Write with Students

Being a teacher who writes is the secret to being a successful teacher of writers! To help up your game, consultant and author Stacey Shubitz suggests ways to share your own writing in class with students and offers hints on how to develop and stimulate a personal writing habit.

Writing Teachers Are Coaches, Not Umpires

Umpires focus on the correctness of the game. Coaches concentrate on the growth of their players. Teacher Courtney Rejent and consultant Patty McGee show how to shift the focus from correcting writing to helping students develop good writing strategies through coaching.

How a Tiny Spark Can Ignite Student Writing

K-6 literacy coach and NBCT Paula Bourque brings an extra spark to quick-write activities, expanding the concept to include brief low-pressure assignments designed to ignite passion, creativity, and awareness in students and encourage them to become lifelong writers.