Writing

15 ways to teach gratitude in the classroom.

Ways to Teach Gratitude in the Classroom

You don’t need an advanced degree to know that we can benefit from practicing gratitude.  As a teacher, you are in a unique and powerful position to help your students consider, think about, and practice gratitude. The benefits of developing gratitude (for all of us): improved relationships better health better sleep less stress improve empathy […] Read more…

Three Fun Writing Activities to Charge Up Students

Need to charge up your students?  Here are three quick fun writing activities you can use to engage them at any time.  They are great when: there are 20 minutes before the assembly starts one class gets ahead of another – and you need a “holding” lesson until you can get your classes aligned students […] Read more…

5 ways to teach descriptive writing to your students

Five Ways to Practice Descriptive Writing

As a writing teacher, you probably feel like your mantra is “show don’t tell!”  Getting students to write descriptively is a real challenge.  Here are five writing challenges and prompts to try. 1. Do they understand what you mean by descriptive writing? (and can they find it?) Here is where a mentor text will help.  […] Read more…

How to create a yearlong plan to teach (all the) writing

A yearlong plan will help you teach (all the) writing; it will save you time and energy — and help you remain accountable for what you’re expected to teach this year. The yearlong plan – your map Your district or school may provide you with a year-at-a-glance (yearlong plan) that provides you with quarterly writing […] Read more…

Upcycle school supplies to create a fun notebook or journal.

Year-End Project: Upcycled Notebooks

The end of the school year or semester is wonderful and exciting …except for the waste. Rather than having students chunk their partially used notebooks into the recycling bin, have them upcycle them by creating new notebooks.  Students can create their own reading journals! Earth Day was just a few weeks ago, so students just […] Read more…

Host a Teach-In to Celebrate Earth Day!

Host a Teach-In for Earth Day

Earth Day ♥ Earth Day is a wonderful celebration, and perhaps your school is extending activities for more than one day.  But, we all want every day to be Earth Day!  That’s why extending Earth Day into a “teach-in” is a great way to end the year. What’s a Teach-In…Sounds Hippy-ish Get out your love beads, […] Read more…

Create a fun journal jar for your students.

Make your own Journal Jar

A journal jar is a great way to offer students choices during writer’s workshop or journaling time. I’ve always loved using a journal jar.  In the past, my journal jar consisted of topics written on strips of paper and stuck into a jar.  Students could pick a slip, glue it to the top of their […] Read more…

Use a Writing Scheduler to keep writing projects under control.

Teacher Talk: Keep Writing Tasks on Track

Remember September?  When the school year stretched out before you — lots of time to do lots of teaching. Then, suddenly, it’s January.  Testing (might be) looming in the near future, you have a pile of standards to get through…why are there so many daily distractions that keep us from teaching content material?!  And let’s […] Read more…

An easy way to organize writing projects.

A Simple Way to Organize Writing Projects

There are a few things you can count on for January:  resolutions (made and broken!), the flu season, and ads promising ways to (finally) get you organized.   I’m finally going to get organized!   Organizational promises are always so tempting.  Who wouldn’t like their closet/garage/pantry to look like something worthy of Pinterest?! Classroom organization is […] Read more…

Fun writing activity to keep students engaged during the holidays.

Keep Students Writing with a Holiday Writing Prompt

It is difficult to keep students’ interested in content material during the holidays!  That is something we can count on! Lisa’s awesome blog post about reindeer stories shows how using an engaging topic can get students excited about writing. My favorite middle school writing prompt is:  Dear Santa, Please Take Me Off the Naughty List.  Students […] Read more…

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