Writing

simplify grading

How to simplify grading student writing

We are always trying to simplify grading. And we need to! As ELA teachers, we grade a lot and need to communicate with our students as they journey through the learning process. How can we do that? Read on for more on this! Ready to Simplify Grading? Are you ready to put away your red […] Read more…

fun ways to practice descriptive writing

Easy Ways to Teach Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing seems like it should be easy to teach, yet it is one of the most popular posts on my site, and I receive the most questions about teaching it. We know what we want our students to do, but they still struggle. Let’s explore how to teach descriptive writing. First — Is it […] Read more…

How to create a yearlong plan

How to create your yearlong plan – the easy way

A yearlong plan will help you teach your standards. It will save you time and energy — and help you remain accountable for what you’re expected to teach this year. But what is the easiest and best way to create one? Read on. What is a yearlong plan? A yearlong plan is an overview of […] Read more…

How to teach blackout poetry

How to Teach Blackout Poetry – Fun and Easy

This will guide you on how to teach blackout poetry — and why you should! You know those books on your shelf that are falling to pieces? Grab ’em! You’re going to love using them for blackout poems! Get ready to have fun. Let’s get started! (Be sure to watch me create one at the […] Read more…

Use prewriting activities to improve writing instruction.

11 Pre writing Strategies (and how to use them)

There are many prewriting strategies you can use to help your students get ready to write. Here is a list of 11 and how to use them. Teaching writing can be a daunting task, but by breaking the writing process up, you’re students will be more successful. The best place to start writing instruction is […] Read more…

Engage middle school students in narrative writing by using short videos. Click through to learn how to effectively use commercial, pixar shorts, and TV shows to get your students thinking about narrative elements.

Teach Narrative Writing with Videos

Video and narrative writing go hand in hand. As you prepare your students to begin writing narratives, you’ll want to teach them the elements of the genre.  But before they even put pen to paper, you can use videos to teach narrative writing.  Why? We are surrounded by stories.   Commercials, TV shows, movies, video games, […] Read more…

Teaching sonnets provides students with literary analysis and critical thinking skills!

Tips for Teaching a Sonnet to your Students

The granddaddy of poems:  the sonnet.  Of all the poetry forms we can teach, it’s the most intimidating.  But it doesn’t have to be! Teaching the sonnet is challenging, but a great way for students to practice critical thinking skills. Let’s dive in! What’s to love about sonnets? Sonnets provide the “whole enchilada” for poetry […] Read more…

How to teach weather poems

How to write weather poems

Why will your students love writing weather poems? There is one thing we can agree on…the weather outside our classroom windows can be fascinating! No matter the time of year, the weather can be a source of distraction (“I see a snowflake!”) or inspiration. Use what’s happening outside your classroom to engage students in meaningful […] Read more…

how to use rafts to teach writing

Why RAFTs encourage creative writing

Use RAFT prompts engage students in creative writing responses to engage students in writing that is exciting and imaginative. All writing should be creative — no matter what the subject. But, too often the prompts we provide our students are dull. No wonder we’re nodding off as we grade! By using RAFT as a formula […] Read more…

Decoupage a Classroom “Author’s Chair”

Decoupage a boring stool or chair to create an author’s chair that will give your students a special place to sit and share their writing. Here’s how: A few summers ago I made this stool for my classroom.  My students loved it but were only allowed to use it as the “author’s chair” when they […] Read more…

1 2 3 4