Writing

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.

How to 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…

Why should you teach poetry all year? The whys and hows are all here!

How to Teach Poetry All Year

If you love National Poetry month and feel sad when it’s over, consider teaching poetry all year! I’ve written a guest post for Rachel Lynette’s blog Minds in Bloom that includes ten reasons why you absolutely should teach poetry all year — and seven simple ways how to do it. My favorite strategy I like to just share […] Read more…

http://middleschoolmob.blogspot.com/2015/10/use-notes-from-your-teacher-to-simplify.html

Simplify Grading Student Writing

Ready to Simplify Grading? Are you ready to put away your red pen?  I use a simple tool that helps me simplify grading and increase the the productive time I spend with student writers. I wrote a guest post for the Middle School Mob blog on using my “Notes from your Teacher” product to help […] Read more…

How to Teach Creative Writing All Day

When I was in middle school, I remember the excitement of hearing my teacher proclaim dramatically that today we would do “Creative Writing” as if it were a magical, once-a-year event (which, unfortunately, it was!).  I loved “creative” writing so much that I wrote my own stories at home.  Sure, school had plenty of writing […] Read more…

Foster Freedom in Writer’s Workshop

After finishing the last post about how a writer’s notebook differs from a writing journal, I was thinking about how choice is so important to students. It’s difficult to allow students to choose what to write when we have to teach a narrative, a persuasive essay, an argument, comparison contrast, etc. etc. Not to mention, […] Read more…

Writer’s Notebook vs Journal

  At some time in your students’ academic lives, they have probably kept a journal.  Journals are wonderful teaching tools — they help students reflect on their learning, expand their understanding, make hypotheses…and so on.  The great thing about learning journals is that nearly any discipline can use them — math, science, social studies.  They […] Read more…

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