Writing

Help your students create a resource notebook that they will use as a true resource. Find free mini lessons to get you started.

Create a Resource Book with Your Students

Help your students create a resource book that is more than just a place to record notes or homework.  Teach your students how to make their notebooks a true resource. At the end of the school year, do your students drop their notebooks into the recycling bin as they leave the classroom?   A year’s worth […] Read more…

Are your students benefiting from writing warm ups or are they just busy work? Here are some practical tips for getting the most from these. And a free week's worth of interactive writing warm ups!

Writing Warm Ups – How to make the most of them

Do you use daily writing warm ups at the beginning of your writing class?  How can you make the most of them?  Here are a suggestions to make them work for your students: Writing warm ups + timer Here’s the scene: Your students come into the classroom.  As they do every day, they work on […] Read more…

Looking for poems your students will want to write? Here are four easy-to-teach poems that will help students understand the elements of poetry.

Poetry Writing: Four Fun Forms

Students often struggle with poetry writing because, as the narrator of Love that Dog  says, “anything can be a poem if you write short lines.” Teaching students how to write poetry can also help you teach the elements of poetry. Poetry Writing with Four Fun Forms 1. The Blackout Poem Students can hardly resist this poetry […] Read more…

What is a formative or summative assessment? This post will answer those questions.

What are Formative and Summative Assessments

Formative? Summative? What does it all mean to you, your students, and teaching? You need assessments — but how you get them? What kind of assessment is it? And what you do with them?  Here is how you can make sense of formative and summative assessments — without the overwhelm! Let’s get started! Wouldn’t it […] Read more…

Create a "just right" rubric for every assignment with these step-by-step directions.

How to Create Custom Rubrics for Any Assignment

Rubrics will save you time, help your students improve their skills, and provide fair, balanced assessments.  You can use an online rubric maker — or you can create your own that are balanced and fair. Here is the secret “recipe” for creating and using your own. What’s a rubric, anyway? Here’s your etymological lesson for […] Read more…

Ready to plan a writing project but not sure where to start? This post will help guide you step-by-step through the process.

How to Plan Writing Projects

Do you plan writing projects and provide students with an assignment sheet?  Doing so can help you focus instruction and improve student outcomes. Here are some quick steps help you plan your own projects: You are driving home from school, listening to the radio, and daydreaming…suddenly an amazing idea pops into your head for your […] Read more…

How to improve peer reviews

9 Ways to Improve Student Peer Reviews

Peer reviews are beneficial to the reviewer and reviewee alike. Students benefit most from peer reviews when a few things are set in place. When one of my teaching friends noticed I was using peer reviews in my classroom, she commented that she never used them.  Why?  “It’s like the blind leading the blind,” she […] Read more…

Fun writing activities for students

Fun Writing Activities to Engage Students

Need to engage your students?  Here are fun, quick writing activities you can use to 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 are super-squirrelly, but still need […] Read more…

How to create a yearlong plan

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. What is a yearlong plan? A yearlong plan is an overview of what you’ll be teaching all year. Depending on how your school works, […] Read more…

Perfect Earth Day activity. Up-cycle school supplies and create a new notebook that students can personalize.

How to Create 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 or journals. Here’s how: Whether or not it’s Earth Day , students often need a gentle reminder that […] Read more…

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