Writing

How can you teach gratitude to your students? Here are 15 tips to help you do just that.

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. What are some good ways to do that? Let’s dive in! The benefits of developing gratitude (for all of […] Read more…

Overcome writing anxiety that your students feel with these tips.

Writing Anxiety: Creating Fearless Writers

What do writing anxiety and a trip to the hospital have in common? As of the date on this post, I’m recovering from a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction.  While I was in the hospital, I spent a good part of the day (and nights) discussing, describing and rating my pain. This was facilitated by […] Read more…

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 Easy Steps to Better Peer Editing

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…

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