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!

How to make the most of Writing Warm Ups

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…

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 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…

create a journal jar

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 […] Read more…

how to organize student writing

A Simple Way to Organize Writing Projects

Ready to organize writing projects so your students’ papers aren’t everywhere? Want your fast finishers to be able to move forward on a writing project and not have to wait for the rest of the class? Ready to provide scaffolding for students who need it? And a checklist for you to streamline grading? Then, you’ll […] Read more…