writing strategies

Guide to mini lessons for writing workshop

How to use Mini Lessons in Writing Workshop

Ready to use mini lessons in your writing workshop, but not sure how? This post will take you the entire process from choosing your lessons to teaching. Let’s get started! What’s a mini lesson? A mini lesson is a short, 10 – 15 minute lesson that you teach by modeling a skill for your students. […] Read more…

Looking for quick ways to engage students in writing arguments? Here are quick lessons and activities to get started.

How to teach argument writing

Ready to start teaching argumentative writing? Arguments and middle school students go hand in hand! Looking for essay topics and ideas to help your students? Read on! What is an argument? That seems like a silly question, but ask your students and you’ll be surprised at the responses you get! What you really want to […] Read more…

Follow these easy steps to teaching expository writing.

How to Teach Expository Writing

Ready to teach expository writing? Here are the steps to get your students from the beginning to the end of the writing process. Before your students jump into expository writing, make sure they understand what it is. What is expository writing? Whether you refer to it as expository or informative writing, expository texts explain. They […] Read more…

Looking for ideas to teach narrative writing? Click through for ways to make your teaching more effective, productive, and organized.

How to Teach Narrative Writing

When it’s time to teach narrative writing, you’re faced with lots of choices, requirements…and grading. Looking for help with where to start and how to organize this writing task?  Here are some tips for teaching successful narrative writing. Let’s get started! What is narrative writing? Narrative writing tells a story. It may or may not […] Read more…

Searching for ways to help struggling writers? This post provides a variety of ways you can do that. Help your middle school students achieve writing fluency this year!

How to Help Struggling Writers

I recently received a message from a teacher asking for help with her struggling middle school writers.  She knew that all of her plans, units, and writing prompts were not going to be effective teaching tools if her students didn’t grasp the writing fundamentals they needed. Perhaps you spent an entire in-service day planning your […] 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…

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…