writing workshop

Engage middle school students in narrative writing by using short videos. Click through to learn how to effectively use commercial, pixar shorts, and TV shows to get your students thinking about narrative elements.

Using Videos to Teach Students about Narrative Writing

As you are preparing your students to begin with narratives, teach them the elements of the genre.  Before they even put pen to paper, you can use videos to teach narrative writing.  Why? We are surrounded by stories.   Commercials, TV shows, movies, video games, print ads, and billboards — they all tell (or attempt to) […] 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. What is narrative writing? Narrative writing tells a story. It may or may not be true. It […] 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 plan writing projects for your students

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: First, you get a great idea… You are driving home from school, listening to the radio, and daydreaming…suddenly an amazing idea […] Read more…

how to improve student conferences

8 Ways to Improve Student Writing Conferences

One of the most rewarding and impactful aspects of writing workshop is the writing conferences your students will have with you and their peers. How can you make the most of this time?  Here are some ideas for you: Start with the Ideas Ever collect a stack of completed essays, sit down with your giant […] Read more…

easy assessments that won't bog you down

Assessments for Writing Workshop that Won’t Bog You Down

Your writing workshop is humming along beautifully.  Students are working, you are conferencing, life is grand…until you look in your grade book.  Gotta get those grades, right?  But where are those assessments going to come from? You might not want to wait until the final draft or essay is turned in.  Parents and administrators can […] Read more…

How to manage your class during writing workshop

Optimizing Writing Workshop Expectations

You’re ready to get started with writing workshop, but you have one nagging question looming in the back of your mind:  What is the rest of the class doing while you’re holding student conferences?  Fear not!  Here are some ideas for how to manage your class during writing workshop. Teach routines Students should understand completely […] Read more…

What does writing workshop look like in middle school

What does Writing Workshop Look Like?

If you’re thinking about structuring your class to include writing workshop, you might be wondering what the writing workshop format looks like. What does writing workshop look like? The most important part of writing workshop is to make it YOURS.  There isn’t a “one size fits all” method.  Adapt and adopt ideas that work for […] Read more…

7 common questions about using writing workshop

7 Common Questions about Writing Workshop in Middle School

If you’ve decided to teach writing using the workshop method, you probably have some questions.  Here are seven questions and answers to help you get started. 1.  What exactly is a workshop class? Remember the story of the elves and the shoemaker?  I think of that story when I think of a workshop class.  The […] Read more…

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