writing workshop

fun ways to practice descriptive writing

Five Ways to Practice Descriptive Writing

As a writing teacher, you probably feel like your mantra is “show don’t tell!”  Getting students to write descriptively is a real challenge.  Here are five writing challenges and prompts to try. 1. Do they understand what you mean by descriptive writing? (and can they find it?) Here is where a mentor text will help.  […] Read more…

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 Narrative Writing

Video and narrative writing go hand in hand. As you prepare your students to begin writing narratives, you’ll want to teach them the elements of the genre.  But 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, […] 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…

Ready to teach persuasive writing? Here are easy to use ideas to get you started.

How to teach Persuasive Writing

How should you teach persuasive writing? Here are some tips and tricks to get your students started. Let’s get started! What is persuasive writing? Before sending your students off to write, make sure they understand what persuasive writing is. Persuasive writing is designed to convince the reader to think or act a certain way. Persuasive […] Read more…

Here are 6 strategies for grouping students. Perfect flexible grouping methods for differentiation, projects, and team building activities.

Grouping Students – Strategies that Work

No matter how entertaining you are, your students still need to move around and talk during class. Here are some great ways to get students moving, talking, problem solving, and interacting with different classmates. What’s the perfect size for grouping students? Students often struggle in groups. One student make take over and do all the […] 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…

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…

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