When I was at Teachers College, we had a professor, Rick MacDonald. He was the chair of the high school program, as well as the Social Studies department. Everybody wound up in his courses at one point or another. Ours was a small teachers college, made progressively smaller by the fact that I was a […]
An instructional writing model that allows for authenticity and self-directed learning.
Struggling writers have fun–and write better–when the emphasis is on creativity before mechanics.
Mentor Text:Which Famous Musician Who Died at the Age of 27 are you? A BuzzFeed Quiz by Eirean Bradley Writing Techniques: Poetic form Theme Social commentary Presenting research Background: I decided to use popular culture as the anchor for the Lit course I’m currently teaching. It’s been going quite well. In my prep work for […]
The idea that “everything’s an argument” seems almost too obvious these days. After all, talk to almost any adolescent today and it’s clear how aware they are of the ways in which they are constantly being persuaded, whether it’s an editorial from the Wall Street Journal or The New York Times, the latest newscast from […]
Sometimes we need to scaffold the thinking that goes into writing more than we need to scaffold where a topic sentence goes in a paragraph. Mentor texts can help with that!
Melissa Surber teaches 11th grade Junior and Senior College Prep English and AP Literature and Composition at Troy Buchanan High School in Troy, Missouri, an hour north of St. Louis. She is in her 18th year of teaching and just recently became National Board Certified. Connect with her at @ELAWordsmith. Mentor Texts: Patton Oswalt Facebook […]
My second grader came home the other day and announced he needed to do some research. He was working on an informational book about basketball, he explained. Who am I to stand in the way of a researcher?? He plopped down and got to work. Soon, he had a document filled with all of the […]
Mentor Text: “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams Writing Techniques: Poetic form Focusing on main idea Brevity Background: Last year, I made a conscious decision to dedicate April’s Mentor Text Wednesday posts to poetry, in honor of it being National Poetry Month. I plan to continue that tradition. This week, I want to share […]
My IB teaching partner dropped a calendar page on my desk yesterday morning that reminded me–in its stark black-and-white boxes filled with Easter vacation, early release days, and special schedules–that we have very few weeks left in our semester. That somewhat panicked calendar also means that the Triton Writing Center, the fledgling dream I committed […]