9 Writing Hacks for the Most Prolific 100 Days of Summer Writing Yet

During the school year, Time is one of our biggest hurdles. There is never enough time to do all the things. Summer is a fantasy with its long, light, unencumbered days spread out before us. We plan road trips and brewery crawls and projects and beach days and fill our calendar with all the things […]

3 Strategies for Students Who Say, “I’m Finished” After Writing a Paragraph

  I grew up in Connecticut, so the old southern phrase “Bless your heart” isn’t a part of my everyday vocabulary. However, I’ve caught myself saying it a few times, in identical situations. Here’s the scenario: Student: Ms. Marchetti, I’m finished. [I look down at the student’s paper, see a few sentences scribbled. The mentor […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Creepy Pair of Underwear!

Today’s post comes from Amy Estersohn, a middle school English teacher in New York and a 2016 recipient of the NCTE/ALAN Gallo Grant.  She writes comic book reviews for noflyingnotights.com and blogs on books and teaching at teachingtransition.wordpress.com Mentor text: Creepy Pair of Underwear! by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown Writing Techniques: Elaboration Story Structure Effective […]

3 Techniques for Students Who Know What They Want to Say But Not How to Say it

Can you picture the student who has just said this in a writing conference? He smoothes the pages of his notebook to reveal countless scribbles and doodles that he has spent the past few days getting down. He has generated multiple ideas for his next writing project. He has done his homework. But he sits […]

Extreme Classroom Makeover: Student Writing Portfolios

I have been using writing portfolios to assess my students’ writing in December and June for as long as I’ve been teaching. Portfolios are wonderful for so many reasons: they invite students to compile a body of work, encourage revision, show growth over time, and so forth. But sometimes they feel a little stale, a […]