How do we get students to buy into writing? How do we begin to hear their stories. Oral storytelling is a way to engage your writers in a low stakes way and create a basis for a really strong writing community.
Category: independent writing
The Value of Ambiguity
Sometimes, there isn’t one right answer. Sometimes it’s okay to admit we don’t know.
The Argument Essay: A Contextual Pool Adventure
As the season of AP Lang exams fast approaches, I find myself more and more urgently seeking ways to help tighten gaps in my students’ skill sets. Fine tuning writing skills is a part of it, but when it comes to one AP Lang task–the Open Argument essay–there are more pressing issues that are a […]
7 Ways to Get Students Writing about the War in Ukraine
Between this post and my last, a war began. And we shouldn’t be surprised. Like the rise of Nazi Germany after WWI, the conflict in Ukraine has been building for more than twenty years. Putin and his post-Soviet ancestors have been playing a game of Hungry Hippos with the Ukraine and former Soviet satellite states […]
Ready to Find Love? Swipe Right on These Five Social Studies Writing Workshops
Choosing the right writing workshop (say that five times fast) at the right time in a content-based classroom will have a large impact on the success of your writing instruction. A workshop that is too complex or does not serve your class’s current needs could also derail your unit, resulting in total heartbreak for you and your students. Preview five, eligible workshops that will adapt to your curriculum and help your students write like historians.
Genius Hour, but for Writers
Breather Routines and the Misdiagnosis of Writing Stamina I produce a podcast called Write Answers, and about a month ago, Beth Rimer (co-director of the Ohio Writing Project) and I recorded an interview in which she talked about a between-unit-plans break that she called “Breather Routines.” A Breather Routine can be a 1-3 week series […]
3 Reasons to Use Writing Workshop in a Social Studies Classroom
Welcome to Write Like a Historian! In this series, we’ll explore how to bring writing workshop into the social studies classroom. Every student is a historian. Let’s teach them how to write like one.
Digital Notebooks, Remixes and Infographics: The Stealth Writing Workshop
A few weeks ago I outlined my peculiar teacher headspace this year as I face the challenge of teaching AP Lang after years of working to perfect English 11, a course I helped design from the ground up and continue to approach eagerly every day. In that post I outlined my major goal for the […]
Bios, Threads, & Retweets: Moving Writers with Twitter Simulations
We know that writing strategies are everywhere. And, I am amazed at the amount of writing skills and strategies that are embedded into social media platforms. Although the student writer may not actually notice the author’s craft and intention that goes into well-crafted tweets, they are there in abundance, and I realized recently that these […]
Using Writing as a Means of Mastery Assessment
When was the last time you took a multiple-choice test? For me, the last time I took a multiple choice test to demonstrate mastery was during our beginning of the year compliance training courses (you know, those courses we have to take every year). Here is the real question though: Did it show my mastery […]