As any writing teacher knows, one of the hardest things about teaching writing is getting meaningful feedback to students. And in a writing workshop model where students are constantly writing, the task can be even more daunting. But as Kelly Gallagher has reminded us, our kids need to write much more than we can grade. […]
Some thoughts on how to help our students become writers in modern contexts as well as traditional ones.
Hi, Beth! Thanks for asking. As you know, mentor texts can be incredibly powerful tools to help students see the beauty in our language—and studying mentor texts at the sentence level can help students see what happens when we gather the best words in the best order. I almost always use mentor texts to […]
Hi, Elizabeth! First, thank you for asking this important question! We know how important it is to find ways to give meaningful and timely feedback to students. But we also know how limited our time is—there are only so many minutes in a day, in a class, during prep periods, after school, before school. Finding […]
Some strategies for motivating writers to engage in meaningful revision.
The school year is winding down—and I find myself thinking more and more of warm poolside days—yet everywhere I turn, rich mentor texts seem to come my way. I’ll find something and think, “Oh, that would have been perfect to use with ____” or “That would have worked great with ____!” Although it may be […]
At my school district in Michigan, we’re in the home stretch. Just a few more days of instruction, and then we’ll be on our final exam schedule. So, for this post, I planned to write about creative lessons that will keep your class engaged and fresh throughout these dog days. From my past tense, […]
Struggling writers have fun–and write better–when the emphasis is on creativity before mechanics.
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!