A Conversation that Nudges Students out of Embarrassment

If you’ve ever taught a bunch of self-conscious middle schoolers, you know that adolescents are perpetually embarrassed about anything and everything. You also know that they don’t just “get over it” when they realize that embarrassment is an impediment to their learning. In that state of biological and emotional upheaval, the rational voice (even when it exists) is drowned in the fear of embarrassment. 

First Year Writing Teacher Support: Your Moves Are Not Their Moves

As writing teachers, we’ve done our fair share of writing ourselves.  We each have our own unique process, a set of strategies we’ve grown comfortable with from practice.  If you’re new to teaching writing, that probably means you did a lot of writing recently in college.  Your process is finely tuned; you’re likely a well-oiled […]

Writing Flash Fiction: Environmental Ghost Stories

In last month’s post, I described how writing flash stories helped my students process the contents of an informational text.  As we turned to a news article about a disturbed landscape, I wondered: How could recasting the details of a news article in the form of a flash ghost story help students understand its implications?  […]

Mini-Mentors for Literary Analysis(+ a Sneak Peek at a BIG New Project!)

Catch up on the whole mini-mentors series! Mini-Mentors for Review Writing, Prompt-Based Writing, and Revision! In the previous iterations of this series, I’ve suggested some ways you might use these mini-mentors in your own classroom: as sentence study warm-ups, as whole-class lessons, in small-group and individual writing conferences. But, you’ll notice something different and special […]