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Organization

Reinforce Content-Area Learning with ABC Lists

Reinforce Content-Area Learning with ABC Lists
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Young students are very familiar with lists--shopping lists, to-do lists, wish lists. Consequently, primary teachers should take advantage of this writing format, as it is a fabulous precursor to sentence writing.[read more...]


Connect Ideas with <em>Purposeful</em> Transitions

Connect Ideas with Purposeful Transitions
Friday, November 22nd, 2013

WARNING: Don't simply give students a list of transition words and think they will know how to use them effectively! There are many different transition categories. Provide students a list of transitions organized by purpose. [read more...]


Advancing from Transitions Words to Phrases, to Sentences

Advancing from Transitions to Phrases, to Sentences
Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Like road signs let a driver know what kinds of twists and turns to expect next, transitions help the reader know what kind of information to expect next. Strong writing requires more than just kerplunking Then or Next here and there. [read more...]


Developing Paragraph Writing--One Sentence at a Time

Developing Paragraph Writing--One Sentence at a Time
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

The paragraph is the building block of solid writing. A paragraph (or set of paragraphs) develops a part of the topic; it explains a facet of the topic. Strong writing includes multiple facets of a bigger idea explored among several paragraphs. However, writing a single, strong, cohesive paragraph is difficult. [read more...]


Create Simple Flap Booklets

Create Simple Flap Booklets
Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

When studying seasons, weather, holidays, animals, places, or any other informational topics, primary students can utilize a simple flap booklet to organize their writing and work on simple sentences. This not only works great for compare-contrast, but try it also with question-answer format.[read more...]


Beginnings to Remember

Beginnings to Remember
Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Deb Conley, 4th grade teacher at Fairview Elementary (Sherwood, OH) uses an acronym to help her students remember optional ways to begin a piece of writing. Q-DIPA acts as a reminder for five different beginning techniques writers can use to grab their readers' attention. [read more...]


Engage Writers with Highlighter Tape

Engage Writers with Highlighter Tape
Monday, March 8th, 2010

West Side Middle School (Union City, IN) seventh grade teacher Carla Durham likes to engage her students with fun reader and writer tools in the classroom. One tool that she has found many uses for is highlighter tape. [read more...]


Beginnings & Endings Are Crucial on State Writing Tests

Beginnings & Endings Are Crucial on State Writing Tests
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Let’s dive into the second most common reason students don’t pass--their writing lacks cohesiveness or completeness. In other words, they don’t have the 3-part combination of a beginning, middle, and end. They may have a beginning (or hook sentence), but after developing the middle, the piece [read more...]


Strengthen Student Titles

Strengthen Student Titles
Friday, October 30th, 2009

It seems rather insignificant, but there is great power in teaching young writers about titles. For a kindergartner, the title is the first beginning they write. Eventually, as writers develop, a title becomes the attention grabbing words before [read more...]


Target List-Making As a Writing Genre

Target List-Making As a Writing Genre
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

List writing has many benefits, but one of its primary side effects is that students can focus on specific words and specific details while managing only phonics and spacing. Without the pressure to write whole sentences, students can let go of [read more...]


Find Poems in Previous Writing

Find Poems in Previous Writing
Monday, January 26th, 2009

Have students find a previous writing (narratives work well for this activity) they’d like to experiment with. Then have them read the piece entirely through to review it. After they’ve read it over once, they should read it again, this [read more...]



Self-Assess Organization of Writing=

Self-Assess Organization of Writing
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Here’s a hands-on strategy that ensures all required tasks are included initially. As you explain the writing assignment, identify a colored highlighter to be affiliated with each specific component. Then, as students include each component [read more...]


Writing Endings That Don

Writing Endings That Don't Merely Summarize
Monday, December 29th, 2008

The sign of a strong ending or conclusion is not necessarily one that fits a 3-5 sentence recipe. We've all read great endings that were one sentence long and great endings that were five sentences long. We've all read wretched endings that were one sentence long and wretched endings that were five [read more...]


Maximizing the ABC Chart for Writing

Maximizing the ABC Chart for Writing
Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

The signature of a great teaching strategy is its flexibility. That's why I love the ABC Chart. Simple idea--multiple applications. Here are ways to utilize this same tool to improve writing skills with idea generation and pre-writing. [read more...]


Jumpstart a Nonfiction/Research Unit

Jumpstart a Research-Writing Unit
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

A second use for the nonfiction picture book is to help any student who can’t choose between multiple research topics. Have him read several nonfiction picture books in order to fine-tune his interest to one topic. This helps decrease the likelihood of him wasting a lot of time [read more...]


Preparing for Research Papers

Preparing for Research Papers
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

For intermediate and secondary teachers, second semester curriculum often includes the “research paper unit.” With this comes the usual woes of teaching students how to organize note cards, paraphrase, and draft a strong thesis statement. Here are a couple tips that might help this [read more...]


Leprechaun Adventure Stories

Leprechaun Adventure Stories
Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Albany second grade teacher Ellie Holdren reviewed beginning/middle/end in a single-draft writing activity. Her "Leprechaun Adventure Stories" took only two days. Read on for specific details for Day 1 and Day 2 instruction. [read more...]


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