Create a Writing Curriculum of Mini-Units

Posted on August 13, 2018

Create mini-units to replace the "mother lode" approach. This utilizes a spiral-instruction approach where students experience a particular type of writing in multiple, smaller doses.

Plan Problems into Narrative Pieces

Posted on April 16, 2018

To ensure every story includes a problem, plan the middle portion first. In other words, determine the conflict the character(s) will face before writing the beginning.

Align with the Strongest Position

Posted on February 19, 2018

Persuasive and argumentative writing tasks typically begin with students announcing which side they agree with. This is before reading, researching, or even considering all possible perspectives.

Define the Purpose of Every Grammar Skill

Posted on November 10, 2017

To counter students' disinterest in conventions, make a point to add the purpose of the convention in your lessons. Explain why a writer would use this skill. Show the impact or effect of this skill on their message in writing.

Scaffold Writing Experiences

Posted on October 16, 2017

At the end of a writing unit, many teachers presume that students will submit a final draft that they wrote all by themselves. However, it may not be appropriate to expect such a large and complete product in the first assignment.

Distinguish Reasons from Evidence

Posted on September 19, 2017

When preparing to write an opinion, persuasive, or argumentative piece, teachers often ask students to make a list of reasons to support their position. However, the list students typically generate is not of reasons, but of details.

Integrate Mentor Text within Writing Instruction

Posted on September 19, 2017

Share mentor text during a mini-lesson to allow students to read strong examples. Writers learn how to execute a writing skill by studying the skill in authentic text.

Paraphrase Author Ideas

Posted on August 20, 2017

Teaching students to paraphrase requires helping them understand the process. Paraphrasing involves a four-step process. Before expecting students to put text into their own words, reveal the four steps.

Clarify That Voice is a Choice

Posted on July 19, 2017

Teachers often approach the trait of voice with a little apprehension. Although some students write with voice naturally, all students can be taught how to include it in their own writing.

Introduce the 6 Traits

Posted on April 18, 2017

The six researched components of all good writing (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions) need to be introduced to students in a kid-friendly way.