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The Purpose of the Passage in Teaching Writing

By |2021-04-19T11:43:55-04:00April 19th, 2021|Electives & Special Areas, Elementary, English Language Learners, From the Front Lines|

Alison Levine teaches Creative Writing at a public elementary school in Coconut Creek, Florida. She has been a gifted resource teacher, an elementary school classroom teacher and a middle school language arts teacher. She is passionate about reading current research on education and implementing new strategies in her classroom. Alison loves taking long walks and [...]

Writing Across the Content Areas:  Family Message Journals

By |2021-04-16T15:21:42-04:00April 16th, 2021|Current Events in Education, Elementary, English Language Learners, The Guidance Files|

Christian Dria grew up in Minnesota and knew in the 1st grade that she wanted to be a teacher. She earned her degree at the University of Wisconsin and has been a primary teacher for 28 years. She lives in Central Minnesota with her husband and daughter.   I chuckled after asking, “What did you [...]

Reading and Writing Volume Counts

By |2018-08-12T21:55:53-04:00August 12th, 2018|How to Fix Education, Instruction & Curriculum, Instructional Strategies|

Volume is its own goal. The more we read and write, the better we read and write. That doesn't mean volume alone leads to excellence. It doesn't. But progress without volume is almost impossible. Last winter, I was privileged to attend the regional ELA teacher's conference in Missouri called Write to Learn. Two of the [...]

The Writing Gap: Why a Renaissance in Writing Instruction is Imperative

By |2017-12-09T19:58:51-05:00December 10th, 2017|Common Core, Current Events in Education, Instruction & Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Literacy, Professional Development, Teacher Leaders|

"Appositive?” “What is an appositive?” “Is that even a word?” These were snippets of conversations overheard in a teacher’s book study at Liverpool High School, a large, suburban school north of Syracuse, NY. The assembled teachers, from a variety of disciplines including World Languages, English, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics and Special Education, comprise a group studying [...]

3 Steps to Helping Students Develop College-Ready Writing Skills

By |2017-11-28T08:44:48-05:00November 26th, 2017|Common Core, Formative Assessments, Instruction & Curriculum, Middle School, Responsive Classroom|

Teachers are forever reminding their students that what’s going on in their classrooms will be ‘important to know in high school and college’ - but how many students actually believe them? I remember one student who replied to me when I said that: “Yeah, that’s what they say every year. And it’s never really true [...]

Teaching Writing With Hyperdocs

By |2017-05-21T18:36:58-04:00May 22nd, 2017|Common Core, From the Front Lines, Going Paperless, Instruction & Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Middle School, Technology|

If you’re looking for a new approach to teaching writing, you’ve got to try teaching with hyperdocs. What are hyperdocs? According to their creators, Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton and Sarah Landis, hyperdocs are “a transformative, interactive, personalized engaging too to help facilitate student creativity and collaboration” (The Hyperdoc Handbook). And I can testify that hyperdocs [...]

The Struggles of Grading Writing: It’s the Process That Matters

By |2017-05-09T22:21:32-04:00April 24th, 2017|Instruction & Curriculum|

I absolutely hate assigning a letter grade to student writing; it's depressing. Not because my students are bad writers because they aren't. It's that I hate to see all the mini-lessons, and drafting, revising, editing, conversations, and growing as writers reduced to one letter. A percentage in the grade book. As soon as that grade is [...]