Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Here is a great update from Corbett Harrison. I am posting it with a reminder that most of the PARCC and Smarter Balanced will have students writing in/about many genres. It is a good read. Well worth the time.

We're 81% of the way to our sponsorship goal!  Thank you!  We just knew there were fans of WritingFix who would step forward if we asked for help.  You're the best.
Common Core makes it quite clear that our students need to do more writing across the curriculum, and we agree here in Northern Nevada.  We have 15 different online resource pages based on recertification classes we taught in Northern Nevada between 2004-2010, and we recognized early on the value of increasing a school's use of writing across the curriculum techniques that pushed deep thinking, not simple regurgitation of facts.
Our first (and most popular) Writing Across the Curriculum class walks you through quite a few of our activities we did with teachers to demonstrate what deep thinking & creative factual writing looks like when compared to writing that is more plagiarized than it is original.  Here is the link to that class, which we taught over a dozen times during the years cited above:
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page, where you can link to our three sister sites: ScienceFix, HistoryFix, and NumberFix--all designed to show creative ways to write in K-12 content areas other than Language Arts.  Enjoy!
And please support us if you haven't yet and you're a regular user of WritingFix:
Happy Spring.  Happy Weekend!
--Corbett Harrison
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Here is Corbett & Dena Harrison's March Lesson of the Month. Enjoy!

Two writing tasks--one for a writer's notebook, the other for a writer's workshop--in this month's lesson:  Both are inspired by the skill of accurately choosing synonyms from the thesaurus that truly mean what you want them to. 
The longer auto-biography lesson (the one for Writer's Workshop) also adds the "voice" of the dictionary to students' writing, which is inspired by the picture book about the life of Daniel Webster, which was recommended to me by my teaching friend Annita Blauser from Arkansas, and it was placed in my Christmas stocking by my beautiful wife, Dena Harrison.
Be sure to check out the other "features of the month," especially the Sacred Writing Slide of the Month, which focuses on our upcoming Friday the thirteenth next week!
Have a great month!
--Corbett & Dena Harrison
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Here are some more resources for writing. Courtesy of Corbett Harrison

Reason #7 to save WritingFix?  Our digital photographs as writing prompts
All images stored at this WritingFix page were submitted by student and teacher photographers between 2009-2013!  Many of the photos have student writing that was inspired by the original images.  WritingFix had numerous ways for teachers and students from all over to contribute to the site's growth, and this page was one of our best ideas.  Every classroom has a student or two who would love to share a photograph to inspire other students to write about it.  This page gives you all the links and resources to help your classroom photographers contribute, and your classroom writers to share their poems and stories about the best images we've posted.  
If we can save WritingFix (, I plan to find time every June to post a new set of student- and teacher-submitted photographs that would serve as great writing prompts for your students.  
Have a great weekend.  
--Corbett Harrison
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Friday, March 6, 2015

Here is another post from Corbett Harrison. It has a link to poetry lessons - well worth your time.

Our sixth featured reason to save WritingFix is the website's large collection of poetry lessons. 
The story of how the page came to be is worth reading, and it truly serves as a product created by outstanding professional development, so here is a link to the blog post I just created:  You can access all 47 K-12 poetry lessons from this blog post.
Enjoy...and have a great weekend.
--Corbett & Dena Harrison
P.S. Help us Save WritingFix.  Thanks to those who have already donated!  We're over halfway there now!
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Writing Ideas for February. Sorry these are late. Courtesy of the Harrisons.

These are both past "Lessons of the Month":
President's Day?  I love the idea of creating an anachronistic live newscast for something in Washington or Lincoln's life!  In the days before live reporters and their camera crews, have students recount one of the president's feats in a news reporters words:  You can do this lesson without either of the cited mentor texts, but both are excellent books to have, if you don't.  Be sure to check out the example from my writer's notebook with a reporter on-site at the site of George Washington crossing the Deleware.
Valentine's Day?  My oft-so-cynical middle school writers groan when I tell them we're going to create "Love Metaphors" for Valentine's Day, but when I play Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield" as my mentor text, they realize I'm giving them permission to talk about love in a way a Hallmark Card wouldn't:  I use this lesson as a gateway into my March writing challenge, which is when I ask them to create metaphors for favorite topics in history, science and math. Writing across the Curriculum?  Yes, I have that in place, Common Core...thank you for asking.  
Have a great week next week!  Make writing fun!
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Friday, February 20, 2015

Here is another note from Corbett Harrison on Writing Fix. Enjoy!!

You know me--I'm all about having a mentor text when I present just about every writing lesson.  Go visit the mentor text page at my personal website if you want to read my philosophy that developed from this regular practice of mine:
Great News for those looking for easy-to-access writing lessons: WritingFix has a quick-reference bibliography page for EVERY lesson that uses a picture book or chapter book as a mentor text.  A lot of WritingFix users have never used this page.  You can scan all the books cited by author or title, and if you spot a book that you know is in your classroom or school library, there's a direct link to that book's lesson at WritingFix.  You can quickly see ideas our writing teachers had for their favorite mentor texts using this page.
I just posted this blog page that will direct you to how to find the bibliography of mentor texts at
Instead of finding a lesson and having to buy the mentor text,this convenient page was designed to let you locate lessons based on the books that may already be sitting on your bookshelves at school.  It was also designed to be a place to send your school's book order person when you were shopping for new titles to stock your school library with.
Thank you to those who've already contributed to our "Save WritingFix until 2020" cause:
--Corbett Harrison
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