Wednesday, April 29, 2015

May's writing lesson, courtesy of the Harrisons. Enjoy!


It's officially posted at my site and ready to use: May's Writing Lesson, which could make an excellent Mother's Day writing assignment.
A NOTE ABOUT THE CITED MENTOR TEXT ("31 Uses for a Mom")  It's out of print, and in the past month, you users of my website have cleaned out those on Amazon who were selling their used copies for reasonable prices.  Here's the good news: You can teach this lesson without the mentor text (or any of its available cousins, like "41 Uses for a Grandma" http://www.amazon.com/41-Uses-Grandma-Harriet-Ziefert/dp/1609051068/ref=pd_sim_b_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0KB7V5G51SNVM5DAE4HM). At the lesson link, just share my posted teacher model about our dog Pudge, and I am confident your kids will get the idea of 'Unique Job Descriptions for Someone You Love," which is the idea of the assignment.
Here's a link to the Lesson of the Month, plus a notebook idea, a great Sacred Writing Slide for May, and a suggestion for having students write about new vocabulary words: http://corbettharrison.com/LotM.htm#month
Have a great month!  Summer is on the way!
--Corbett & Dena Harrison (http://corbettharrison.com)
Visit Writing Lesson of the Month Network at: http://writinglesson.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

More information from the Harrisons...some great ideas. Enjoy!

1)  My Random Grouping Cards that Teach Common Core Vocabulary and Grammar Skills through Transitional Tasks:  I've undertaken a huge new product that will be featured at my website over this summer, and I'll be previewing pieces of it for teachers to try out this next month.  You know, there are a few long-standing members of this Ning that have purchased (and supported us!) almost every product we feature at our personal website.  I want to design a few card sets to honor those teachers while asking them to personally try them out to make sure they are error- and typo-less, and if you believe you're one of those faithful teachers who've purchased and used a good number of our already-created products, please contact me here: corbett@corbettharrison.com
2)  We Saved WritingFix until 2020! Thanks to you!  Dena and I are absolutely humbled that 162 people donated to our Indiegogo campaign.  We made the amount we need, and WritingFix and this Ning are SAFE for five more years.  I would like to offer anyone who donated a product from our own personal websites as our way of saying thanks.  A lot of you donated anonymously, but I know you can send me a screen shot or a forwarded email that verifies your donation to our cause, and you can request any one of the products we currently offer if you can provide the proof that you stepped up and gave.  Please take advantage of this if you donated.  Please.  I'd like very much to give you something useful, something that Dena and I have created since we lost funding for WritingFix and began creating useful writing tools for our own websites.  Again, if this applies to you, please contact me here: corbett@corbettharrison.com
Our Spring Break ends this weekend and then we're back for the final long-haul.  I hope you all had relaxing Spring Breaks too!
--Corbett & Dena Harrison (http://corbettharrison.com)
Visit Writing Lesson of the Month Network at: http://writinglesson.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network
 
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Here are some more great ideas from the Harrisons. Enjoy!

1)  Writing Across the Curriculum: Huge congrats to NNWP Teacher-trainer Holly Youngwho is having her second children’s book being published:Help Wanted at Mount Vernon.  Holly, who is one of our most respected local teacher-trainers and math teacher extraordinaire, teamed up with her sister who’s a great history teacher, Cathy Morgan, to write a “Math meets history problem-solving book” based on their experiences visiting Mt. Vernon over the years.  When math meets history, only Holly and Cathy could have co-created this book together.  Like with her last picture book, Holly will be posting free-to-use K-12 lessons at her website.  The new book will be available on Amazon soon.
  • A special invite to all of our Northern Nevada users of “WritingFix,” “Always Write,” and Holly’s “Making Mathematicians”: there is a book launch party for Help Wanted at Mount Vernon coming up on April 20, at Reed High School, from 4-6 p.m.  I will certainly be there.  And if you can’t be there, no worries because I will be posting links to Holly's new book's on-line lessons as soon as they are posted.
2)  Mother's Day Writing Assignment: I'm giving one of my favorite picture book mentor texts--31 Uses for a Mom--its own online assignment write-up as the "Lesson of the Month" for May, but I will be sending the lesson link out a few weeks before May 1 so that teachers can prepare to use it as--perhaps--a new idea for that innovative Mother's Day writing assignment.  The mentor text (and the accompanying assignment) requires students to come up with a list of clever "job descriptions" they would assign their mothers and maternal guardians.  I did the assignment as a writer's notebook task, and my model to show the students was based on my faithful border collie--Pudge--on this page at Pinterest.  I'm telling you early about this so you might consider making your own teacher model of clever job descriptions about a living thing or person that is important to you.  The mentor text comes with 31 job descriptions, but you can adapt this idea to be any number that your students could brainstorm!  As I always say, all my ideas are very adaptable to K-12 students.  And...by the way...I gave my own 77-year-old mother this charming picture book a few years back for Mother's Day, and she adores it!

Our Spring Break ends this weekend and then we're back for the final long-haul.  I hope you all had relaxing Spring Breaks too!
--Corbett & Dena Harrison (http://corbettharrison.com)
Visit Writing Lesson of the Month Network at: http://writinglesson.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Here is the April Lesson of the Month from Corbett and Dena Harrison. I have also included some April Fool's Day activities from the Corbetts.It is great enjoy!


There may be a typo or two in the just-posted lesson still, but I'll edit it again tomorrow one last time when I'm not running errands.  It's a pretty good writing lesson with two distinct options: http://corbettharrison.com/LotM.htm#month
I'm on Spring Break right now, so I am bummed that I can't display my favorite SWT Slide--The April Fool's Day one--tomorrow with my kids.  If you can, I hope you will!  They'll love this one.
Enjoy and have a great April, everyone!
--Corbett & Dena Harrison (http://corbettharrison.com)
Visit Writing Lesson of the Month Network at: http://writinglesson.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The following collection of picture books is one of the best writing resources a teacher can have - regardless of the grade level. Courtesy of Corbett and Dena Harrison


Find a Better Bunch of Picture Book-Inspired Trait Lessons?

I honestly don't think teachers can!  If you know of a better one than our  Picture Book Lesson Collection at WritingFix (http://writingfix.com/picture_book_prompts.htm), please share by responding to this blog post at the ning: http://writinglesson.ning.com/profiles/blogs/why-writingfix-should-be-saved-reason-9
I have to tell you, Dena and I have been humbled at the generous donations we've received from you loyal WritingFix users and fans.  We always doubted the not-for-profit site could ever become a publicly-sponsored website, and we've ALMOST been proved wrong during the last six weeks.  We are so close to making the amount we need to keep the website on-line and advertisment-free until 2020: https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/save-writingfix-until-2020
So...I've saved a "big gun" resource to remind you about here for the end.  Our Picture Books as Mentor Text page--and this really can't be denied--is truly a great collection of trait-inspired ideas that can be easily adapted to most grade levels.  Please note the page also has a link to Picture Book lessons specifically for Primary Grades and Chapter Book-inspired Writing Lessons.
If you take a look at any of these resource links and haven't donated yet (https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/save-writingfix-until-2020) but still want to based on these resources, please do.  As soon as we make our goal, I promise to stop sending these reminders about resources you may have forgotten existed at WritingFix.
Be on the look-out for the Lesson of the Month on April 1!  It's turning out to be a good one, one that can be adapted to both vocabulary instruction as well as reading projects.
Thanks again for the generosity!
--Corbett & Dena Harrison
Visit Writing Lesson of the Month Network at: http://writinglesson.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network
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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!  https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/save-writingfix-until-2020  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: http://writingfix.com/WAC/WackyWeSearch.htm
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: https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/save-writingfix-until-2020
Happy Spring.  Happy Weekend!
--Corbett Harrison
Visit Writing Lesson of the Month Network at: http://writinglesson.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network
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