Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Get Ready for Picture Day:)

A message from the Writing Lesson of the Month Network

I just saw my first school picture announcement for this year at a school I was visiting!  Reminded me of one of WritingFix's most popular (and best) featured lessons from the past!

Yes, that's right; WritingFix features a really great writing lesson about having "The Worst School Picture Day Ever."  The lesson comes with wonderful tools, including student samples that can be discussed and graphic organizers that help differentiate.

Lesson Link: http://www.writingfix.com/Picture_Book_Prompts/Alexander_No_Good_Day1.htm

I particularly like this lesson because it shows how two mentor texts' ideas can be synthesized into an original idea for an engaging writing lesson: Bedhead by Margie Palatini and Judith Viorst's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

We'd love to see new student samples for this one posted this year!  You can self-publish up to three samples from your own classroom with this link.

I would add Lynn Plourdes's book:  

as a mentor text:)
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Spell Check and Exams?

Here is a new update provided by e-news, regarding the use of spell-check on writing exams.  See what you think?   
Spell-check use on writing exam prompts debate Spell-check use on writing exam prompts debate
A decision by the Oregon Department of Education to let students use a computer spell-check feature when taking an online version of the state's writing exam this year has raised some concerns among stakeholders, prompting... [ Read More ]
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Melanie Watt  is a Canadian author who has written a series of books titled, Scaredy Squirrel.  This is a series that focuses on fears and how the squirrel overcomes them.  They are great books and work well with all ages. 

She has also written a series of books on Chester the cat.  In these books, Chester competes with her as an author.  His antics are hilarious and appeal to many ages.  The voice of both characters is strong, providing good examples to analyze and model.

They are available on amazon.com.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Middle School Titles Available!

Finally, a series of Middle School texts to accompany 6 +1 teaching traits in grades 6-8. 
They are great - especially the book on Mentor Texts. 

The series is available on Amazon.com.    Reduced Prices for the start up of school!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Thinkfinity - Great Ideas in Conjunction with NCTE Read Write Think!

Here  is a great idea for the beginning of school!

Students design and write postcards based on places they visited over the summer - or - introducing their school!  The limited space on a postcard requires students to write in a concise manner.  The following program (you can copy and paste) provides students with an overview of the parts of a postcard.  Enjoy:)

The Star-Spangled Banner

Postcard Creator

Planning a trip? Practice writing a postcard to tell your friends and family about the places you will visit.

Grades K-8 | Language Arts