Saturday, July 30, 2011

August News from Writing Fix!

Following is a link provided by Corbett Harrison:  -

to the Lesson of the Month and the Writer's Notebook Prompt of the Month.  They address the teaching target for August, participial phrases, and are good examples of how to embed meaningful grammar in writing.  Enjoy!

  • The Lesson of the Month:  Inspired by the participial phrases used by author Debbie Allen in her book--Dancing in the Wings--students create stories that depend on participles, learning to punctuate them in the process.
  • The Writer's Notebook Prompt of the Month:  A good "hook," lead, or introductory sentence uses strong verbs.  Participles, because they are built from verbs, make great introductory sentences.  With this lesson, students create/collect favorite participle-inspired sentences that would launch great stories.

Two other notes of interest (Ihope):
  • In September, we begin posting lessons inspired by our Mentors Text of the Year for 2011-12.  You can read about the texts (and order them through a link that will benefit WritingFix) at this WritingFix page:
  • And remember, webmaster Corbett Harrison (that's me!) is challenging all teachers to begin their own writer's notebooks this summer to be able to show their students; our writer's notebook prompt that is coming in September is a fun two-page spread to have ready to show them:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

As the focus on Nonfiction increases, many debate what balance is best for students. Here are some ideas courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Why fiction writing should be taught in elementary schools
Teacher and author Gaetan Pappalardo says elementary-school students should be encouraged to write from their imaginations and create original stories. Teachers should go beyond the traditional reality-based writing assignment and allow students to write fiction -- the first literary genre to which most were exposed -- allowing them to develop insight and consider life issues such as courage, evil, loyalty and love, he writes. Pappalardo's blog (7/18)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Great Article from e-school on writing software. Take a look.

e Top News of the Day

Writing software teaches students how to correct their own mistakesWriting software teaches students how to correct their own mistakes
Students struggling with writing tend to fall behind in multiple disciplines; however, it can be hard to correct their writing behavior effectively on an individual basis. That's where software programs such as SAS Curriculum Pathways' [ Read More ]

Monday, July 11, 2011

Utah writing institute offers guidance for teachers

Here is a great article on collaboration among writing teachers in Utah.

It would be a good idea to follow in order to access the information they are sharing on the 21st century.
It might be something we should consider here in Maine, especially the sharing format.
Courtesy of ASCD Smart Brief.

Some Utah teachers will participate this summer in a workshop in which they share resources, lesson plans and technology to help them teach students to write. The Central Utah Writing Project, which began in 2009 and is affiliated with the National Writing Project, will focus this year on digital media. "We've seen a lot of examples on how to bring writing into the 21st century," said Jon Ostenson, a Brigham Young University professor. "We are seeing how to translate traditional writing instruction into new media genres." The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah) (7/7)Bookmark and Share

Monday, July 4, 2011

July Writing Fix Lesson! Awesome!

Welcome to this Lesson:

Showing Creative Problem Solving

writing about an animal's dilemma from start to finish

This lesson was built for WritingFix after being proposed by Nevada teacher Lisa Larson at an AT&T-sponsored in-service class for teachers.
The intended "mentor text" to be used when teaching this on-line lesson is The Call of the Wild by Jack London. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author, especially from pages 17-18 of the book.
To our loyal WritingFix users: Please use this link if purchasing The Call of the Wild from, and help keep WritingFix free and on-line. We thank you! 

Three-Sentence Overview of this Lesson:

Students will read an excerpt from Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, focusing on the character of Buck solving a problem, listening carefully to London's word choice. Students will think of their own animals with original problems to be solved. Students will then create a 3-paragraph story, detailing a problem and the eventual solution with words. Teachers: click here to read the entire lesson plan.

6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

The focus trait for this lesson is idea development; showing (not telling) a problem and its solution with details is each writer's focus here. The support trait for this lesson is word choice; student writers will carefully choose words to show with--words that definitely try to paint a picture in their reader's head.

P.S. - Don't have to read the whole book.