Monday, August 27, 2012

September Lesson of the Month for Writing Fix!

First of all, we welcome Tennessee teacher, Sherri Wade, who became our official 20,000th member of this Ning last week.  We just keep growing and sharing!
Second, thanks to all of you who've been asking for a "sneak peek" of September's Writing Lesson of the Month, since it is based on our Mentor Text of the Year--which many of you were encouraged to obtain for your classroom this summer.  I have posted an "early preview" of the lesson at the website, and I encourage you to look it over.  Please forgive me if there are any typos--I still am in the process of doing final revisions on the lesson, but alas, I have to report to work tomorrow, so they'll have to wait until this weekend.
September's Lesson of the Month can be accessed along with all past lessons of the month: http://corbettharrison.com/LotMArchive.html#month
I hope everyone had a great, productive summer!  I guess it's officially over for me in about eight hours.  :-(
--Corbett Harrison

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Monthly Letter from Writing Fix!

Hello, fellow teachers,
Many of you, I suspect, are enjoying your last days of summer vacation right now.  I hope these last few days become the best days of your time off. 
Two updates:
  1. NumberFix Coordinator Holly Young (NumberFix is our "Resource of the Month" for August) has sent us a nice Common Core-friendly math and writing lesson that goes along with her newly-published, first book: The UnderAchievers.  Eventually, I will have time to post at right at NumberFix, but for now I have posted the lesson write-up and the lesson's handouts at the Ning: http://writinglesson.ning.com/profiles/blogs/help-us-celebrate-our-numberfix-coordinator-holly-young   Holly strategically designed this first lesson for gifted second graders, average third graders, and struggling fourth graders.  Be sure to check it out if you teach (or know someone who teaches) those grade levels
  2. My wife, Dena, and I are busily finishing our Writer's Notebook/Workshop Choice Menus, which will compliment the Writer's Notebook Bingo Cards we first posted last August.  Pre-sales for the new menus will begin Monday, and we've posted a special offer to all teachers who purchased (and graciously supported us!) the Bingo cards in the last year.  If you were thinking about the Bingo Cards, you might want to do it this weekend so that you're eligible for the special offer.  Details about this special offer are here:  http://writinglesson.ning.com/profiles/blogs/planning-on-using-our-writer-s-notebook-bingo-cards-this-school-y  Thanks in advance for your continued support.  All proceeds from the sales of our products are invested back into our classrooms!
As I said, I hope your last days of summer are relaxing. 
--Corbett Harrison, WritingFix Webmaster
P.S.  I have recently begun using Pinterest, and I have created a special "board" where I want all teachers to have the right to post photographs from their students' writer's notebook pages.  I've seen other people open up permission for posting at their boards, but I can't figure out how to do it.  Is there a Pinterest user out there who can tell me how to do it?  Thanks in advance. 
Visit Writing Lesson of the Month Network at: http://writinglesson.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Great New Resources to Start School - Courtesy of Writing Fix

Here's fast access to the Writing Lesson of the Month website: http://corbettharrison.com/
LotMArchive.html
Lesson/Resource of the Month:  For August, we continue to focus our attention on Writing Across the Curriculum tasks.  Last month, we celebrated the writing lessons at ScienceFix, and this month we are celebrating the writing  lessons at NumberFix.  While visiting NumberFix, consider purchasing a copy of NumberFix Coordinator's--Holly Young--brand new picture book for teaching fractions: The Under-Achievers.  We are so proud of Holly for not only writing this book but modeling her whole writing process for her math students last year.  I only wish I had been able to learn math from Holly when I was a student!
Another Resource:  Our Nine Months of Writer's Notebook Bingo Cards are selling really well right now, and Dena and I want to thank all of you who purchasers who send us such kind words when you recognize the hard work we put into that product.  Those Bingo Cards are designed to begin being used in September, since the topics build on each other as the months progress.  I will be out next week traveling, so if you want to have your copy of the Bingo cards ASAP so that you can begin planning how you'll introduce the card in September, please order soon.  Our Writer's Workshop Menus will be available a week after I am back from my trip, and all WritingFix users who purchase the Bingo Cards before the menus are released will receive a nice bonus gift! 
Mentor Text of the Year Update:  We hear tell Amazon is having trouble keeping our Mentor Text of the Year for 2012-13 in stock.  This happened last year with Show; Don't Tell: Secrets of Writing.  Remember, our September Lesson of the Month will be based on this year's Mentor Text of the Year--The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter, a true author-friend of WritingFix.  If you want to turn your students into "vocabulary collectors" this year, be sure you get your book order in soon!
Have a great final month before we go back to school!
--Corbett
Visit Writing Lesson of the Month Network at: http://writinglesson.ning.com/
?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Improving writing lessons through conversation - Cu\ourtesy of ASCD Smart Brief

We have long known conversation is a way to rehearse writing. This author suggests we take it one step further - some good thoughts.
  • Tracy Wagner, the English and history program director at a school in Boston, in this blog post writes about her experience during a summer program in which she used the immigration debate to teach students about writing. Equally important to the writing lessons, she says, was a focus on talk. Students discussed and debated articles and issues related to the immigration law -- helping to develop their critical-thinking skills, which in turn benefited their writing. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org)