Monday, March 24, 2014

Our writing gurus, Corbett and Dena Harriosn, are back and here is the latest lesson. Enjoy.

Hello, my teaching and writing colleagues,
I won't go into detail, but the last few months have been a bit over-whelming here in Northern Nevada. With health issues, in our family when it rains, it pours, and I have been faithfully writing my monthly lessons just not having time to format them for the webpage...and send them out.  I am behind, but I am now officially catching up.
Officially, this post is the lesson link that should have come out in February!  Next weekend, I will finally post the one that should have come out March 1st, and then I'll be on Spring Break to put everything back on schedule.  Thanks for your patience...if you even noticed!  :-)
  • February's Writer's Notebook Lesson: "Am I Normal or Nuts?" is a new writer's notebook task that my 8th graders love.  Enjoy their notebook pages and their weird sense of humors when you look at their examples.
  • February's Writing Lesson of the Month:  "Reader's Notebook Bingo Summaries"  I finally made time to make use of Dena's Reading Notebook Bingo Cards--which she finished way back in August--and I had a great first experience with my sixth graders last month.  Instead of posting their work and the lesson write-up at my website in the usual way, I chose to post my explanation and samples at Pinterest so that I could continue to add more samples as they come in.  Access that Pinterest board here:
And speaking of Pinterest, if you want a sneak preview of March's lesson--"Primary Source Picture Books"--which I will officially put on my website for next weekend, you can check out all my images and explanations at the Pinterest board I set up for this lesson:
I hope springtime is lifting your spirits; it's doing us wonders here in Nevada today.
--Corbett & Dena Harrison (
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It is that time of year again when teachers are preparing students for open response. Following are some guidelines from Writing Fix. Enjoy!


6 steps for drafting a constructed response:
  1. Re-read the passage at least once, then re-read the question carefully to decide all the parts it is asking for. Mark the key words in the question. The key words are the verb or verbs, any character names, and key literary terms.
  2. Rewrite the question in your own words to make sure that you know exactly what is being asked. Then, turn that question into a topic sentence for your answer.
  3. Go back to the passage and collect the needed information. Make sure you get the relevant details (if the question asks for 3 details, make sure you find 3 details).
  4. Organize the details into a logical order. Use a graphic organizer if that helps.
  5. Write your answer neatly.
  6. Re-read your answer to make sure you answered all
    the parts of the question.
    This resource was found on-line at the WritingFix website ( Visit WritingFix’s Reading in the Content Areas (RICA) section to find even more free teaching resources!