Saturday, January 10, 2015

A word on the new year from the Harrisons - enjoy! PS note the persuasive piece below:)

I'm putting finishing touches on the January "Lesson of the Month" this evening; it will be fully accessible tomorrow morning, which--I suspect--is the first day back for many of you with your student writers. 
The start of the school year (in August or September) is ALWAYS crazy; it takes a few months to get settled and know your new students, and I've always thought January was the perfect time to begin trying out some new techniques.  "Writing Teacher New Year's Resolutions," I've always called them.  If you are heading back this week or next without a manageable resolution for your own writing curriculum, Dena and I offer the following choices:
  1. Write EVERY day and start a Writer's Notebook routine!  The following page at our website is full of ideas and lessons that we use to make our students love and honor their ideas by putting them down in a special notebook:  OR...
  2. Challenge your readers to become "Book Advocates" instead of book report writers.  Once every five or six weeks, my students give a persuasive 6- to 8-minute speech/presentation to each other in our "Reader's Workshop routine."  I haven't graded a book report in over ten years now...and I love it!  Check out our Reading Workshop homepage for ideas ( or check out Dena's Reading Bingo Card preview:  OR...
  3. Stop only assigning vocabulary words for students to memorize!  Find ways to teach writing skills and Common Core academic vocabulary through short writing tasks that require students to do creative and logical thinking with new words they discover in their reading.  Be sure to check out my vocabulary resource page for some starting ideas:
If you missed December's Lesson of the Month (as I heard happened to some teachers), here is a direct link to it:  It is one of the ideas from Dena's Reading Bingo Cards (see #2 above) that we've recently expanded upon.  I am particularly proud of the third idea, and I'm looking forward to challenging my students with a new way to learn some grammatical terms from Common Core.
Here is a preview link to January's Lesson of the Month.  Like I said, it won't be finalized until tomorrow.  I am working on the student samples that I'm going to post, and I am still finalizing some of the handouts that come with the lesson.  I expect it to be completely functional by the time I head off to bed tonight:
Back to work on the January lesson now!  Thanks for your continued support of our website, and Happy New Year.
--Corbett & Dena Harrison
Visit Writing Lesson of the Month Network at:

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