Argument is inescapable. It's at the heart of all career-based writing. I'm talking about the professional debate, the cover letter pitch, the interview, the grant application, the executive summary. Because argument appears in so many situations in life beyond school, students need to experience it not just as a separate skill in writing class but as a skill that's crucial to all content areas.
Do your students suffer from writer’s block? I’ve found a cure for what ails them: Writing Challenge for Kids, an app by Literautas. After reading several positive online reviews, I tried this app with my students and got results that surpassed my wildest expectations.
With this app, the task of brainstorming a story introduction, scenes, and characters becomes a game. Working against the clock, students respond to specific prompts that guide them through the story-writing process. It’s fun, it’s fast, and, as the name suggests, it’s challenging. Read on to discover if this challenge is right for your students.
I began using Dragon Dictation a few years ago when my work with a group of struggling writers left me searching for a tool that could help them get the great ideas they were sharing aloud onto a page. I wanted something elegant: a tool that wouldn’t interrupt students as they were speaking but rather, quietly capture what they were saying and flip it into text.
Although the term red herring is usually associated with murder mysteries, most stories contain an element of misdirection to keep the reader guessing at the outcome. When it’s obvious where it’s headed, even if the route contains interesting obstacles and encounters, you miss out on that feeling of discovery when you realise the answer isn’t A, as you thought, but B (which seemed impossible but now you can see of course it was B, it was always B, sneaky, sneaky B).
In order to create the delight a reader feels when their view of the world (even when it’s a made up world) is spun around 180 degrees and they see things how they truly are you have to first convince them of the way things truly aren’t.
"There’s something about having our work seen by strangers that makes us take it up a notch. And while displaying writing and art in the school halls or a teacher-made book can accomplish that feeling to some degree, publication in a more “official” vehicle carries more weight.
"These publications are the real deal — online and print periodicals that showcase work by student artists and writers, some as young as age five. Many are run by a staff that is partly or completely made up of students. Each one is beautifully designed and features high-quality work. Some even pay. If you know a student who aspires to become a serious writer or artist, encourage them to take the next step and start working toward publication."
I've been teaching students how to write for 12 years, but this week I had a realization that made me question the purpose of writing in school. When I was in high school and later in college, my English classes focused primarily on reading novels and writing papers to demonstrate a strong
Sarah McElrath's insight:
Yes --students still need to LEARN how to write, not just use it as an assessment tool.
It's not all that complicated, and it doesn't have to be time-consuming, either. You don't need an English degree to get really good at helping students build writing proficiency in your content area. [...]
Here’s a terrific list of the best apps for writing on your iPad that is going to be of some great use for students of just about any age. Whether you’re in primary school or attending a university, you need to have a better way to take notes and jot down ideas than your standard notebook.
For our Second Annual Student Editorial Contest, in which teenagers are invited to write on an issue they care about, we have gathered a list of 301 writing prompts that may help — an update to last year’s popular list of 200.
If you’re looking to motivate student poets in grades K through 12 you’ll want to check out Diamante Poem in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. This interactive app can help students understand how to create this special type of poem. ReadWriteThink offers a variety of lesson plans for teachers to use with this app. It is a good choice for one-to-one classrooms or an option for a literacy center. Whether you are teaching a unit on poetry or just helping students understand the difference between nouns and verbs, Diamante Poem is a fun free app for ELA classes.
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