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."
Being able to write clearly is an essential skill for all students. It can be hard for kids to pen what they mean, though. With simple online writing tools and blogs like these, students get practice writing informally in settings that aren't too daunting. Get them writing with their peers and they may soar even more.
Everyone knows that good editing is essential but you don’t to send an agent or a potential publisher a manuscript that doesn’t look like a million bucks. Lesley Vos provides some great tips to get you there.
As a professional writer and a writing specialist, I know that not everyone is as hepped up about words as I am. (What, you mean you don’t want to spend the next five hours chatting about the relationship between a character’s syntax and their familial history? Say it ain’t so!). I know that if I have any hope of maintaining student (and teacher) attention spans, I have to keep it relevant to the here and now.
My secret: use the news! With all of its of-the-moment relevancy and juicy tidbits, the news is the perfect lens through which to teach the ins and outs of craft – or, probably more accurately, the perfect mask to distract students as I sneak in the real lessons. Let’s take a look at some of the most creative and effective techniques out there today.
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.
When you write and revise your fiction, you deal with a host of problems. With some novels, it’s hard to decide on the right point of view. With others, it’s a struggle to work out the plot. Sometimes it’s a matter of getting the language down just right. Of course it’s one thing to spot a problem, another to fix it. Consider the following ten rather typical problems most fiction writers face—and some possible fixes.
2014 – what a year! Looking back at our YA releases - which include three perfect romances from Stephanie Perkins and Holly Bourne’s exceptional The Manifesto on How to be Interesting - you may think...