A wonderful post quoting 13 great writers on their daily routines. Great research by Maria Popova to pull this all together. Wonderful photos too (as evidenced by a young Maya Angelou, above). Just a warm and rich reading experience. -JL
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By Angie Kaufman
"One area that many homeschoolers struggle with teaching is writing/composition. In my house, when some of my kids struggle with writing, it is especially difficult for me as someone who has been writing stories since as long as I could write words. Luckily, the Internet is full of ideas for writing activities and resources to help."
Amy Gallagher Critchett is on Learnist. Join Learnist share learnings with Amy Gallagher Critchett and others. - Lori Johnson
Critchett maintains a very rich and growing collection of resources for high school ELA teachers, keyed to the CCSS. This should be of considerable use to teachers now and going forward. -JL
Via Lori Johnson, Jim Lerman
From the website (download report for free)
"Sharon J. Washington, executive director of the National Writing Project, said, "The experience of these nine teachers reminds us of the central role they play in true education reform. It's teachers who are the technology drivers, seeking out digital tools, learning them, testing them and finally implementing them successfully in their classrooms. With the benefit of professional development from organizations like the National Writing Project, these pioneers are preparing their students for the digital world."
"The teachers featured in the report found that the use of such Web 2.0 tools as blogs, podcasts, wikis, and comics-creating software has heightened students' engagement and enhanced their writing and thinking skills—in all grade levels and across all subjects. Even as these teachers' students gain the skills to live and work in the 21st-century setting, too many times, the report found, their classrooms look like 20th-century models."
A free, 8-part online workshoop series from Annenberg Learner.
Creating a Community of WRiter
Making Writing Meaningful
Teaching Persuasive Writing
Teaching Multigenre Writing
Responding to Writing: Teacher to Student
Responding to Writing: Peer to peer
Teaching the Power of Revision
Via Lynette Van Dyke
Check out Doodle Splash, a cool interactive from ReadWriteThink, that combines the process of drawing with analytical thinking about a text by pairing an online drawing space with writing prompts that encourage students to make connections between their visual designs and the text.
Via Jamie Forshey, Lynnette Van Dyke
By Gerald Aungst
"This site is the most comprehensive library of IF games. Some IF interpreter programs have the ability to connect directly to this database to find and download new games, much like the Apple App Store.
"For other interpreters, you may need to download the game files separately and load them into your interpreter program.
A warning for teachers looking for games to use with your students: IF content spans all the genres of literature you would find in a major bookstore, including adult titles. Best to pre-select the games you want your students to play instead of sending them to the archives themselves."
Posted by Terry Heick
"In part 1 of this post we took a look at the writing process itself–the relative awkwardness of the process for many developing writers, and how live modeling can help support writer growth. In this part, we are focusing on using cloud-based word processing and general productivity suites like Adobe Buzzword and Google Docs. We also recently looked at 10 Ideas for Using Technology to Teach Writing.)"
From the website
"There's no perfect formula for crafting a novel. In fact, some of the best tales that withstand the tests of time are the ones that break the rules and invent a new narrative. The simplest of ideas can blow up into 100,000 words of masterfully crafted storytelling with proper development. While the words are the most important part of any novel, what is a craftsperson without his or her tools? We've collected eight apps that will help you turn aspirations into novelizations. These come just in time to join the scribbling scribes participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so grab them and embrace your craving to compose some prose."
Via Jon Samuelson
From the website
"In "The Writing Revolution," Peg Tyre traces the problems at one troubled New York high school to a simple fact: The students couldn't write coherent sentences. In 2009 New Dorp High made a radical change. Instead of trying to engage students through memoir exercises and creative assignments, the school required them to write expository essays and learn the fundamentals of grammar. Within two years, the school's pass rates for the English Regents test and the global-history exam were soaring. The school's drop-out rate — 40 percent in 2006 — has fallen to 20 percent.
"The experiment suggests that the trend toward teaching creative writing was hurting American students. In a debate about Tyre's story, we asked a range of experts, from policymakers to Freedom Writers founder Erin Gruwell, to share their thoughts on Tyre's story. This page will be updated with new entries each day through mid-October."
Great collection of articles. -JL
By Med Kharbach
" Thanks to the digital boom we are living in now , there are several apps that teachers can use to promote and enhance creative writing for their students. We have collected a great list of such apps and we want you to try some and see how they work with your students. These apps you can have access to a wide range of writing prompts, fun games, and activities to help your students write out of the box."
By Jennifer Funk
"Jan Worth-Nelson has specific and detailed workshop guidelines for her creative writing class: “begin by responding to what you think the essay is about;” “see if you can find a way to describe the ‘voice’ of the essay;” “when you say you like something, try to continue your commentary with something that suggests why you like it.”
"For years, though, despite telling her students exactly what to do, Nelson often felt the workshops fell short of her expectations.
"So when she and a few colleagues at the University of Michigan-Flint began researching the effect of clickers on student learning, she took the opportunity to reinforce workshop procedures.
"If their hypothesis proved true — that students would better retain information they learned using clickers — the quality of the writing workshops would improve."
Writing is one of the key literacy learning skills.
In their words...
Via John Dalziel, Lynnette Van Dyke
A free, 8-part online workshop from Annenberg Learner. Topics include:
A Shared Path
Usage and Mechanics
Providing Feedback on Student Writing
Learning from Professional Writers
Writing in the 21st Century
Via Lynette Van Dyke
Both high-tech innovations for learning and the inability of many American schoolchildren to write well have been major talking points in educational circles for quite some time, but oddly enough, one may offer a solution to helping remedy the other.
There are a variety of tech tools and methods out there for teaching writing that can make the process easier and more fun for both teachers and students. While not every high-tech way of teaching writing will work for every class or every student, there’s enough variety that there’s bound to be something for everyone.
Here, we offer just a few tech-focused ways to help students learn grammar, essay-writing, and, most importantly, why good writing is so important to their futures.
Via adpcenter, Jenny Smith, @DebMillar24 , Jamie Forshey, Lynnette Van Dyke, Jim Lerman
By Ozge Karaoglu
"Here are some ideas on how we can use this tool with our students:
Children can make two characters from a book to text each other.
Two famous people can text each other.
Children can create short poetry using this tool.
We can provide some part of the text and ask children to write their guesses of the other person’s answers.
Children can practice a dialogue, or questions and answers.
We can provide children the conversation and ask what has happened before and after.
We can use this tool to explain the meaning of a vocabulary.
It can also be a good idea to use this tool to practice advices or suggestions."
By Jeffrey R. Young,
"A new kind of university has begun to emerge: Call it Star Scholar U.
"Professors with large followings and technical prowess are breaking off to start their own online institutions, delivering courses with little or no backing from traditional campuses.
"Founding a university may sound dramatic, but in an era of easy-to-use online tools it can be done as a side project—akin to blogging or writing a textbook. Soon there could be hundreds of Star Scholar U's.
"Two recent examples are Marginal Revolution University, started by two economics professors at George Mason University, and Rheingold U, run by the author and Internet pioneer Howard Rheingold. To be clear, these professors are using the word "university" loosely—they award no credit and claim no spot on any college ranking. And they probably won't become rich through their teaching. But the gambit gives them full control over the content and delivery methods. And it offers their personal brands as a kind of credential."
By Haley Lee (HS student)
"As a high school student myself, I was intrigued by Peg Tyre's article about a Staten Island school's turnaround. Tyre shows the importance of writing skills to academic and professional success. She looks specifically at the new and improved curriculum at New Dorp High School, which emphasizes analysis over self-expression...
"I like to think about writing as a two-dimensional process. The first dimension, which Tyre hits upon, is the act of putting ideas onto paper. Mechanics are important in this regard: If a student grasps for a word and comes up empty-handed, it becomes impossible to move forward.
"But, in my experience, the best teachers don't just show their kids how to use nouns, verbs, and adjectives. They make their students aware of writing's second dimension: the dialogue between author and reader. It is the unearthly chill of witnessing a character die, the cementing (or dissolving) of a set of beliefs, or the thoughtful pause before flipping the page of a magazine, that epitomize the type of connection writing can ignite."
Posted by Katie Lepi
"If helping your students write papers is a part of your school day, you probably already know that there are enough issues to focus on without having to spend a lot of time teaching your students how to build a bibliography and correctly cite their sources. Your time is likely better spent helping create a focused, concise piece of work that uses excellent grammar and sentence structure.
"There are a lot of online bibliography tools out there that can help students learn to build bibliographies and ensure that their citations are correct, without them (and you) spending hours pouring over MLA, APA, or Chicago handbooks. The options include browser extensions, templates, and online citation builders (where you plug in your resource and the citation is generated for you."
Via Dennis T OConnor, Louise Robinson-Lay