Three leading writing educators respond to the question: What advice can you give to help teachers be more effective in helping students become better writers? Respondees include Mary Tedrow, Doug Fisher, and Nancy Frey. -JL
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
By Alison Fromme, Jennifer Cutraro and Katherine Schulten
Summary by Accomplished Teacher
"Lessons in English and science can go hand in hand through the genre of "lab lit," offer the writers of this blog post. In one suggested exercise, students would discuss recent science topics and determine how they might be used as the basis for a novel or movie. In another exercise, students examine the novel "Frankenstein," which is cited in an accompanying article as probably one of the earliest examples of "lab lit," and the authors also suggest studying scientists' blogs."
"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."
"We also want to highlight another idea for student writing today, with a guest post from a teacher named Jennifer Ansbach who, for the last seven years, has had her students participate in November’s National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo, as the cool kids call it), which provides teachers with resources to teach novel writing in the classroom through its Young Writers Program.
"We were interested in this idea after we read a piece this summer in The Times’s Room for Debate blog that asked, “Can School Performance Be Measured Fairly?”
"One of the nine experts who weighed in included a high school student, Julia Fox, who wrote about her NaNoWriMo experience, contrasting writing a novel with preparing for standardized tests:"
A list of writing resources for students and teachers of writing complied by Mia Zamora, a professor at Kean University in New Jersey. Most of the references are for high school and older writers.
Additional parts of this site relate to Literary Criticism, Multimedia, Primary Texts, and World Culture. Numerous links are provided along with brief description of each. World Literate provides access to an impressive list of aids and supports. -JL
"One of the ongoing challenges for my composition students is the task of narrowing a broad, generalized topic into a more particular, focused topic for a short research essay. To help them develop this skill, I now prescribe a broad topic for everyone to use in the first research essay. Over several class sessions, we work collaboratively to explore the general topic, identify more particular subtopics, and develop research strategies to investigate these subtopics as possible subject matter.
"This semester I required all of the students to write about our city, Anderson, Indiana. In addition to all of the other “process” assignments I use to teach my students inquiry, research strategies and drafting techniques, I recently added an art project to the mix. The assignment was simple: create a poster that gives a “face” to the city of Anderson. I told the students to be creative in their design and to represent visually the key discoveries they’ve made about their specialized topics. I also encouraged them to suggest the focus and purpose for their essay through the content or design of the poster. I promised to give each student 30 seconds to offer comments about his or her poster to the class...."
"The posters students created in response to the assignment were impressive—not in their artistic design but in their clarity. Nearly every student was able to articulate an appropriately narrow focus AND a specific purpose for the essay project. Making the poster seemed to help them identify the key ideas or categories of information they would include in the paper."
"Educators share their advice in Larry Ferlazzo's blog post for helping students become better writers. Aimee Buckner, a consultant and author, suggests starting a writing workshop, giving students time each day to write and showing students how to eliminate unnecessary words in their writing. Writer and teacher Carolyn Coman suggests that teachers focus on their own writing and help students make connections to their writing, while Tanya Baker, director of National Programs for the National Writing Project, agrees that teachers need to write, write, write"
"NBC Learn, the education arm of NBC News, has launched an original video series called “Writers Speak to Kids,” featuring interviews with popular and award-winning children’s book authors. Answering questions from NBC News correspondent Jenna Bush Hager, the authors share their writing process and experiences, helping students learn more about the craft and techniques of creative writing."
"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."
"In the winter of 2010, inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing published in The New York Times nearly a decade earlier, The Guardian reached out to some of today’s most celebrated authors and asked them to each offer his or her 10 rules. My favorite is Zadie Smith’s list — an exquisite balance of the practical, the philosophical, and the poetic:"
Carla Beard has run Web English Teacher for well over a decade, compiling a mountain of resources for...well, English teachers. This is her section on the teaching of writing. It contains more than 30 categories (such as Argument and Persuasive Writing, Character Sketches, Digital Storytelling, Revision, and Writing to a Prompt) and links to hundreds of excellent resources. -JL
This archive contains links to all of our free grammar lessons and quizzes. Daily Grammar consists of 440 lessons and 88 quizzes. Lessons 1-90 cover the eight parts of speech, which are verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions,...
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