Over on the "Real Teaching, Real Learning" blog this week, I share a revision strategy that I frequently teach in elementary and middle schools, and explain why I'm now calling the exclamation point an excavation point. Check it out
What do you do at the end of unit of study? Your students have spent weeks cultivating their texts through a complete unit of study— from noticing ideas in their everyday lives to noodling on thoughts in their notebooks, then drafting, intentionally applying craft strategies, revising, revising again, and editing. What do you do to … Continue reading Ways to celebrate, publish student writing
Many teachers launch poetry units in April to honor National Poetry Month, so here are five notebook strategies that can support your poetry unit. As you read through them, you’ll find that these also fit or could be adapted to other units of study. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to teach the same … Continue reading Notebook strategies to help generate and revise poems
As promised, this post continues our conversation on beginning, middle and end in story writing. I should be candid. I'm struggling with what to say in this post, because the logical me wants to simply go back to those three stories that we looked at earlier and analyze the endings--just as we did the beginnings. … Continue reading Endings: What Can You Teach?
After my post about "Beginnings, Middles and Ends" a few weeks ago, a teacher-friend reached out to me. "When I tell students I want them to work on 'the beginning,' I don't mean all that rising action you mentioned," she said. "I am talking about much simpler stuff. I just want them to write an … Continue reading Beginnings: 3 Examples (and Why They Work)
I recently helped judge a story writing contest, and one of the criteria on the assessment form I was provided was: Does the story have a beginning, middle and end? As I began reading the entries, I quickly discovered that this was not useful assessment criteria.