Write Now! Empowering Writers in Today's K-6 Classroom

Teaching Tips

  • 'You've Got Mail:' Correspondence at Its Finest

    Our future conversations evolved into something we never expected. Our students developed wonderful friendships via old fashioned pen and paper letters. Thus began the Pen Pal Project.

  • Building a Foundation for Writing Success

    Students should start from a successful point and writing should increase in difficulty and rigor throughout the year. Each student will have individual starting points and individual growth, but class whole-group lessons will benefit all. Students may start with writing their names, progress to writing predicable text and repetitive sentences, to constructing stories at varying lengths.
  • More Ways to Pitch Graphic Novels

    Have you ever encountered a parent, a teacher, or a librarian who does not support graphic novels? I have. Whenever someone questions why I promote graphic novels, I pull one of the following resources out of my hat...
  • Best Ever Literacy Tips for Teaching Informational Text Structures

    Focusing on text structures is worth the effort because research suggests that understanding text structure strengthens overall comprehension and may also provide students with models for writing.
  • Camp Digi-Lit: Using Transliteracy Tools to Counteract Summer Reading Loss

    Youngsters take over the Center for Literacy, the computer labs and the entire campus because it serves as their classroom during this engaging and fun-filled summer reading camp aimed at keeping kids immersed in literacy learning over the summer.
  • Let Reluctant Readers Go to the Dogs

    Although everyone knows that kids and dogs are a winning combination I (as a former teacher of English and professor of teacher education specializing in literacy development) initially expressed skepticism that dogs trained to assist children with reading could help them become better readers. But then I learned about research-based international organizations, such as Reading Education Assistance Dogs program for registered therapy dogs.
  • Say It With a Font! Students Create Fonts to Add Mood, Meaning to Writing

    Have you ever thought about where fonts come from? They’re just on your computer, right? But, how do they get there and who created them? Is it possible to make your own?
  • Kindergarten Strategies to Meet Everyone's Standards

    I would like to address how all kindergartners can learn the alphabetic principle (sound to letter correspondences and vice versa) in the easiest (developmentally appropriate) manner, so it will transfer to writing and reading. The alphabetic principle is a critical important reading standard and foundational skill kindergartners must learn if they are to be writers and readers.
  • Six-Word Memoirs in the Classroom

    Together, we came up with a list of how they might use six-word memoirs with the students they came to know and care about over the course of the semester, and how they imagine using six-word memoirs with students they have not yet encountered.

  • Don't Tell Me Kindergartners Can't Do That!

    In today’s era of pacing guides and continuums developed to complete a set number of skills in a set number of meetings—regardless of developmental milestones—kindergarten teachers are faced with the ongoing internal debate of what is appropriate for 5-year-olds and what is expected.
  • The Why and How of Writing Groups

    Each semester, when I announce to my students that they will be in writing groups, I see the same fearful eyes and frustrated faces.
  • Keeping Those Creative Juices Flowing

    After recently finishing another round of standardized testing, as well as too many district-required assessments that mimic the standardized tests, I am inclined to look for additional ways to make assessments more meaningful and engaging for my students.
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