The term “struggling” writer really applies to every single human being. We have all struggled with writing at some point and will continue to struggle moving forward. The difference between successful writers and unsuccessful writers (“success” being defined as students who turn in completed essays that convey meaning effectively versus those who do not) lies in being able to work through frustration.
Oftentimes when people grimace at the thought of “English class,” it’s because of their haunting memories of failed writing assignments.
I don’t know about you, but I have a difficult time working in meaningful reflection at the end of the school year. And meaningful reflection during the school year is nearly impossible. As soon as I finish one unit, we are immediately onto the next and then the next and then the next.
Essay shaping sheets are essentially templates for writing that guide students through the writing process. A shaping sheet can be as small as a sentence template or as large as an entire paragraph or even essay. But are these tools helpful, or do they ultimately hinder student development? Well, the million-dollar answer to this question is… it depends.
Motivating struggling writers can be quite a challenge. With struggling writers, it is important to create high-interest assignments that students will want to work on, assignments that they will want to put forth the effort on in order to succeed. If struggling students are bored with a writing topic, they won’t be as invested in it and won’t want to put the time and effort in to make it the best it can be.
Teaching high school seniors makes for an interesting group of students because they've mostly already passed their standardized tests and know their next steps in life-- college, work, military, etc.
I can't believe that another school year is almost over! Are you looking for super quick and easy reflective prompts to wrap up the end of the year? Here is a list of TEN songs along with prompts to inspire reflective writing.
An essential skill for secondary English Language Arts is the practice of argumentation. Some writers view all modes of writing as arguments; thus, rhetorical skills are key to crafting persuasive messages for targeted audiences.
Pixar short films made their debut in the early 1980's as Disney made the transition into computer animation technology. Appearing as introductions to to feature films, Disney Pixar shorts have become some of the most highly anticipated aspects of feature film releases.
Writing is a process. It is recursive. No piece of writing is ever "final." Something can always be better. I often feel this way whenever I read back over my own old essays and inevitably find a sentence that could be better, a paragraph that could be stronger, or a word that could be more precise.
You may find yourself in agreement with Frost's famous quote when it comes to teaching poetry in the secondary classroom. However, love it or hate it, poetry can play a helpful role in teaching students how to write! Famous poems can serve as mentor texts for students and showcase key literary and rhetorical devices in action.
Are your students moaning and groaning over taking another test or writing another essay? While these are tried and true methods for assessing many skills, I have been on a mission to find more innovative, unique ways of assessing student growth and learning.
“Can you please tell my son to stop playing video games?”
I’ve heard this desperate plea from parent after parent during parent teacher conferences for the past several years. “All he wants to do is play video games and not study,” they say in desperation.
Over the past 10+ years of teaching high school, my philosophy for writing instruction has changed greatly. It has been a decade of experimentation and adaptation; a decade dedicated to finding what works and trying out new methodologies...
One of the best ways to teach students how to integrate literary and rhetorical devices into their writing is to imitate the style of great writers.
Here are 20 Great Literary Quotes to use as Mentor Sentences in Secondary ELA...
The Writer’s Notebook is the heart of the English classroom. It is the place that holds a student’s reflections on literature and life...
Book club is now considered to be one of the “best practices” in English Language Arts. Book clubs differ from traditional literary circles in that they are less teacher-directed. The students take on the responsibility of selecting their roles, making their assignments, keeping track of their reading, and much more.
Poetry tends to be polarizing among educators, parents, and students. The word either makes a person smile or cringe. But why is poetry so polarizing?
The first rule of Book Club is: you do not talk about Book Club. The second rule of Book Club is: you DO NOT talk about Book Club! Kidding. The only rule of Book Club is: DO IT...
Contrasting literary movements as a pedagogical approach to teaching literature is a debatable method, but I have found that juxtaposing literary movements...