Writing is an often overlooked area of literacy. But as you'll learn through our resources, the ability to write clearly and communicate effectively is critical to students' classroom and workplace success. Learn new writing strategies, think about your classroom feedback, and consider all the ways you can include writing in your next lesson.
This article describes four writing strategies that help foster students' abilities to make predictions, build connections, raise questions, discover new ideas, and promote higher-level thinking. Read more for simple directions for using these strategies in your classroom.
Teachers play an important role in shaping students' written work. Specific feedback can motivate a writer and provide real purpose for revision. Learn more about ways to time your feedback and how to plan for different types of writing conferences.
Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing abilities. It can manifest itself as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting and trouble putting thoughts on paper. Discover the warning signs of dysgraphia and how to provide accommodations, modifications, and strategies for remediation.
Capitol Choice booklists reflect the recommendations of Washington, D.C.-area librarians, teachers, booksellers, and reviewers. These lists are always a reliable source for new reads. Check out their "in progress" list for 2014 and view past lists.
What do you think predicts college GPA? Is it self-esteem? Intrinsic motivation? Critical thinking skills? Something else? Daniel Willingham, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Virginia, wrote a readable summary of a meta-analysis that sought to determine what factors predict college GPA. Of the 50 variables studied, four stood out, and some may surprise you!
Read Willingham's blog post »
Question: What technologies can help my third grade daughter organize her writing?
Your daughter's challenges echo those of many struggling writers, and while there are no quick and easy fixes, there are technology resources that can help. Tools known as "graphic organizers" may be particularly useful to your daughter as she works to get her ideas on paper in a coherent manner. These tools help students generate and organize their ideas through building visual relationships among them. Graphic organizers can be as low tech as…
A part of writing and preparing presentations concerned chiefly with improving the clarity, organization, concision, and correctness of expression relative to task, purpose, and audience; compared to revising, a smaller-scale activity often associated with surface aspects of a text; see also revising, rewriting.
Are you interested in identifying outstanding books for young people for Women's History Month? Check out a special group blog published just during the month of March, Kidlit Celebrates Women's History Month. Contributors for 2013 include Jane Yolen, Sy Montgomery, Roger Sutton, Tanya Anderson, Michelle Markel and Tanya Lee Stone, among others; a complete line-up of contributors can be found on the site.
LearningStore Resource: Writing Better: Effective Strategies for Teaching Students with Learning Difficulties
Whether they have learning disabilities or just need extra help, struggling writers can improve their skills dramatically if they get the detailed, explicit instruction they need. Student consumables give teachers ready-to-use writing activities, and before-and-after examples of student writing demonstrate how the strategies work. With these practical, scientifically validated ideas and exercises, teachers will help struggling students develop a toolbox of skills to improve their classwork and change the way they feel about writing.
Looking for information about what's happening this month? Check out our March 2013 calendar. It's loaded with dates for symposia, conferences, lectures, expos and more.
Research and News
A new book and several recent magazine articles discuss introverts and extroverts in the classroom. Are class participation grades fair? Should students be required to speak up in class? In a busy and loud world, shouldn't schools prepare students to speak up? An article in the Atlantic written by a teacher asks these questions and more.
Some commonly used strategies may be difficult to implement properly and often result in inconsistent gains in student performance. That finding was reported in the Association for Psychological Science. In a review of 10 commonly used learning techniques, underlining and mnemonic devices did not lead to the same improvements in student learning as several other techniques, including taking practice tests and spreading study sessions out over time.