Having walked around a classroom of fourth-grade writers yesterday, I had pinpointed four writers who were all ready to think about elaboration strategies. This post describes the first session of a few to inspire these fourth-grade writers to use more elaboration strategies.
My students have been getting sparked by a character to develop believable stories in their realistic fiction unit.
How do you help writers bridge the gap from paragraph writing to essay writing? What are your favorite strategies for elaboration?
It's great to be prepared when we are conferring with our writers. However, being 'prepared' and being 'present' are not the same thing...
We can teach students about improving their writing process and to write with detail and voice by watching Guy Fieri on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."
Are you always telling your students to add detail? To write more? Here is a sample minilesson to show them how.
This past week I've had several conversations with young writers about how to write something. Not the logistics of making letters or spelling words, but how to craft their writing in order to make the reader feel or know something. With our youngest writers this conversation has centered around illustrations. With intermediate writers it has… Continue reading How to Write
Jacques Steinberg, an education correspondent for The New York Times, appeared on "The Today Show" yesterday morning. He talked with Natalie Morales about college essays that worked and didn't work at some of the nation's most prestigious colleges. There were three commonalities I immediately recognized in the essays that worked. First, the well-written essays had… Continue reading Voice Matters
You know the student who always rushes through assignments? You know, that kid... the one who sacrifices quality to finish his/her work? Well, I thought one of my students was rushing through their writing (which was all about elaborating using 'prompts to push our thinking about reading') when I saw that child's hand waving at… Continue reading Amaze Me!
Author Lester Laminack taught a course I took at Teachers College during the 2006 Summer Institute on the Teaching of Writing. He said, "There's only a letter or two that separates the word craft from cr*p." He paused. "Therefore, an overuse of craft is crap!" Everyone in the room busted out laughing when they heard… Continue reading “An overuse of craft is cr*p!”