Category Archive: informational writing

On Rethinking the Publishing of Information Writing

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When it comes to writing, a need for writers to have a clear vision is one of the big reasons we provide mentor texts in writing workshop.  Kids need to see not only a goal or end toward which they may aspire, but I would add that they need to be provided models to become inspired.  For we all know the effect inspiration can have on anything we are up to in life, right? It matters.  It helps. And certainly, writing is no exception. Read on to learn about why making a big deal of publishing informational writing is worth considering…

A Mentor Text to Inspire the Next Generation of Writers and Activists + a Book Giveaway

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I’ve found a hybrid mentor text that will inspire young writers and budding activists.
Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Scot Ritchie’s new book, Join the No-Plastic Challenge.

A Quick Way to Deal with Bibliographies for Elementary School Writers

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Have your upper elementary school students spent lots of time creating a reference list? Free up the time spent on making a reference list perfect by using an online citation tool.

No More Cookie-Cutter Teaching

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As educators, we need to take ownership of our teaching.  If you think your tried and true lessons are lackluster, change them.  Start with looking at your students and asking yourself, what do my students need? What are their strengths? Next, look at the VERBS in your standards. Precisely what is it your students need to master in this unit?  Finally, embrace the art of teaching, follow their lead.

When Ideas Collide

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I’m not someone who rides horseback but I often get to let go of the reigns and see where I might end up. My students never disappoint.

Addressing Knowledge Issues in Informational Writing

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If we do not possess a good amount of background knowledge, if we are not interested in the topic, and we were not given a choice, our writing typically suffers. Lack of knowledge in particular, as Mary Ehrenworth suggests, manifests quickly as writing weakness and writing problems. As writing workshop teachers, how might we think about and address these challenges?

Keeping Narrative Alive

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By the middle of October, many students in our district are nearing the end of their first writing unit, and in almost all grades, that first writing unit has a narrative focus. Students… Continue reading

Writing Celebrations…But Why?

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With all the pressures imposed by a segmented, unforgiving middle school schedule, why make time for writing celebrations? Are they really that important? Yes!

Connecting Through Story

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“Story is the basic unit of human understanding.” – Drew Dudley, Day One Leadership. We have been learning through story for thousands of years.  Our innate fascination for wanting to know what happens… Continue reading

Transitional Phrases for Information Writing

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Information writing is a great opportunity for teaching students about fluency and transitional phrases.

Setting Up for Writing about History

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Will you be teaching your students to write about history soon? Read this first!

Teaching the Four Types of Writing Through Texts

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Janiel Wagstaff’s books will help you teach primary writers about the four types of writing in an engaging way. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win her series of Stella books.

Building Ideas in Research Writing

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Research-based writing need not be collections of facts. Teach your students to interpret as they research and to use their ideas to expand their writing.

Starting with Story

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I recently had the pleasure of attending the 25th Annual Comprehensive Literacy and Reading Recovery Conference in Illinois.  One of the sessions I attended was led by the brilliant and endearing Christopher Lehman.  His session centered… Continue reading

I’m Trying to Love Spiders: A Review & Giveaway

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When my principal handed me a copy of Bethany Barton’s I’m Trying to Love Spiders, I was intrigued.  She had chosen this book as our Everybody Reads title for the month and I was… Continue reading

Quality Reading Instruction Leads to Better Writing: A Review of Jennifer Serravallo’s Independent Reading Assessment 

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When I tested Jennifer Serravallo’s Independent Reading Assessment (Scholastic), I was an immediate believer. Finally, here is a reading assessment that gives rich, clear information about upper grade readers, using an authentic reading… Continue reading

New Mentor Texts for Information Writing

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The books featured in this post, all of which were published in 2015, represent a variety of information writing. All of these are texts that can pull double- and even triple-duty in your classroom, thereby allowing you to use a text during read-aloud time so you can revisit it during a writing workshop minlesson and/or in a content area.

Infusing Information Writing Throughout the Day: Diving Into Information Writing

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A recovering hater of information writing, this post is my first step towards bringing information writing to life for my third graders! It is a vision and collection of possibliities for infusing information writing across the curriculum through the day.

Teacher-Written Mentor Texts: Diving into Information Writing

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I’ve long believed teacher-written texts can serve as excellent mentor texts during a unit of study. While I’m a huge advocate of student-written mentor texts, sometimes student writing doesn’t have everything we need… Continue reading

Allowing Student Choice within Information Writing: Diving into Information Writing

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How do you encourage students when beginning the writing process for information writing? Give them choices!