The Young Writers Program (or YWP) is a way for NaNoWriMo to be accessible for participants 17 and younger (18 only if they're still in high school). Writing 50,000 words would be near impossible for young writers, so YWP allows them to choose their own writing goal.
You may or may not have heard about mind maps for brainstorming ideas. However, I find coming up with those ideas to be considerably difficult sometimes, especially when it comes to teaching essays in class.
I won’t sugar-coat it… At first, my students were completely confused. That is 100% my fault because I gave them too much too soon.
It's almost time to begin the school year! This will be a short post to show you what we're starting the first week of school! Find out more: Level 1: Getting Started Level 2: Incorporating the Standards Level 3: Game On Level 4: Problem-Solving after the First Six Weeks Launching I'm using Google Sites to [...]
It's been a few weeks since I've updated you on my gamification progress. I'm happy to say, it's going well! In a way, I have "leveled up" by incorporating the standards for my class into my game. Since I'm in Texas, we use the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills). Why do this? Why not? [...]
What is that big word in your title?
Oh! Thank you for asking!
Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day, part of National Teacher Appreciation Week, an annual celebration of teachers that has been observed since the 1980s. To celebrate, I would like to thank the teachers who have most impacted my life from elementary all the way up to those I work with now. If it wasn't for [...]
Don't even think the word can't right now. The easiest way to start writing a poem is to let the words lead you. Watch...
Today (March 14th) is National Write Down Your Story Day. One of my stories is why I decided to be a teacher, which is not what I wanted to be when I was a kid. In truth, I wanted to be an archeologist for the longest time, but that dream ended in 8th grade after [...]
Happy New Year (and one month)! I haven't written much in quite some time, mostly due to being super busy. But I'm still here, and I'm going to get back on track! You read that right. I plan to get back to my writing so much so that you will be able to read my [...]
Earlier this week I was asked what it takes to set up writer's notebooks in the classroom: cost, time, content, etc. I shared why I use them in my post last year (The Wonderful World of Writer’s Notebooks), but this post is dedicated to the logistics. (You're welcome, Jeffery Frieden!) To start, let me say that [...]
Back in August, I posted about the changes I'd made to Writing Goals for the Classroom. I also mentioned that they'd probably change again (and hopefully improve) based on student feedback and personal growth. Well... It's time! We've adjusted the format from the first six weeks quite a few times, so I'll walk you through each [...]
When I was a student in middle school and high school, life was simple: go to class, write down the assignment, complete the warm up, listen to the teacher, take notes, read the assigned passages, answer the questions, turn in your work, and repeat tomorrow. Was every class like this? Didn't any class use other [...]
I don't know about you, but one problem for writers is a blank page. What do I write about? This question pops up all too often, and it can keep students from achieving their personal writing goals. Students have loved writing bingo in the past, so I created a Google Form for them to submit [...]
Why are we teaching? What keeps us teaching? What makes us come back after the break (especially after Christmas break)?
We all know that goals are important in our lives; they give us a purpose. Students need that, too. They need a purpose in the classroom, one they choose. I've been incorporating writing goals in our class for the last couple years. They have changed significantly from when I started due to student feedback and [...]
Teaching writing to middle school students has taught me many things, but one lesson screams the loudest: writer's need to write. I already knew this, right? I'm also a writer, so I had to already have known this. Of course I did, but it was never more true for me as a writer as it [...]
The Writing Process. We've all heard of it. We know what it is. We know why it's used. We know that it's often the bane of our existence. Why does the combination of those three words fill us with dread? Shouldn't they excite us and fill us with wonder? They are here for us, the [...]