I need to reread the report and think about the recommendations some more, but I can definitely see my practice changing to include more implicit instruction in some of these areas.

From the Report:

The Recommendations

Eleven Elements of Effective Adolescent Writing Instruction
This report identifies 11 elements of current writing instruction found to be effective for helping
adolescent students learn to write well and to use writing as a tool for learning. It is important to note
that all of the elements are supported by rigorous research, but that even when used together, they do
not constitute a full writing curriculum.

1. Writing Strategies, which involves teaching students strategies for planning, revising, and
editing their compositions
2. Summarization, which involves explicitly and systematically teaching students how to
summarize texts
3. Collaborative Writing, which uses instructional arrangements in which adolescents work
together to plan, draft, revise, and edit their compositions
4. Specific Product Goals, which assigns students specific, reachable goals for the writing they
are to complete
5. Word Processing, which uses computers and word processors as instructional supports for
writing assignments
6. Sentence Combining, which involves teaching students to construct more complex,
sophisticated sentences
7. Prewriting, which engages students in activities designed to help them generate or organize
ideas for their composition
8. Inquiry Activities, which engages students in analyzing immediate, concrete data to help
them develop ideas and content for a particular writing task
9. Process Writing Approach, which interweaves a number of writing instructional activities in
a workshop environment that stresses extended writing opportunities, writing for authentic
audiences, personalized instruction, and cycles of writingWriting Next: Effective strategies to improve writing of adolescents in middle and high schools
10. Study of Models, which provides students with opportunities to read, analyze, and emulate
models of good writing
11. Writing for Content Learning, which uses writing as a tool for learning content material


Professional Learning: Project-Based Learning vs Problem-Based Learning


Project-Based Learning vs Problem-Based Learning vs XBL

8 Essentials for Project-Based Learning

Positive Phone Calls Home

Positve Phone Calls Home

This Edutopia piece is so right. We are often tired and bust, so we fail to take the time to let parents know when their children do what they are supposed to do. We also get frustrated with students and only call he with bad news. By starting with good news before the need to call with bad news, parents feel that we like their child and are will be quicker to help us out.

Bibliotherapy-A Strategy to Address Students’ Affective Needs

Bibliotherapy is a strong strategy that addresses the affective needs of students.




Prouder to be a Reader than a Big Time Football Player

What a great story about Malcolm Mitchell, a star football player for the University of Georgia, and how he joined a women’s book study because he works hard to be a reader.  This will be a writing prompt for my students coming up soon.

Football Star Shows You Can’t Judge a Book by its Cover

Professional Learning: 5 Special Strategies for Teaching Tweens by Rick Wormeli

5 Special Strategies for Teaching Tweens

This short and easy to read article provides some simple things to remember about and to try with our tween students.  I am really working on the idea of formative assessment this year.  The transition to semester grades is a little daunting because the kids are going to have so many grades by the end of 18 weeks if I put a GRADE in the grade book for every assignment that they do.  Today, I met with each child as he/she finished a short assignment to talk quickly about the errors on his/her paper.  Even though many of the kids were making the same mistake, I wanted to see if the kids got more out of the one on one explanation of errors.  We’ll see…

“Of all the states of matter in the known universe, tweens most closely resemble liquid.”    This is a quotation from the article, and I love the metaphor.