In middle school research, pictures are winning

In the game of middle school student research, pictures are winning and words are losing. I have noticed increasingly that students, when they are researching a topic for a writing assignment, spend a lot of time not reading articles. Many spend their time looking at pictures. Or watching videos. I can’t tell you how many timesContinue reading “In middle school research, pictures are winning”

A Facebook Status Can Be a Starting Point for Hesitant Writers

    Originally published March 16, 2016 ©Edutopia | The George Lucas Educational Foundation One of my students wrote a 150-word personal essay. It was heartfelt. It was raw. It was also a Facebook status. So I’m a little confused. That’s because this student—let’s call her Lisa—often struggles to complete most of the writing I assign inContinue reading “A Facebook Status Can Be a Starting Point for Hesitant Writers”

Writing Contests Deliver Student Buy-In

Originally published May 30, 2017 ©Edutopia | The George Lucas Educational Foundation   One day last February,  three of my seventh-grade students hustled into my classroom at the end of the day. “Isn’t today the deadline for the New York Times contest?” Jacob asked me. After I confirmed that it was, he asked, “Can weContinue reading “Writing Contests Deliver Student Buy-In”

Contest #1: VFW Patriot’s Pen

Originally published June 1, 2017 ©Edutopia | The George Lucas Educational Foundation My first post in this new blog focused on writing contests and how I use them in my middle school ELA classes to provide authentic writing experiences. As promised, my subsequent posts (starting with this one) will highlight a contest that I usedContinue reading “Contest #1: VFW Patriot’s Pen”

Writing Contests Deliver Student Buy-in

Originally published May 30, 2017 ©Edutopia | The George Lucas Educational Foundation One day last February,  three of my seventh-grade students hustled into my classroom at the end of the day. “Isn’t today the deadline for the New York Times contest?” Jacob asked me. After I confirmed that it was, he asked, “Can we lookContinue reading “Writing Contests Deliver Student Buy-in”