Mini-lesson idea: Avoiding first-person point of view in academic essays

For the most part, it’s an easy fix. It’s nice when a common issue you know your students have with writing can be easily remedied. This is one of them: avoiding unintentional and unnecessary first-person point of view in academic writing. For the most part, the first-person words can simply be removed with… wait forContinue reading “Mini-lesson idea: Avoiding first-person point of view in academic essays”

Sometimes poetry can teach better than I can

Take word choice, for example Last December, when I read a student’s second draft of their Treasured Object poem and saw that it contained the word “get” four times, I thought Really? Get? Four times?  It surprised me because I thought I had taught not only sentence variety, but word variety as well. It’s goodContinue reading “Sometimes poetry can teach better than I can”

Read this Gary Provost gem to teach sentence variety

You’ll see light bulbs pop on across your classroom as you read it. Photo: Gisella Fotographie on Pixabay Copy off the paragraph below from writing guru Gary Provost and read it aloud to your students at the beginning of class or as a mini-lesson. Don’t just read it aloud… make sure they follow along onContinue reading “Read this Gary Provost gem to teach sentence variety”

It’s hard to teach middle schoolers this: grammar rules exist to bring readers on your journey

Part 4 of 4   In my classroom, I stress that writing is so much more than just knowing a bunch of grammar and punctuation rules. Writing is really about expressing oneself, your dreams, your beliefs, your hopes, your imagination.  Writers don’t write to show off to readers that they know how to avoid vagueContinue reading “It’s hard to teach middle schoolers this: grammar rules exist to bring readers on your journey”

Because bored students care about commas… and little else

Here’s what I do to spark passion in my students for writing part 1 of 4     And let’s get this straight right from the start: I am no expert. I repeat, I am no expert. I have a meager six years of teaching under my belt. However, I am more excited than everContinue reading “Because bored students care about commas… and little else”