Tag Archives: writing

A Good Teacher Will Give You the Shiritori off His Back: Gaining Momentum in Student Writing

clarity and creativity

Here are three questions I’ve learned to secretly despise: “Mr. H., what am I supposed to write about?” “Mr. H., how should I start?” “Mr. H., is this good so far?” Writing Is Creation, and Creation Is Tough In a … Continue reading

P.I.E and the FSA ELA Writing Test: A Student Process Guide

PIE Graphic

Last week we looked at planning sheets, and ways students can use them effectively with the FSA ELA writing assessment. My students created and used mnemonic devices to remember the steps they needed to take on their planning sheets. Now we … Continue reading

Using the Planning Sheet for the FSA ELA Writing Test: A Student Process Guide

FSA ELA Writing Mnemonics

Student 1: Dude, that writing test was so easy. Student 2: Easy?  How can you say that?  I barely finished in time, even with the extra thirty minutes! Student 1: Not me.  I was able to sleep for the last … Continue reading

Every Author Stakes a Claim

All Writing Is Argumentative Video Link

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”[1] Title: To Kill a Mockingbird Genre: Fiction Theme: Racial equality is paramount in a truly … Continue reading

Into the Archives: Headlines around the Web


These events and issues making headlines recently can be used in your Teengagement classroom to extend a unit, build background knowledge, provide fodder for discussion, and further engage students.   In Teengagement’s Unit of Study King of the Monsters, readers are introduced … Continue reading

Deep (Thinking) Space: The Final Frontier

Reading to Write and Writing to Understand

You’re a teacher.  (Thank you!) Specifically, if you’re frequenting Teengagement®, you’re a teacher focused on how your secondary students interact with the written word.  You and I are alike.  I teach eighth grade language arts and intensive reading, and I … Continue reading

Incorporating Famous Speeches into Meaningful Homework Assignments

Kennedy's Speech

I have been trying to come up with a useful homework assignment that gets students to practice fluency, vocabulary, comprehension strategies and writing. However, I’ve had trouble finding good material. So, the thought dawned on me to use excerpts from … Continue reading

Thematic Connections: To Identify and Articulate Common Threads

Common Threads and Thematic Connections

Assumption: Comprehension Is Best Demonstrated Through Writing. Question: Did my students in 8th Grade Intensive Reading grasp the significance of Malala Yousafzai’s courageous struggle for equality in Pakistan?

Taking a Look at the New Writing Rubrics and a Training PowerPoint

Writing Rubric Checklist

I am teaching 8th grade language arts and reading in the state of Florida this year. We are one of those states that has created its own set of standards, although they are incredibly similar to the Common Core State … Continue reading

And for That, She Was Shot. Reviewing Building Writing Fluency

Building Writing Fluency

Last week, I introduced the “Building Writing Fluency” activity to my students, whom I had just met a few days prior. Would it be possible to engage kids in a fluency activity right off the bat?