Writing

Tom On: Teaching Writing

Just because one can write does not mean one can simply teach writing. It was during my third year teaching…

Italo Calvino Foresees the Challenge of Using Computers to Analyze Literature

I have been making the case that computer science belongs in English classrooms–in this keynote, this book, and this online…

Not Sure What to Think About this Philosopher’s Rubric

The word rubric was originally used to refer to the annotations medieval church officials made in liturgy books in order…

Teaching Poetry in the Instagram Era

You’ve likely seen poet Rupi Kaur’s bestseller Milk & Honey on the shelf. What it means for teaching poetry to…

Do You Care to Explore Authentic Writing Instruction?

I love this blog called Writers Who Care. It’s a fantastic resource for teachers and parents on what solid writing…

Wait, Writing and RACE?

I’ve seen several middle schools using the RACE method to scaffold students’ writing. It has nothing to do with the…

Essay or Assay: Merriam-Webster “Tries” to Explain the Difference

The essay is by far my favorite genre, to read and to write. A far cry from what it looks…

Semi-colon Drama

Some have a love-hate relationship with semi-colons; mine is all love.

Essay These Essays

For those who share my love of #essays as a #genre, check out Literary Hub’s recent list of the best…

Making Writing Assessment Better and Easier

Writing is at the heart of learning. It has been for centuries.  But when I work with teachers in different…

Stephen King Breaks Down Childhood, Not as Horrifying as You’d Think

It’s one thing to step back and listen to a researcher talk about the uniqueness of the adolescent brain.  It’s…

A Case for Subjective Writing Assessment

With frequent emphasis placed on objectivity in assessment, Dr. Ken Lindblom makes a forceful and informed case for why teachers…

Why to Approach Coding as a Composition Practice

Listen to my discussion with Dr. Ian O’Byrne on why we have to approach software and coding as a form…

How Webster’s Spelling Book Sought to Unify a Nation

Webster’s famous spelling book (and later, his dictionary) was not what you probably think.  Noah Webster created such texts for use…

Imagine Kurt Vonnegut as Your Writing Teacher. Here’s His Introduction.

I love seeing how other teachers frame their classes with their students.  Usually, I am so pressed for time as the…

Teach Students to Steal–Just Like Great Writers

The brilliant John Cleese imparts his advice to young writers: steal if you have to!  In this clip from Big…
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