Writing to Learn

Content Card – Details, Details, Details

Details and examples are one of those areas that students have struggled with when writing.  Being able to cite details and examples is a skill that is valuable in reading, writing, thinking, and speaking.  What are some of the things we might want to make sure students learn when we ask them to think about …

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Exit Slips

Exit slips are as tool to check for understanding and get a sense of where your kids are on just about any topic you want.  They are so easy to implement. I’ve written basic directions and examples for using exit slips in your classroom. Don’t let this idea slip away! Click here to download the …

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Write About Data in Graphs – Elementary

Writing is a tool for thinking and learning.  It doesn’t matter what content area you teach, you’ll find many opportunities to help students think through writing. This quick overview gives a couple of ideas for having students write about data from a line graph. Download the overview sheet and examples of having elementary students write …

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An Activity to Help Students Write Conclusions

Have you ever struggled with helping students write a good conclusion?  This is a simple and powerful activity I designed to help students understand the difference.  Download the pdf of the strategy, which includes directions, a template, and an answer sheet for this activity.  I designed this for the elementary level, but this is easily …

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MEAP Constructed Response Reading

I designed this handout to provide some ideas related to the Reading constructed response items for the Fall 2009 MEAP test.  In this short piece, I share the item descriptors for the reading constructed response items in grades 3 through 8, examples of the kinds of questions we can ask students when they read, a …

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MEAP Constructed Response – Examples of Scoring Guides

Examples of Prompts for Reading Constructed Response Download this document to get a feel for what the constructed response prompts and scoring tools look like.  In the booklet you’ll find four examples of passages, examples of prompts for the passages, and examples of scoring tools that go with the prompts.  These are good to help …

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Compare and Contrast – Roles of Government

Here is a lesson that supports the learning of comparing responsibilities between state and federal governments.  I’ve included a couple of things here: A lesson in which students use manipulatives and a Venn Diagram planner to compare and contrast the responsibilities between the roles of the federal and state governments. Additionally, a beginning list of …

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Western Expansion

Here are a few materials for I.8.b – Distinguish between economic and geographic factors.  Enjoy – and let me know if you recommend any changes to these! The first activity is what I call a Wall Activity – and when you look at it, you’ll see why.  This is a good introduction to geographic and …

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Unpacking the Compare and Contrast Standard for the New MEAP Writing Test

Comparing and contrasting are thinking skills.  It just so happens that in Fall 2010, the Michigan Department of Education will assess students in their ability to write a compare-and-contrast paragraph.  In my blog, I’ll be providing ideas that I hope will be useful to you.  I also hope that you’ll consider adding ideas.  If there …

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