The Five-Paragraph-Theme Blues and Writing for Real

by Michelle Tremmel Mr. C is the reason I became an English teacher.  Smart, charismatic, funny, and caring, he inspired students over a long career with a passion for and knowledge of American and British literature.  However, one feature of his teaching—the five-paragraph theme—was a mistake even in the hands of an otherwise brilliant teacher.…

The Problem with Graphic Organizers

by Anny Fritzen Case Teachers have long used graphic organizers and other instructional strategies designed to demystify and teach more complex literacy practices. Functioning similarly to a ladder, they are intended to help students progress step-by-step towards the learning goal until they are able to master the targeted skill or new understanding independently. Examples of…

Editorial Team Transition

The spring semester is underway, and we are welcoming changes to the Writers Who Care editorial team.  One of our founding editors, Leah Zuidema, has transitioned off the board.  Leah’s dedication to Writers Who Care has helped to grow the blog, and her skill in coaching authors and shaping posts will be missed.     Thank you, Leah,…

Flipping the Script on Research

By Danielle Filipiak, Nicole Mirra, &  Antero Garcia Eighth grader Vaughn sits at a table with his peers, navigating between four browser windows open on his computer. He clicks on one of them and begins annotating an article about mental health issues in LGBTQ communities. He then migrates to another and reads in silence before…

Hands hold a pen over a blank page in an open notebook

How do I help my child with writing?

“To devote energy to their writing, children need to see it as empowering, as something that can change the world, as something they’ll want to do throughout their lives.” But how do parents know whether their children see writing this way?  How can we be sure that the kinds of writing children are being asked…

A picture of a hat with Trump written on it sitting on top of a t-shirt that says Hillary for President. Alongside these items are two books: Teaching Arguments and Everything's an Argument, as well as a calendar that has "teaching argument" written in the Monday slot

Platforms, Politics, and Possibilities: An Approach to Teaching Argument in an Election Year

by Sara Hoeve Early last week my husband and I attended the annual Open House at my daughter’s high school. After the parents had settled into the small, metal desks, the English teacher began to review the units she had planned for the year: Narrative writing, Dystopian texts, Shakespeare drama, Argument… The moment the teacher…

A girl listens to music and reads off a tablet. CC Licensed Photo (Some rights reserved by flickingerbrad.)

Teaching Writing, Tablet Style: Revisited

Computers, tablets and other mobile devices dominate our lives, and as schools adopt 1:1 initiatives, parents and teachers alike must navigate the technologies that support student writers. In a post from 2013, Troy Hicks shares some apps for teaching writing, tablet style. When it comes to helping our students to write, to put words into sentences…

Future Teachers Deterred by Standardized Tests: A Michigan Story, A National Problem

By Lindsay Jeffers Tania, an exuberant, creative, and bright African American student, is finally pursuing a career she has always dreamed about, albeit a little later than she anticipated.  She enrolled at her university in 2013 as an Elementary Education major and began her coursework. During her sophomore year, Tania took the Professional Readiness Exam…