From Drilling and Testing to Discovering and Thinking: Finding the Heart of Writing in School

By Kristen Hawley Turner and Troy Hicks Arthur Applebee, a leading scholar in the field of writing instruction, shared some new research during his keynote at the Writing Research Across Borders III conference last week in Paris. Applebee and his colleagues have conducted two wide-scale studies — 30 years apart — about the state of…

Narrative Writing: The Orphan Child of the Common Core

By Rob Montgomery Some of the most vibrant writing I ever received from my ninth grade students came courtesy of the Neighborhood Map, a writing activity I first learned about through my involvement with the South Coast Writing Project in Santa Barbara, CA, wherein students wrote stories based on events that occurred in their neighborhoods.…

From Idea to Action: Welcome to The Blog

During NCTE’s annual convention last November, a group of writing teachers and writing teacher educators packed tightly around a table in one of the the conventional hall’s ballrooms.  Attendees leaned in to hear the vigorous exchange, and heads nodded in agreement.  The focus: anxiety over recent state and institutional mandates, national reform movements, external pressures…