Saturday, September 14, 2013

Effective Writing and Language Arts Web Resources: a semi-random walk...

This year, my responsibility is curriculum and technology integration. I'm looking for some teacher resources to assist them in developing great lessons to help improve our students' writing skills. Here are a few resources I've found, or ones I've reminded myself of in the last couple days.

Just signed up for the National Digital Writing Project site.  Teaching Writing Resources looks interesting (although the resources are not necessarily 'new,' but still of value). Notably, there is access to nearly 200 university-based local sites covering all 50 states, with local resources to use.  I checked into our local site for the San Jose area, and immediately found some good resources, including some Young Writer Saturday Seminars I plan to recommend to our parent community.

Affiliated with NDW Project is The National Digital Writing Project's Digital IS, specifically aimed at using technology more effectively to support student writing. The organization of Digital IS is awesome (compared to many sites, this was refreshing). There are four main components, including the Art and Craft of digital writing, and Teach and Learn - what are we learning about how people develop as digital writers. This site looks uber-cool with deep resources, tool, tips and techniques.

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)  is a well-known site that also has significant resources for us to improve our writing instruction. Some resources are free - as an example, a chaper excerpt from Reading Assessment. Membership is fifty bucks a year.  I signed up for the (free) monthly version of the NCTE INBOX newsletter which has articles of interest to writing instructors.  Members get it weekly.

ReadWriteThink is a go to site with LOTS of tools 
and resources,  for students and teachers. Lesson plans, professional development, and some interesting 'at home' resources, too. If nothing else, check out the Student Interactives page with tons of fun, engaging, EASY TO USE tools. If you have even less time, check out Comic Creator, one of my all-time favorite tools. The Student Interactives section, has good search and filtering, to find just what you need. Most (all?) tools include some lesson plan ideas, too, broken out by grade. 

Very randomly stumbled upon this resource on Forms of Writing & Genres  from children's author Suzanne Williams.  A really good recap of the many and varied ways students can practice writing, a little info about genres and the teaching strengths that go with them, as well as a practical how to on teaching forms of writing or genres. Good stuff...amazing what a relatively simple Google search can turn up!

What sites do you use to help you grow better student writing skills?  Inquiring minds want to know!


Dana Levesque said...

This is the resource I created for students in our district.

Dana Levesque said...

This is the resource I created that supports student writing in our district.

James O Smyth said...

We have created a method to help high school seniors who are writing scholarship essays. We call it the Rapid Essay Method. Students can write essays in about half the time as it would normally take them using our unique method.

Great list of writing and language arts web resources by the way!

James O Smyth

Angela Ackerman said...

I get a lot of teachers & classroom blog hits because of our "descriptive thesaurus collections" for writers.

There is a huge collection of description and sensory information on:

Character Traits (behaviors tied to specific personality traits)
Character Emotion (body language)
Setting Locations (5 senses description for over 100 fictional settings)
Weather (setting mood through description)
Symbolism (thematic symbolism in Urban & natural settings)
Character Physical Attributes (describing physical appearance)
Shapes, Colors & Textures (finding string similes & metaphors for richer comparisons)

If you'd like to check it out, here's the link!