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All Writing articles

By: Judy Zorfass, Tracy Gray, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2014)

Find out how to help your students improve their writing through activities and tools that support the drafting stage. Show your students how to use technology tools to create, revise, and store their drafts in a digital writing portfolio.



By: Judy Zorfass, Tracy Gray, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2014)

An effective way to begin the writing process is to focus on prewriting, which involves organizing ideas, setting goals, and exploring topics. Learn about technology-enhanced strategies to help students create a "road map" that can guide them through the writing process.



By: Reading Rockets (2014)

Just a few pages from your newspaper can be turned into lots of early learning activities. Here you'll find "letters and words" activities for the youngest, plus fun writing prompts and tips on how to read and analyze the news for older kids.



By: Reading Rockets (2014)
Let’s face it: Not all kids love to write. For some, every step of the writing process is difficult — including spelling, handwriting and getting organized ideas onto paper. In this edition of Growing Readers, you'll learn more about dysgraphia and how you can support your child's writing.

By: Reading Rockets (2013)

Preschool aged children love to write — they're always in search of a marker or crayon. Those early scribbles are an important step on the path to literacy. Parents and preschool teachers can support a writer's efforts in some very simple ways. And it's never too early to start!



By: Reading Rockets (2013)

Is your school using the new Common Core standards? This is a big change for students — and their parents. Get to know the four "anchors" of the Common Core writing standards and simple things you can do at home to help your child build skills in all of these areas.



By: Reading Rockets (2013)
Writing for an audience gives kids a reason to use their developing reading and writing skills. Here are some tips to get you and your child started with free, safe blogging sites.

By: Sonia Q. Cabell, Laura S. Totorelli, Hope Gerde (2013)

Providing young children with rich writing experiences can lay a foundation for literacy learning. This article presents a framework for individualizing early writing instruction in the preschool classroom.



By: Reading Rockets (2013)
April 22nd is Earth Day, an annual celebration dedicated to environmental awareness. Discover five ways you and your family can participate in Earth Day while also practicing reading and writing skills.

By: Keith Schoch (2013)
From activating prior knowledge to exploring language to capturing character, discover ten ways to integrate poetry into your language, reading, and writing lessons.

By: Reading Rockets (2013)
Poetry is full of joy, expressiveness, and the pure delight of language. Explore how to introduce poetry to young readers, the value of nursery rhymes in learning about language, writing poetry in the classroom, great poetry books for sharing, and interviews with beloved children's poets. Visit our National Poetry Month section for more resources. As poet Carl Sandburg said, remember that with poetry you're stuffing "a backpack of invisible keepsakes."

By: Laurie J. Curtis (2013)
Give your students a chance to deepen and share their travel experiences through narrative writing, diagrams and illustrations, and the reading of all kinds of print (including maps, brochures and menus). Authentic reading and writing experiences help students connect what's happening in class to the real world outside.

By: Reading Rockets (2012)
The winter holidays are a great time to create low-key learning opportunities centered around books, storytelling, writing, and family adventures.

By: Steven Graham, What Works Clearinghouse, U.S. Department of Education (2012)
This practice guide provides four recommendations for improving elementary students' writing. Each recommendation includes implementation steps and solutions for common roadblocks. The recommendations also summarize and rate supporting evidence. This guide is geared toward teachers, literacy coaches, and other educators who want to improve the writing of their elementary students.

By: International Dyslexia Association (2012)
Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects a child's handwriting. Children with dysgraphia usually have other problems such as difficulty with written expression. Learn more about causes, the importance of early assessment, dysgraphia and spelling, and effective instructional strategies that strengthen written language skills.

By: Carole Cox (2012)
Interactive writing makes the writing process visual to the whole class. Reading literature is an excellent way to initiate interactive writing in the class, and the teacher can continue using literature as the class does interactive writing with any new book that is read throughout the year.

By: Rachael Walker, National Education Association (2012)
Share music and playful rhythms to help students generate and organize writing ideas. Kick off Music In Our Schools Month on Dr. Seuss's March birthday with this pre-writing activity.

By: Carole Cox (2012)
Research has shown the positive effects of improvised story dramatization on language development and student achievement in oral and written story recall, writing, and reading. Learn how to integrate story dramatizations into the classroom, using stories that students are familiar with.

By: Carole Cox (2012)
Writing in journals can be a powerful strategy for students to respond to literature, gain writing fluency, dialogue in writing with another student or the teacher, or write in the content areas. While journaling is a form of writing in its own right, students can also freely generate ideas for other types of writing as they journal.Teachers can use literature that takes the form of a journal by reading excerpts and discussing them with students.

By: Carole Cox (2012)
Oral history is a method to learn about past events from the spoken stories of people who lived through them. When students conduct oral history research with members of their families or community they are participating in active learning rooted in the student's own experience. Students are actively engaged in collecting data when they do oral histories. Not only are they learning history, they are learning to be historians.

By: Reading Rockets (2011)
Almost every week there is a news story about a new finding or discovery in science. These news stories are one of the exciting steps in the science world: sharing what you find! Helping kids share their own scientific findings will make them feel like part of the scientific community.

By: Carole Cox (2011)
Using students' questions as a basis for investigations in science education is an effective teaching strategy. Not only do students pose questions they would like answered, but they are asked to find ways to answer them. This article also recommends nonfiction science books that use a question and answer format to find information and model how to communicate what you know.

By: Carole Cox (2011)
Keeping a science notebook encourages students to record and reflect on inquiry-based observations, activities, investigations, and experiments. Science notebooks are also an excellent way for students to communicate their understanding of science concepts, and for teachers to provide students with feedback.

By: Carole Cox (2011)
By reading and writing about the lives of real scientists, students can learn more about the nature and history of science and how important scientific discoveries were made. Students may also begin to see themselves as scientists by trying on scientists' lives for size.

By: Carole Cox (2011)
When students practice observing in science, they use their senses to collect information about objects and events related to a question, topic, or problem to solve in science. Learn some strategies to help students organize and analyze their data through presentations, sharing, and discussion.

By: Reading Rockets (2011)
Science and math explorations provide your growing reader with a chance to strengthen observational and record-keeping skills by keeping a special journal to fill with sketches, notes, and graphs. Try these ideas to get your child started.

By: Brad Wilcox, Eula Ewing Monroe (2011)
Teachers often find it difficult to integrate writing and mathematics while honoring the integrity of both disciplines. In this article, the authors present two levels of integration that teachers may use as a starting point. The first level, writing without revision, can be worked into mathematics instruction quickly and readily. The second level, writing with revision, may take more time but enables teachers to connect the writing process more fully with mathematics instruction. Six examples are provided, including student work, in which teachers have successfully attended to the goals of both writing and mathematics.

By: Carol A. Donovan, Laura B. Smolkin (2011)

This article presents a developmental framework of informational writing developed from a study of children's writing in K-5 classrooms. See examples of children's compositions at each developmental level, and learn how to use this continuum to support increasingly more mature forms of informational text.



By: Reading Rockets (2011)
Browse our resources about the developmental stages of writing, effective classroom strategies, assessment, writing disabilities, supporting writing at home, and more.

By: Carole Cox (2011)
Music stories are compositions of a narrative or descriptive sort. Students can listen for the story in the music, and this type of music can be integrated with literature, literacy, social studies, science, mathematics, and the other arts.

By: National Center for Technology Innovation (2010)
Speech recognition, also referred to as speech-to-text or voice recognition, is technology that recognizes speech, allowing voice to serve as the "main interface between the human and the computer." This Info Brief discusses how current speech recognition technology facilitates student learning, as well as how the technology can develop to advance learning in the future.

By: Sheryl Honig (2010)

The framework provided in this article for viewing students' science writing offers teachers the opportunity to assess and support scientific language acquisition.



By: Linda Golson Bradley, Carol A. Donovan (2010)

Learn how to teach children to write informational text through the use of focused read-alouds that include discussions of information book genre elements, features, and organizational structure. See examples of book compositions by second-grade authors that demonstrate how read-alouds can support young writers' genre knowledge development.



By: Reading Rockets (2010)
Almost every interaction in a child's world is preparing them to become a reader and writer. This article outlines the stages of writing development, and tips for adults to help along the way.

By: Reading Rockets (2010)
An introduction to 6 + 1 Trait® Writing, customized rubrics, student self-assessment, and peer editing.

By: National Education Association, Rachael Walker (2010)
Seuss silliness is contagious! Spread it to your classroom writing centers.

By: Ruth Sylvester, Wendy-lou Greenidge (2009)
While some young writers may struggle with traditional literacy, tapping into new literacies like digital storytelling may boost motivation and scaffold understanding of traditional literacies. Three types of struggling writers are introduced followed by descriptions of ways digital storytelling can support their development.

By: Reading Rockets (2009)
Back-to-School Night is a great opportunity for families to learn more about their child's school and teacher. Here are some signs to look for that indicate your child is in a place where good reading instruction can take place.

By: Kristin Stanberry, Marshall H. Raskind (2009)
Learn about assistive technology tools — from abbreviation expanders to word-recognition software programs — that address your child's specific writing difficulties.

By: Charles A. MacArthur (2009)
Learn from an expert why some kids with learning disabilities struggle with writing and how some instructional approaches can help.

By: Kristina Robertson (2009)
This article discusses strategies for writing poetry with ELLs, presents an overview of poetry forms that can be used effectively in writing lessons, and suggests some ideas for ways to share student poetry.

By: Reading Rockets (2009)
Writing is a terrific way for children to express their thoughts, creativity, and uniqueness. It is also a fundamental way in which children learn to organize ideas and helps them to be better readers.

By: Sharon A. Gibson (2008)

This article describes the theory and procedures (purpose, format, teacher prompting, and assessment procedures) for small-group writing instruction. Guided writing lessons are intensive, small-group activities that help create instructional support and interaction between teacher and students during writing.



By: Reading Rockets (2008)
Learn what to look for as your child's handwriting skills begin to develop, as well as some signs and symptoms of dysgraphia — a learning disability that affects a child's handwriting and ability to hold a pencil or crayon.

By: Voice of America (2008)
Teachers and parents should suspect dysgraphia if a child's handwriting is unusually difficult to read. Find out more about this neurological problem that can cause physical pain as some children struggle to write.

By: Regina G. Richards (2008)
Eli, a young boy, tells us what it is like to have dysgraphia. Regina Richards, a well-known expert on dysgraphia (and Eli's mom), explains how to help children who struggle with the challenges Eli describes. Practical techniques discussed include POWER: Prepare, Organize, Write, Edit, Revise.

By: Reading Rockets (2008)
When engaging in writing, young children often mirror what they see around them; adults and older children writing lists, notes, text messaging. They are observing the way writing is used in our everyday lives. Here are some simple things families can do to support young children's writing.

By: Steven Graham, Karen R. Harris, Connie Loynachan (2008)
This list was created to help teachers know which spelling words should be taught to kids in grades 1–5. The list contains 850 words that account for 80 percent of the words children use in their writing — the ones they need to be able to spell correctly.

By: Regina G. Richards (2008)
Teach your students to avoid the avoidance of writing. Learn how to lead them down the path of enthusiasm and self-confidence about writing through research-proven strategies.

By: Regina G. Richards (2008)
This article discusses one component of writing mechanics — finesse with sound/symbol correspondence. It describes a method, called Memory Foundations for Reading, that can be used by a parent with a single child or a teacher with a group and which helps children use many senses to recall letter sounds.

By: Access Center (2008)
Writing is a highly complex language skill. Without skilled, systematic instruction, many students — particularly those with disabilities — may not become proficient writers. At stake is access to the general education curriculum. This brief discusses developmental stages, why writing may pose particular challenges for students with disabilities, and what areas should be the focus for remediation.

By: Access Center (2008)
This brief provides an overview of computer-assisted instruction and looks at how writing software can help students with developing ideas, organizing, outlining, brainstorming, and minimizing the physical effort spent on writing so that students can pay attention to organization and content.

By: Colorín Colorado (2008)
Find out why writing is so important in our lives, as well as practical suggestions for activities to help your child become a stronger writer.

By: Barbara K. Strassman, Trisha O'Connell (2007)
Help students engage in reading and writing by asking them to write captioning for audio-less video clips. This article contains step-by-step instructions for using the technique as well as links to digital media and suggested teaching ideas.

By: Newspaper Association of America Foundation (2007)
Newspapers expand the curriculum with an unlimited amount of information to use as background for learning activities. Discover new ways to use the newspaper in your language arts studies, with these activities from the Newspaper Association of America.

By: Reading Rockets (2007)
Focus on reading readiness and enjoy winter holidays at the same time with these simple activities you can incorporate into your preschooler's daily routine.

By: Reading Rockets (2007)
During the holiday season, consider adding some new traditions for your family that will make meaningful memories and strengthen foundations for reading and learning success.

By: My Child magazine (2007)
Letter writing can be fun, help children learn to compose written text, and provide handwriting practice — and letters are valuable keepsakes. This guide was written for England's "Write a Letter Week" and contains activities to help children ages 5–9 put pen to paper and make someone's day with a handwritten letter.

By: Dale S. Brown (2007)
Three research based practices help students with learning disabilities improve their writing. Read this interview with Steve Graham, author of Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High School who explains how you can help your students succeed in communicating through the written word.

By: Louise Spear-Swerling (2006)

By: Mary Amato (2006)
Does your child want to write to his favorite author? Children's book author Mary Amato explains how.

By: Shutta Crum (2006)
Use picture books to teach young writers how to organize plot logically. This article includes examples of basic plot structures, along with picture books that use those structures.

By: National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) (2006)
Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing abilities. Learn the warning signs and strategies that can help. There are techniques for teaching and accommodating early writers, young students, or help yourself if you struggle with dysgraphia.

By: Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd) (2006)
Technology—and especially the subset of technology tools known as assistive technology—can be an effective element of the writing curriculum for students with disabilities. Assistive technology (AT) can be defined as a technology that allows someone to accomplish a critical educational or life task. Since writing is so integral to school success, AT is often indicated to assist students with disabilities. In this article, CITEd looks at how technology can support students' writing.

By: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (2005)
Children take their first critical steps toward learning to read and write very early in life. Long before they can exhibit reading and writing production skills, they begin to acquire some basic understandings of the concepts about literacy and its functions.

By: Amy Stuczynski, Joyce Riha Linik, Rebecca Novick, Jean Spraker (2005)
Children can learn about family heritage at the same time they are improving their literacy skills. Using family-based writing projects, you can build a connection with parents, and help children see the value in their own heritage and in the diversity around them.

By: Amy Stuczynski, Joyce Riha Linik, Rebecca Novick, Jean Spraker (2005)
Writing is a new way for young children to tell their stories and express themselves, but they are also learning valuable lessons about print concepts and letter-sound relationships when they put pen to paper.

By: Amy Stuczynski, Joyce Riha Linik, Rebecca Novick, Jean Spraker (2005)
Literacy activities can take on a new meaning when students are reading and writing about their own community. Children learn the true value of print when they document the oral histories of the elders in their town.

By: Virginia Berninger, Donna Rury Smith, Louise O'Donnell (2004)

This article discusses current research-supported instructional practices in reading and writing. It also reviews alternatives to ability-achievement discrepancy in identifying students for special education services, as well as introduces the idea that ability-achievement discrepancies should be based on specific cognitive factors that are relevant to specific kinds of learning disabilities rather than Full Scale IQ.



By: The Access Center (2004)
Differentiated instruction, also called differentiation, is a process through which teachers enhance learning by matching student characteristics to instruction and assessment. Writing instruction can be differentiated to allow students varying amounts of time to complete assignments, to give students different writing product options, and to teach skills related to the writing process.

By: Steven Graham, Karen R. Harris, Lynn Larsen (2001)
This paper presents six principles designed to prevent writing difficulties as well as to build writing skills: (a) providing effective writing instruction, (b) tailoring instruction to meet the individual needs,(c) intervening early, (d) expecting that each child will learn to write, (e) identifying and addressing roadblocks to writing, and (f) employing technologies.

By: Melissa Keller (2001)
Handwriting is a complex skill that is not often taught directly. It is not unusual for some students with disabilities to have difficulty with handwriting. These students may also have sensory integration problems. Handwriting Club is a format that provides direct instruction in handwriting combined with sensory integration activities. This article describes all the steps and materials necessary to organize and conduct a handwriting club.

By: Partnership for Reading (2001)
Find answers to frequently asked questions about writing instruction.

By: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (1998)

Children go through phases of reading development from preschool through third grade — from exploration of books to independent reading. In kindergarten, children develop basic concepts of print and begin to engage in and experiment with reading and writing. Find out what parents and teachers can do to support kindergarten literacy skills.



By: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (1998)

Children go through phases of reading development from preschool through third grade — from exploration of books to independent reading. In second grade, children begin to read more fluently and write various text forms using simple and more complex sentences. Find out what parents and teachers can do to support second grade literacy skills.



By: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (1998)

Children go through phases of reading development from preschool through third grade — from exploration of books to independent reading. In first grade, children begin to read simple stories and can write about a topic that is meaningful to them. Find out what parents and teachers can do to support first grade literacy skills.



By: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (1998)
Children go through phases of reading development from preschool through third grade — from exploration of books to independent reading. In third grade, children continue to extend and refine their reading and writing to suit varying purposes and audiences. Find out what parents and teachers can do to support third grade literacy skills.

By: Texas Education Agency (1997)
As children learn some letter-sound matches and start to read, they begin to write words and sentences. Seeing how words are spelled helps children in reading and writing.

By: U.S. Department of Education (1997)
Doing activities with your children allows you to promote their reading and writing skills while having fun at the same time. These activities for pre-readers, beginning readers, and older readers includes what you need and what to do for each one.

By: Stephen Isaacson (1996)

On-going assessment of writing is integral to the effective teaching of writing to students with learning disabilities. Curriculum-based assessments can be used to assess the writing process and product and should take into account purpose as well. The writing process can be assessed through observational and self-observational checklists. The writing product can be evaluated on five product factors: fluency, content, conventions, syntax, and vocabulary. Writing samples also should be assessed across a variety of purposes for writing to give a complete picture of a student's writing performance across different text structures and genres. These simple classroom measures can fulfill various functions of assessment including: identifying strengths and weaknesses, planning instruction, evaluating instructional activities, giving feedback, monitoring performance, and reporting progress.



By: Texas Education Agency (1996)
As children learn some letter-sound matches and start to read, they also begin to experiment with writing. These activities can be used with children to develop their writing and spelling abilities.

By: Sarah Hudelson (1988)
In teaching second language learners how to speak and read English, it is important not to neglect their writing development. Here are some strategies for teaching ESL children to become writers.

By: Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey

Students must be taught to write and then be expected to write for a variety of purposes to a variety of audiences, including in mathematics, science, and social studies. As part of building the writing prowess of students, they must write routinely, both short and long pieces. As part of a comprehensive writing curriculum, students’ writing fluency should be fostered, students should participate in lessons designed to build their composing skills, and students must learn to write from the sources that they read.



"A book is a gift you can open again and again." — Garrison Keillor