Great Reading on Writing
A Formative Assessment System for Writing Improvement: Great English Journal from Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher on how increasing the number of formative responses (and decreasing the amount of summative ones) can significantly improve one’s writing practice. A great piece for those looking to work smarter, not harder
The Wrong Way to Teach Grammar from the Atlantic
We are teaching kids how to write all wrong — and no, Mr. Miyagi’s rote lessons won’t help a bit from The Washington Post
How to teach writing sentences from Moving Writers
Great piece from NCTE on whether to give formative or summative feedback to writing
Grading ≠ Feedback, and Sometimes You Don’t Need to Do Either by Dave Stuart Jr.
“Micro-Writing is Have a Macro Impact on Identity Development” A thoughtful case for the power of little “micro” moments of writing.
How to Get Students to Write More: Dave Stuart’s Pyramid of Writing Priorities
Studies and Reports
Writing Next: An extensive report on best practices in writing instruction from the Carnegie Corporation
Writing: A Ticket to Work or a Ticket Out of It: Report on writing and employment from the College Board and National Writing Project.
Writing Instruction Resources
“The Ultimate Guide to Student Writing Contests” from We Are Teachers. The Best list I’ve ever seen.
The Mentor Text Dropbox from Moving Writers
Quotes from Great Writers on the Act of Revision from The Atlantic
Assignments, Assessments, and other Instructional Materials
Writing Book Suggestions
Some of My Favorites
Best Practices in Writing Instruction by Steve Graham and Charles A. MacArthur
Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher
In the Middle by Nancie Atwell
Teaching for Joy and Justice by Linda Christensen
Rhetoric, Style, and Grammar Books
Rhetorical Grammar by Martha Kolln and Loretta Gray
Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph Williams and Joseph Bizup
Other Important Books
Writing with Mentors by Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O’Dell
Why Don’t Students Like School? by Daniel Willingham
Drive by Dan Pink
And My Book…
While not exactly on writing (don’t worry lots of writing resources below), I have to mention my book for new teachers, Finding Success the First Year: A Survivor’s Guide for new Teachers, which follows my own first year and uses those experiences to serve as a foundation for a step-by-step guide on how to survive and thrive in that all important first year. Get it here.
First-year teachers frequently have difficulty finding a resource that is succinct, helpful, and all encompassing. Johnson’s Finding Success the First Year is the ticket. He has written an extremely practical book that addresses nearly every possible aspect of a first-year teacher’s experiences. The book is divided into clear units and chapters on topics such as secret weapons (e.g., enthusiasm, setting the right tone, respect, and power of positivity), relating to students, and more. The chapters are short and easy to read and include specific experiences (e.g., parent e-mails, participation, body language, picking one’s battles, and rituals) that first-year teachers will relate to readily. The author keeps a focus on student learning and engages in self-reflection, which makes his suggestions powerful. Each chapter ends with an exit slip that sums his writing well. In addition, there are some connections to other texts for further reading. First-year and preservice teachers will find this resource invaluable. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and practitioners. -American Library Association