Opinion Blog

Classroom Q&A

With Larry Ferlazzo

In this EdWeek blog, an experiment in knowledge-gathering, Ferlazzo will address readers’ questions on classroom management, ELL instruction, lesson planning, and other issues facing teachers. Send your questions to lferlazzo@epe.org. Read more from this blog.

Reading & Literacy Opinion

Q&A Collections: Writing Instruction

By Larry Ferlazzo — July 30, 2021 8 min read
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During the summer, I am sharing thematic posts bringing together responses on similar topics from the past 10 years. You can see all those collections from the first nine years here.

Here are the ones I’ve published so far:

The 11 Most Popular Classroom Q&A Posts of the Year

Race & Racism in Schools

School Closures & the Coronavirus Crisis

Classroom-Management Advice

Best Ways to Begin the School Year

Best Ways to End the School Year

Student Motivation & Social-Emotional Learning

Implementing the Common Core

Challenging Normative Gender Culture in Education

Teaching Social Studies

Cooperative & Collaborative Learning

Using Tech With Students

Student Voices

Parent Engagement in Schools

Teaching English-Language Learners

Reading Instruction

Today’s theme is on writing instruction. You can see the list of posts following this excerpt from one of them:

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*Teaching Writing Requires Leaving Students With an ‘I Can Do It!’ Spirit

Three educators share suggestions for writing instruction, including a visual-thinking strategy.

* Four Strategies for Effective Writing Instruction

Three educators share their best ideas on K-12 writing instruction, including writing frames and graphic organizers.

* Seven Strategies for Grammar Instruction

Five educators share instructional strategies for engaging and effective grammar instruction.

* 17 Approaches for Encouraging Students to Revise Their Writing

Five educators offer instructional strategies to use when teaching writing revision, including the power of an authentic audience.

* Ways to Help Ignite Students’ Intrinsic Desire for Writing Revision

Five educators make suggestions that might help students want to revise their writing, including by using “editing stations.”

* ‘I No Longer Give Grades on Student Writing Assignments, and It’s the Best Thing Ever!’

Five educators share how they have helped students motivate themselves to revise their writing.

* Making Revision of Writing a ‘Collaborative Process’

Six educators discuss strategies they’ve used to encourage students to revise their writing, such as demonstrating their own practice.

* 12 Strategies for Encouraging Students to Want to Revise Their Writing

Four educators share suggestions for creating the classroom conditions in which students want to make revisions to their writing.

* Spreading ‘Poetry Love’ in the Classroom

Nine educators share instructional strategies they use to teach poetry, including through read-alouds and through studying and writing odes.

* Teaching Poetry in ‘Playful’ Ways

Four educators share multiple ways to teach poetry, including by modeling and by mimic writing, so that students can enjoy and appreciate the literary form.

* Six Ways to Teach Poetry

Five teachers share strategies for teaching poetry, including by using a “Poem of the Week” to promote social justice and by using photos to prompt student engagement.

* Students Feel More Motivated When Writing for ‘Authentic Audiences’

Shanna Peeples, Mary K. Tedrow, Amy Sandvold, and Laverne Bowers “wrap up” this five-part series on students writing for “authentic audiences.”

* ‘Invite Students to Write Real Arguments’

Rita Platt, Alexis Wiggins, Jenny Grant Rankin, Kristen Koppers, and Mara Lee Grayson share their ideas on how and why students can write for an audience other than the teacher.

* ‘Design Writing Tasks That Bridge the Gap Between Classroom & Outside World’

Martha Sevetson Rush, Donna L. Shrum, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Michael Fisher, Tamara Letter, and Keisha Rembert contribute their thoughts on authentic audiences for student writers.

* Ways Students Can Write for ‘Authentic Audiences’

Jayne Marlink, Cheryl Mizerny, Erin Starkey, Nicole Brown, Dawn Mitchell, and John Larmer share their suggestions on how to encourage students to write for “authentic audiences.”

* ‘When Students Send Their Work Out Into the World, It Changes Everything’

Katherine Schulten, Kelly Love, Tatiana Esteban, Kimiko Shibata, Alycia Owen, and Jennifer Orr offer suggestions on how students can write for an “authentic audience.”

* Reading & Writing Instruction in the Age of the Coronavirus

Keep it simple, keep it flexible, and keep the routine familiar are among the suggestions three educators give in assigning students work while distance learning.

* Connecting Reading & Writing ‘Is a High-Leverage Move’

Five educators recommend strategies for using reading instruction as a tool to improve students’ writing skills, including through the use of informal writing and sections of reading texts students can use as models for their writing.

* Ways Reading Can Support Writing Instruction

Five educators share ideas on how reading instruction can help students become more effective writers, including through the use of mentor texts and through a guided step-by-step process.

* ‘Writing Helps Grow Readers’

Assigning students to write about what they are reading and asking them to compose in various formats are among the tips seven educators offer in their discussion of the role of writing in reading instruction.

* ‘Writing Directly Benefits Students’ Reading Skills’

Five experienced educators discuss how writing instruction can support the development of reading skills for students throughout K-12 and provide tips for doing that important work.

* ‘We Should Embrace Writing in Social Studies’

Martha Sevetson Rush, Andrew Miller, Melissa Miles, Donna L. Shrum, and Richard Byrne contribute their thoughts on writing in social studies classes.

* Ways to Integrate Writing in Social Studies Classes

Stan Pesick, Ben Alvord, Dawn Mitchell, Rachel Johnson, and Rebecca Testa-Ryan share their suggestions on integrating writing into social studies classes.

* ‘Not All Feedback Is Created Equal’

The final post in this series on student-writing feedback includes answers from Stacey Shubitz, Carol Pelletier Radford, Melanie Ward, Tasha Thomas, Dawn Mitchell, Jen Schwanke, and Donna L. Shrum. I also share comments from readers.

* ‘Sometimes the Best Student-Writing Feedback Is Encouragement to Keep Going’

Regie Routman, Paul Solarz, David Hochheiser, Kathy T. Glass, Catherine Beck, and Keith McCarroll offer their wisdom on giving feedback to student writers.

* Ways to Give Effective Feedback on Student Writing

Susan M. Brookhart, Ph.D., Cheryl Mizerny, Amy Benjamin, Kate Wolfe Maxlow, Karen Sanzo, Andrew Miller, David Campos, and Kathleen Fad share their commentaries on the best way to provide feedback on student writing.

* Provide Feedback on Writing That ‘Helps Students Tell Their Story’

Anabel Gonzalez, Sarah Woodard, Kim Jaxon, Ralph Fletcher, Mary Beth Nicklaus, and Leah Wilson begin a four-part series on providing feedback on student writing.

* ‘Writing Frames Help Students Organize Their Thinking’

Matthew Perini, David Campos, Kathleen Fad, Jocelyn A. Chadwick, and Diane Mora finish up a three-part series on writing frames.

* ‘Writing Frames Are the Recipes of Writing’

Patty McGee, Jules Csillag, Sara Holbrook, Michael Salinger, and Kathy Glass share their ideas on instructional strategies for teaching writing.

* Strategies for Using Writing ‘Frames’ and ‘Structures’

Beth Rimer, Linda Denstaedt, Gretchen Bernabei, Nancy Boyles, Mary Shea, Nancy Roberts, and Eileen Depka contribute ideas on how to use writing frames and writing structures in the classroom.

* How to ‘Weave Writing Throughout Science Lessons’

Anne Vilen, Sheila Waggoner, ReLeah Cossett Lent, Jason Wirtz, Amy Benjamin, Jennifer L. Altieri, and Fred Ende contribute their suggestions on incorporating writing into science classes.

* Ways to Integrate Writing Into Science Classes

Mary K. Tedrow, Amy Roediger, Maria Grant, Diane Lapp,Ed.D., Mandi White, Tara Dale, and Becky Bone share their suggestions for how to integrate writing into science classes.

* Mistakes Made in Writing Instruction & What to Do Instead

Lisa Eickholdt, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski, Mary Ann Zehr, Nancy Frey, and Valentina Gonzalez share their commentaries on writing instruction.

* Avoiding ‘Missed Opportunities’ in Writing Instruction

Eugenia Mora-Flores, Julia G. Thompson, Karen Sher, Bret Gosselin, Vicky Giouroukakis, and Emily Geltz contribute their suggestions about writing instruction.

* ‘Do Not Grade Every Piece of Writing a Student Creates’

Tan Huynh, Lynell Powell, Rebecca Alber, Cheryl Mizerny, Mitchell Nobis, and Kai Marks write about mistakes made in writing instruction.

* We Need to ‘Slow Down’ When Teaching Writing

We finish up this series on teaching writing with responses from Alan Sitomer, Sean Ruday, Jen Schwanke, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Kathy Glass, Meghan Everette, and Brian Kissel.

* ‘Writing in Math Class Is a Win-Win for Students & Teachers’

Linda Dacey, Sandy Atkins, Andrea Clark, Mike Flynn, ReLeah Cossett Lent, and Shannon Jones share their ideas on how to incorporate writing into math instruction.

* Writing Instruction & the Common Core—Part Three

This piece features commentaries from Amy Benjamin, Alice Mercer, and many readers.

* Preparing Students to Write Is ‘About Our Own Collaboration’

Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Kathy Glass, and Carol Jago share their ideas.

* Developing Student Writers by Letting Them Talk ...

This post shares commentaries from educators Mary Tedrow, Ray Salazar, and Tanya Baker.

* Many Ways English Teachers Can Improve Their Craft

Author/educators Penny Kittle and Carol Jago contribute their responses.

* Ten Elements of Effective Instruction’

This post includes pieces from Jim Burke and David B. Cohen, as well as comments from readers.

* Many Ways to Help Students Develop Academic Vocabulary

Several educator/authors—Marilee Sprenger, Jane Hill and Kirsten Miller, and Maria Gonzalez—provide guest responses.

* Celebrating Our Students’ Good Writing

This post shares guest responses from three educators: Mary Tedrow, Doug Fisher, and Nancy Frey.

* Helping Our Students Become Better Writers, Part Two

Three educators—Aimee Buckner, Carolyn Coman, and Tanya Baker—contribute their ideas here.

* Helping Boys Become Stronger Writers

Educator and author Ralph Fletcher shares his ideas on how we can specifically help boys become stronger writers.

* A ‘Napkin Curriculum for Writing’

Author and teacher Barry Lane provides his perspective in this post.

* Teaching Writing by Respecting Student Ideas

Teachers Renee Moore and Ray Salazar share their contributions, and I add in my suggestions.

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The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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