Category Archives: Writing

PARCC Prep: Research Simulation Task Writing Lesson Cycle UPDATED 2-2-2020

[The original version of this post can be found here.] In New Jersey, where I live and work, the state’s most recent test specs for NJSLA (formerly known as PARCC and quite honestly the same test with a different name) … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment(s), Close Reading, Compare and Contrast, DBQ Approach, Nonfiction, PARCC, Punchy Insights, Research Writing, Resources, Rubrics, Test Prep, Thesis Statements, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PARCC Prep: Literary Analysis Writing Lesson Cycle UPDATED, 1-28-2020

[The original version of this post can be found here.  I’ve added some new resources and updated explanations.] As many of you know, I have written numerous posts on how to teach literary analysis writing HERE. You will want to … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment(s), Close Reading, Compare and Contrast, Demo Lesson, Lesson-planning, Literary Analysis Writing, Note-taking, Organizing an Essay, PARCC, Rubrics, Test Prep, Thesis Statements, TLC Website Resources, Writing, Writing Feedback | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

NEW Grammar Resources!

Hi, all—I’ve been working in the field with teachers, testing out lessons based on my book USING GRAMMAR TO IMPROVE WRITING. I’m excited to report that these lessons are WORKING! When asked to reflect on “What surprised you about this … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Grammar, Instruction, Language Standards, Lesson-planning, TLC Website Resources, Using Grammar to Improve Writing BOOK, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PARCC RST Prep: How to Connect Note-taking to Sentence Writing

Whether you are in the throes of “test prep season” or not, it’s important to teach students how to take effective notes (i.e., brief and suited to the question at hand) and turn those notes into sentences (then paragraphs and … Continue reading

Posted in ELA Common Core Standards, Instruction, Lesson-planning, Note-taking, Paragraph writing, PARCC, Research Writing, Test Prep, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Help Students Explain Their Ideas in Writing

[This post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb.] By Sarah Tantillo with Bianca Licata Probably the most common problem we see in students’ writing at every level is their struggle to explain. Even students who can generate a … Continue reading

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How to Blend Grammar into Daily ELA Instruction

[This post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb.] One of the most common concerns I hear from ELA teachers is “I want to teach grammar, but I’m not sure how to fit it in.” This post explains a … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Grammar, Instruction, Lesson-planning, MiddleWeb, Reading Instruction, Resources, TLC Website Resources, Using Grammar to Improve Writing BOOK, Vocabulary, Writing, Writing Feedback | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Narrative Writing Feedback Tools

Following up on my recent post about writing feedback in general, this post offers two tools targeting NARRATIVE writing specifically. As I’ve said many times before, I don’t believe in “peer editing,” which strikes me as “the blind leading the … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction, Narrative Writing, PARCC, Resources, TLC Website Resources, Using Grammar to Improve Writing BOOK, Writing, Writing Feedback | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MENTOR TEXTS: A New Page on The Literacy Cookbook Website!

Friends: As a result of popular demand, I’ve added a new page to The Literacy Cookbook Website: “Mentor Texts.” This page (found under “Reading” and “Writing” because it applies to both!) curates excellent models of writing that I come across … Continue reading

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Feedback That Saves Time and Improves Student Writing

[This post, drawn largely from Using Grammar to Improve Writing: Recipes for Action, originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb.] One of my deepest regrets about my teaching career is how much time I wasted on grading papers. I … Continue reading

Posted in Rubrics, TLC Website Resources, Using Grammar to Improve Writing BOOK, Writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Another Cool Resource: C-SPAN!

Until very recently, I thought of C-SPAN as merely a government cable channel, a place to see the ongoing proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. So: ho hum. Not my favorite channel. But it turns out … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, DBQ Approach, Lesson-planning, Nonfiction, PARCC, Research, Research Writing, Resources, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment