COPS: use for any written assignment
Did they use Capital letters?
Is the Overall appearance neat?
Did they use correct Punctuation?
Are the words Spelled correctly?
Grammar and Spelling
Coffee Talk: Never End a Sentence With a Preposition! Oh, Really?: http://www.columbiaseminary.edu/coffeetalk/050.html
This Coffee Talk article from Dr. Rick Walston of Columbia Evangelical Seminary, discusses where this rule originated, and quotes a handful of respected sources who agree it's time to throw that rule out!
Grammar Quizzes: http://a4esl.org/a/g.html
Designed specifically for ESL students, English Grammar Quizzes hosts hundreds of interactive quizzes. The multiple-choice quizzes vary in length from ten questions to forty-one questions.
Parapal Online - English Exercises: http://www.parapal-online.co.uk/
"...this site contains a variety of interactive exercises to improve your English. They are designed to improve your listening, writing, reading, vocabulary and grammar skills."
Prepositions and Phrasal Verbs: http://www.englishpage.com/prepositions/prepositions.html
This page focuses entirely on phrasal verbs. "A phrasal verb is a verb plus a preposition which creates a meaning different from the original verb. EXAMPLE: I ran into my teacher at the movies last night." Another one designed for ESL students, it has lots of examples, a dictionary of phrasal verbs, and twenty interactive quizzes. With verbs that change their meaning based on a tiny preposition, no wonder learning English as a second language is such a challenge.
Super Grammar: Learn Grammar With Superheroes: http://www.supergrammar.com/
Creative Writing Prompts
*Creative Writing Prompts: http://www.creativewritingprompts.com/
Creative Writing Prompts serves fresh ideas to get your pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. "Write a story about an empty glass." "Begin a story with the line, 'The clock winked.'" In addition to the nearly daily online prompts (which are archived back to June), the site offers a free download of Write Sparks! Lite, a Windows program that delivers writing prompts right from your desktop.
*After reading, the students start their response with any of the following prompts: If, While, I think, Instead of, After, Throughout, I suppose, As a result, Before, Whatever, I'm certain, An important, Although, I doubt, I'm not sure, This reminds me, Since, I wonder, I'm surprised, In my opinion, Maybe, I guess, Because of, I think, Perhaps, I believe, Just because, When, Unless, I question, The problem, Despite.
*Elementary Writing Prompts: http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/prompts.html
"Would you like to be famous?" "What would you do if you found a magic wand?" Written specifically for Canadian elementary teachers, but appropriate for a much wider audience, this long
list of more than two hundred writing prompts is enough to keep anyone writing for years. The prompts are organized into questions that ask "Who, what, where, and when?" as well as "I
wish," "Describe" and "Miscellaneous."
Writing Prompts for Older People
What are the lessons that you've learned in life?
What are your biggest regrets?
What are your spiritual beliefs?
Who is the most important person in your life and what have you learned from him or her?
Tools for Creative Writing
From the Media Center of the American Press Institute, combines a blog (links to useful web sites, articles, interviews, upcoming conferences, and such), with a Great Work Gallery, Tips & Tools, and a Resource List. The Great Work Gallery illustrates how photos, documents, maps, audio and video combine with traditional journalistic texts to illuminate both subject and readers; anyone who wants to do online storytelling will learn a lot here. Among the great works are a documentary on the life of
Strom Thurmond, an interactive guide to the Tour de France, and panoramic photos of Iraq. The Tips & Tools section includes links to such things as "Finding John Doe" (a backgrounder on public records searching), an Affirmative Action backgrounder, "How To Avoid Misquoting Google," "Tracking Iraq's Historic Treasures," and "A High Tech Way of Estimating Crowd Sizes" (weren't you always just a bit suspicious of those numbers in news reports?). Anybody who teaches information literacy should take a look at the Cyber Slip-Ups section, which has good tips on how to verify information, and plenty of funny stories about embarrassing goofs by reporters who should have known you can't believe everything you read on the internet.
Idioms & Axioms currently used in America (Meanings and Origins):http://www.pride-unlimited.com/probono/idioms1.html
A British-based site that asks what kind of answers journalists are looking for, and for each kind, tells them what kind of tool they need to use, and links them to a set of such resources.
Morning Mystery: pick an object students are unfamiliar with and ask them to look at it, then write what they think it is in their journals.
Reverse Dictionary: http://www.onelook.com/reverse-dictionary.shtml
Type in your meaning and it will sort through its thousands of dictionaries to produce a range of possibly matching words. You can also use it to generate a list of words in a category, e.g., ball games), explore related concepts (e.g., orange), and answer identification questions (e.g., capital of Montana).
Tri-fold of a
Students pick a person they know well as their hero. The person has to be a least four years older then them and have at least three of the attributes of a hero, which have been determined by the class. They pick moms, dads, grandparents, and other special people in their lives. They write a poem, a escriptive essay on why this person is a hero, and a narrative of a special memory they have of this person. They bring in pictures and produce a tri-fold. This tri-fold is then sent to their hero as a present.
a mystery story, then create the story on PowerPoint, using the buttons. Students
have a title slide, a couple of background slides about the crime, then a button
that leads to suspect files, a button that leads to clues, etc. Finally as you
progress they have a solution button where you can find out who did it and why.
In powerpoint all you have to do is go to tools and insert buttons and then link the button to whatever number slide you want. It's best to create all slides, then to go back and insert the buttons. Finally you
need to go to slide transitions and click the check off of "move on mouse" so the buttons only will operate your movement through the story.
Students can find pictures of celebrities as their suspects, clip art, and forensic or CSI type of websites for actual pictures of thumbprints, shoe prints, etc.
*Use 3 things for organization of student work.
First, a writer's notebook. This is kind of like a scrapbook of ideas. Students list ideas they have for writing. They may do journal writing to a prompt, free writing, with the option of later turning it into a story. Also they might just copy a poem they like, draw and label a picture, or cut and paste a cartoon. Basically anything can go in it that might inspire them to write.
The second thing is a writing folder where they keep handouts, revision and editing checklists, examples of certain types of writing, and their current writing project.
The third thing is the portfolio. Published pieces of writing end up here. A 3 ring binders can be used for this.
For the teacher's organization, have a pocket chart to keep up with status of the class. The stages of writing are listed and student names are placed out beside the stage they are in.
"Status of the Class" lets the teacher know each day how each student is progressing. Instead of taking the time for each student to report where they are in the writing process, make markers that are about the size of bookmarks and have a stack for each step in the writing process. When students come into class they pick up the marker that matches where they are in the writing process and put it on the top of their desk. The teacher can do a mini lesson and then when the students go to work, the teacher can walk around the room and check off where the students are in the process and pick up the marker. The teacher can then have a short conference if the student hasn't moved on in the process or if they need some help.
Also, to document conferences keep a binder, divided into sections for each child. Anytime there is a conference, make a few notes about what the child was working on, how he's doing, and what he's having trouble with.
*Use 3 subject notebooks. Students can usually use them the whole year and it's nice to see the progression all in one place. Glue any very important papers they will use right inside of the cover or dividers.
In addition to the notebooks, try to get old wallpaper books...the kids use the paper to make unique
covers for the books that they publish. Also numerous different kinds of themed paper (the printer kind you get at Staples, office Max, etc.) and blank paper books from Scholastic and Really Good Stuff. To get the kids started they have to motivated and all the "cool" ways they can publish helps. Cut lots of paper in different sizes so they can make big books, mini-books, etc.
*A typical 60 minute writing workshop class might be structured like this:
10 min. mini-lesson
1-2 min decide what to work on/transition
30-40 min writing time/practice/ you are conferencing
5 min share/reflect
BibBuilder 1.3 (Free MLA-Style Bibliography Builder): http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/academic/bib_builder/index.html
This site began in March 1998 by Janet Luch. This page was last updated on December 27, 2012
Email questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.