A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - Getting Started: Writing Basics
Begin a journey through the writing process with a look at your fellow travelers: your students! We'll discuss the types of writers that emerge in grades 4-6 and find ways to encourage and motivate them. You'll also explore the basics of teaching writing by learning how to create an engaging writing task with a specific audience and purpose. At the end of this lesson, you'll pack a writing suitcase to organize your materials and learn how to create a writer-friendly classroom.
Lesson 02 - The Writing Process: Part 1
Learn the importance of modeling your writing skills as you teach your students about the writing process. We'll start with an overview of the process and then focus on the first two steps in our writing journey: prewriting and drafting. Some intriguing superheroes will help your students learn effective prewriting techniques like brainstorming, freewriting, and mapping. And we'll wrap up our lesson with a friendly monster who will help you teach essay structure.
Lesson 03 - The Writing Process: Part 2
Today we'll continue our travels through the writing process with a study of the last three steps: revising, editing, and publishing. You'll learn how to help students become confident peer revisers as they check papers for content and clarity while still respecting the author's sense of ownership. Next, we'll discuss how you can help students focus on writing mechanics during the editing step. In both revising and editing, you'll encourage your students to collaborate, coach, and correct. Finally, you'll find ways to let your students share their writing as their voices are fully realized in the publishing step.
Lesson 04 - Ways to Strengthen Writing
It's time to get out your barbells because this lesson is about strengthening your students' writing. We'll focus on specific strategies for constructing intriguing sentences that vary in length and style. To be strong writers, your students will need some nourishment, so we'll learn how to use a submarine sandwich to teach paragraph structure. Using this formula, your students will become proficient at writing topic sentences, supporting sentences with transitions, and concluding sentences. Finally, we'll see how to use technology as a tool for strengthening writing.
Lesson 05 - Enhancing Writing Instruction With Trade Books
Reading and writing have a natural relationship. When students connect these skills, they strengthen both abilities and enhance their learning. In this lesson, we're going to explore how to foster an eagerness for writing and teach writing skills using children's trade books. Then you'll discover and develop writing prompts that allow your students to effectively communicate their understanding of literature.
Lesson 06 - Narrative Writing
"Once upon a time . . ." Remember the wonderful books you read as a child? Today we'll bring that "once upon a time" magic into our students' lives as we help them see that good stories aren't just found in books—they're in each of us as well. Our topic is narrative writing, and we'll explore the skills students need to tell stories. You'll learn how to help students create memorable characters, vivid settings, and descriptive plots. Finally, we'll consider ways to expand your students' writing repertoire using different writing genres.
Lesson 07 - Expository Writing
Can you count how many research papers you've been asked to write? At some point, your students will certainly be given this assignment, so now's the time to teach them about expository writing. Expository writing is simply writing that explains or informs. In this lesson, we'll start by looking at three expository elements: focus, support, and structure. Next, you'll find ways to teach your students how to conduct research and take notes. Finally, you'll learn how to help them organize all of the information into an exceptional report.
Lesson 08 - Persuasive Writing
Our young students often feel unheard in an adult-dominated society. But with persuasive writing, they come to know that what they think matters and what they have to say can make a difference. That's a powerful motivation to write! Today you'll learn how to walk your students through the prewriting step, where they'll choose a topic, decide on a position statement, and research evidence that supports their view. Next, we'll help them learn to hook their readers in their introduction, use different persuasive appeals in the body of their essay, and leave a memorable impact with their conclusion. Finally, we'll help them avoid the pitfalls of certain fallacies that can undermine their efforts.
Lesson 09 - Writing Across the Curriculum
Writing isn't just for English class! It's a valuable tool to help your students learn other topics more deeply. In this lesson, as we explore writing across the curriculum, you'll learn how to provide plenty of writing opportunities in every subject area. We'll explore summary writing and journal writing as ways to write about a subject. And then we'll move on to writing projects that are unique for each content area. Finally, we'll finish with some engaging ideas for writing about famous people in any content area.
Lesson 10 - A Trait-Based Approach to Writing
Good, effective writing lets readers enjoy the journey with the writer, moving them toward a clear destination while blending the author's voice with the reader's emotions. The 6 + 1 Trait Writing method helps our students create a reciprocal relationship with their readers. Today you'll learn practical strategies for teaching the six writing traits: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. Then you'll discover the "plus 1" and ways to make your students' writing presentations appealing. When students can pull all these traits together, they'll have writing that makes a memorable impression on their readers!
Lesson 11 - Writer's Workshop
In this lesson, we'll combine all the writing strategies we've learned and see how they fit into a Writer's Workshop. You'll be excited to discover how students can use the writing process, learn writing skills, practice different applications, and work collaboratively using the Writer's Workshop model. We'll divide our study of this teaching approach into three components: the mini-lesson, the small group and independent work time, and the sharing session. And an example of Writer's Workshop in action will help you visualize its use in your own classroom.
Lesson 12 - Writing Assessments
Assessment is the final topic for our course. However, it isn't the "end of the road" for your students' writing experiences. In this lesson, you'll learn that assessment is an ongoing process that you can use as a tool for improving both learning and teaching. We'll start with a comparison of traditional and alternative assessment options. Next, we'll focus on how to use authentic writing tasks and portfolios to assess writing. Finally, you'll learn how to develop and use rubrics so you'll be well-equipped to evaluate your students' writing.