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By Suzanne Klein on 2/3/2016 12:51 PM
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Valentine's Day is fast approaching! If you don't usually incorporate writing when you celebrate, do something different this year and share the power of words with your students.

Here are four ideas:

1. Pass out this Valentine’s Mad Lib during your classroom celebrations. This activity provides an opportunity for your students to complete a story with a Valentine’s Day theme.  They fill in the blanks with various parts of speech.  The more creative your students are with their adjectives, adverbs, and nouns, the better! Have students work alone, in partners, or in a group. For younger students, create a word bank that they can use to fill in the blanks that cover the various parts of speech.   Allow your students to share their stories when they’re finished!

Download your Mad Lib here.

By Suzanne Klein on 10/29/2013 12:00 PM
By Lily Jones (Guest Blogger)

A special  thank you to Lily Jones, Education Content Manager at Teaching Channel, for giving us permission to re post her blog. She shares her tips about the instructional strategy called "Writing to Learn".  You can read her original entry, posted on Teaching Channel, here.

When we give students writing assignments, the purpose is often to share ideas and demonstrate understanding. We have students write persuasive essays to demonstrate their ability to make and support arguments, or write answers to questions that we use to assess their understanding. But, as Joan Didion explains, writing can also be a way to develop understanding.

Recently, Teaching Channel’s new professional development platform, Teams, partnered with Educate Texas to create a series of videos showcasing Common Instructional Framework. From these new videos, I learned about an instructional strategy called “Writing to Learn.” This technique encourages the use of low-stakes writing to allow students a chance to clarify their ideas and think critically. In this video, Andrea Culver explains how “Writing to Learn” allows students to process information without worrying about assessment or judgment.

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