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February 2016 eNewsletter

Teaching the Qualities of Informative/Explanatory Writing

TeacherFeature Tip

Writing Giggle of the Month

WriteSteps Welcomes Ashley McGukin!

Upcoming Conferences
"I'm more interested in arousing enthusiasm in kids than in teaching the facts. The facts may change, but that enthusiasm for exploring the world will remain with them the rest of their lives."
~Seymour Simon

Teaching the Qualities of Informative/Explanatory Writing
Did you know literacy researchers estimate that adults spend about 85% of their time reading and writing nonfiction? Due to this high percentage, it's not surprising that the Publishers' Criteria recommends elementary students spend the following amount of time on each text type:
  • 30% of their time on opinion writing
  • 35% of their time on informative/explanatory writing
  • 35% of their time on narrative writing
What is Informative/Explanatory Writing?
Informative/explanatory writing communicates facts and information on a specific topic to an audience. The purpose is for the writer to share their knowledge by conveying ideas and information clearly.

What are the requirements of informative/explanatory writing?
Students must:
  • introduce the topic clearly with a topic sentence
  • develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details
  • use paragraphs to organize information
  • use linking words and phrases (e.g. also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas
  • write a concluding statement
These K-2 and 3-5 posters remind your students what is required of them in their informative/explanatory writing pieces.

Teaching informative/explanatory writing is important. The ability to clearly convey written information is crucial for communication in many careers. Police officers, journalists, attorneys, nurses, and doctors are just a few examples of the many careers that rely on clear informative/explanatory writing.

Download your copy of the informative/explanatory posters here. Hang them in your classroom to remind your students what is required in their informative/explanatory pieces.

Stay tuned for our next text type classroom posters on opinion writing!


Motivating Students By Highlighting Their Success
Watch as Lynn Feiman, a fifth grade teacher, shares how she motivates students to perform their best.

https://youtu.be/mkMT5KmE5oo


Writing Giggle of the Month
Love is in the air! Do you have a funny student writing piece you can send us? If so, send it to [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming eNewsletter!

Source: BuzzFeed


Ashley McGukin Joins WriteSteps!
We'd like to welcome Ashley McGukin, our new Professional Development Coach, to WriteSteps! Ashley brings over ten years of teaching experience to the team and will be providing writing support to K-5 teachers.

Ashley says, "I was the Professional Development Liaison for my school for eight years, so I understand how important it is to support teachers."

Outside of work, Ashley enjoys spending time with her family and friends. During the fall, you will find her watching college football on Saturdays. She roots for Auburn College. She also enjoys creating Photo Books.

We welcome Ashley to our team!


Upcoming Conferences
February 25-27, Osage Beach, MO
Stop by the WriteSteps booth during the Write to Learn Conference and say hello to Ben Kutz! Don't miss out on Principal Kim Rodriguez's presentation, "Off to the Races: Response Writing." Kim will examine lessons that help enhance writing across the curriculum. You will walk away with assessment prompts and rubrics for grades 3-5 that will enable you to increase the rigor of your response writing lessons. Her presentation is on Friday, February 26 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

March 5, Melville, NY
Mitch Bonder will be at the Long Island Language Arts Council Conference located inside the Melville Marriot. He will be there to answer any questions you have regarding our award-winning, K-5 writing and grammar program.


"Education is not the learning of the facts, but the training of the mind to think."
~Albert Einstein