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May 2016 eNewsletter

Classroom Management Ideas to Use During Writing Time

Beta Testers Needed for New Curriculum Partnership

WriteSteps Named a REVERE 2016 Finalist

Writing Giggle of the Month

Upcoming Conferences
"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."
~Unknown

Classroom Management Ideas to Use During Writing Time
The month of May: the birds are chirping outside, the weather is finally becoming warmer, and summer is so close you can taste it.

During this month, you may notice your students have become more disruptive and excitable than usual. They can sense their freedom is right around the corner.

What do you do when your class is being disruptive during conference time? Here are some tips:

Tip #1: Often, inappropriate behavior can be avoided or pre-empted. If you're dealing with interruptions, noise, etc., take a look at our Self-Reflection Checklist. It is usually used at the beginning of the year to establish procedures. Think about the highlighted items. Refreshing these procedures might be just what you and your students need.

Tip #2: Be sure students know what to do when they finish writing. Some teachers have allowed students to get up and get a book; others have limited walking around. Whatever you decided earlier, reinforce it now. If it is not working, try a new routine. Maybe you want to restrict movement, maybe you want to loosen up a bit. Whatever you plan, make it clear to your students, role play it if necessary, and be consistent.

This is one out of the four "Topics I Can Write About" visual aids you will receive.
Tip #3: WriteSteps coaches encourage teachers to keep students writing during writing time. You may want to introduce some new writing activities to keep your students excited! There are many examples of writing ideas on the "Topics I Can Write About" visual aids in Unit 1. Now would be a good time to revisit some of those resources! Whatever you decide, be clear. Display your class expectations using the What to Do When I'm Done Writing poster to support good classroom management.

Tip #4: Reiterate procedures to help students work independently. Some things like stretching out words and using the word wall on the WriteSteps privacy folders might have been routine a couple of weeks ago, but with spring here, these practices might need some brushing up.

Tip #5: If you find that your students are ornery and are having difficulty following the classroom rules, try creating an anchor chart together that focuses on the important classroom procedures. Consider these titles: When is it Okay to Interrupt Writing Conferences? or When I'm Done, I've Just Begun and allow students to brainstorm and share ideas to keep them busy while you are not available to them.

Tip #6: It's a great time to start to think about how you will celebrate your students' accomplishments this year. See the "Technology Docs" in Pre-Unit 1 for some creative ways for students to share and publish their writing. Give them a chance to look back at old writing pieces and appreciate how much they've grown as writers.

Beta Testers Needed for a New Curriculum Partnership
Beta testers are needed this summer for a new curriculum partnership!

WriteSteps is teaming up with Write About to create a blended learning, digital writing program for students.

Why should you become a beta tester?
  • You'll be the first to see a sample of the program that will be available to WriteSteps customers in grades 3-5 in the new school year.
  • 4th Grade classrooms will gain free access to a WriteSteps Research Writing unit presented to students via video lessons and integrated with Write About tools!
  • You can use it in your classroom or just look it over to see what is coming up.
  • It's perfect for targeting Research Writing during Summer School!
Sign-up by May 31 to participate!

WriteSteps Named a 2016 REVERE Award Finalist!
We are thrilled to announce that eWriteSteps was named a finalist for the 2016 REVERE Awards in the Classroom Competition Whole Curriculum Category/Reading and Language Arts subcategory.

The REVERE (Recognizing Valuable Educational Resources) Awards recognize creative resources that engage 21st-century teachers and learners. Produced by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) PreK-12 Learning Group, the awards are the only ones of their kind to recognize learning resources in all media, for all ages, and cover a wide array of educational subject areas and learning environments.

REVERE Award finalists were chosen by evaluation of quality content and design, audience engagement and appropriateness, usability and originality, along with comments and recommendations given by judges. More than 100 evaluators in the education and publishing industries judged the applications.

Writing Giggle of the Month
What's your secret recipe for your dreams to come true? 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

Upcoming Conferences
June 6-8, Philadelphia, PA
Our Founder and CEO will be attending the Content in Context Conference. She is looking forward to networking and connecting with other educators and entrepreneurs in the education industry.

June 13-14, Columbus, OH
Awareness Ambassador Mary Gantzer is going to be at the Educators Connect for Success Conference in Columbus, OH. Stop by the WriteSteps' booth to learn how we can help improve writing and grammar at your school!

June 26-28, Nashville, TN
Herman Humes will be at the National Charter School Conference. If you're attending, stop by the WriteSteps' booth and enter to win a one-year free trial. We look forward to seeing you there!


"The best teachers show you where to look but don't tell you what to see."
~Unknown