• Jennifer Laffin

Five Books We Love For Teaching Writing


Thankfully, the tides are beginning to turn and more and more light is being focused on the best practices of teaching writing. There are lots of professional texts out there to help you grow your practice as a teacher of writers, but where do you begin?

These are a few of our favorites:

Joy Write by Ralph Fletcher (Heinemann, 2017):

In Joy Write, Fletcher introduces the concept of greenbelt writing, the kind of writing that returns a sense of passion and curiosity -- and joy!-- to the writing classroom. Fletcher advocates for allowing students to do more writing that is "free and unguided" and in doing so, they will discover that they, too, are writers.

Feedback That Moves Writers Forward by Patty McGee (Corwin Literacy, 2017):

Many of us remember the "red pen" of writing from when we were students. Some of us are still using that red pen today when we assess our own students' writing. If you are looking for a better way to confer and assess student writing, you must check out McGee's book. She shows you how to come to student writing from a strengths stance that looks for what is being done well and how to use those strengths to set new goals.

Close Writing by Paula Bourque (Stenhouse, 2016)

One of the biggest frustrations of teaching writing is when students turn in writing that doesn't make sense, doesn't meet expectations, or is full of errors. In Close Writing, Bourque shows you how to help your students analyze their writing to produce better results and grow as writers.

10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know by Jeff Anderson (Stenhouse, 2011)

In this book, Anderson lets you in on the secret of what makes good writing and shows you how to teach your students the same. His ideas are practical and purposeful and will help both your students -- and you -- become better writers.

Renew! Become a Better and More Authentic Writing Teacher by Shawna Coppola (Stenhouse, 2017):

In Renew, Coppola nudges us to reflect on our current practice of teaching writing: how we teach the writing process, the tools we use, how we assess, what it means to write, and the teacher as a writer, and then leads is in planning how we can improve in these areas. I truly believe we are on the cusp of a writing revolution -- a time when writing will take more of its rightful place in today's classrooms -- and Coppola's book is the spark that just might light that fire.

What writing books are on your "must read" shelf that you love to recommend to other teachers?

Next week we will share our favorite books for teacher-writers so be sure to check back or sign up to have it delivered right to your inbox!

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