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6 Simple "Old" and "New" Strategies to Teach Complex Writing Skills

Teaching writing requires both ingenuity and experience—as well as a bag of tricks that combines tried-and-true ideas with new strategies and technologies.  And with this in mind, we've put together a list of strategies—both old and new—that will help you get a handle on teaching writing in a way that helps each and every one of your students.

1.  Old: Journaling.
  Sometimes your students just need to put pencil to paper—and daily journaling is a great way to teach them how to express themselves through the written word.

2.  New: Blogging.  A classroom blog is a great way for students to interact with each other in an informal, written way.  Use a tool like SchoolNet to start a classroom blog and allow students to post their own thoughtful articles, questions and comments.

3.  Old:  Classroom Discussion.  A good old-fashioned classroom discussion is still one of the best ways to teach kids to dig deeper and enhance comprehension, which can, in turn, transfer to their written work.

4.  New: Online Literacy Tools. Web-based literacy tools (try WriteToLearn) meet individual instructional needs for all students—including struggling readers and ELL students, providing teachers an effective method of supplementing their classroom instruction.

5.  Old:  Writing Circles.  Group your students according to reading level and watch them motivate and push each other as they work through a difficult text and respond through writing and discussion.

6.  New:  Online Book Clubs.  Find an online forum where people discuss books and ask your students to contribute their thoughts and reactions in writing. Or, you can start a just-for-your-class book club with your students using a private Facebook page.

Question for you:  How do you teach complex reading and writing skills to struggling readers?  Tell us and you could win $100 and an iPod touch. Click here to learn more.  

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