Write, Think, Learn : Tapping the Power of Daily Student Writing Across the Content Areas book cover
1st Edition

Write, Think, Learn
Tapping the Power of Daily Student Writing Across the Content Areas

ISBN 9781138052772
Published August 22, 2017 by Routledge
198 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Find out how to create the climate and space for everyday student writing. In this new co-publication with MiddleWeb, award-winning teacher Mary Tedrow shows you how to encourage students to integrate daily writing into their lives, leading to improved critical thinking skills, increased knowledge of subject areas, and greater confidence in written expression. This practical guide will help you consider the unique needs of your students, while still meeting state standards.

You’ll discover how to…

  • Develop classroom routines and activities that invite creativity and self-expression
  • Teach writing methods that can be used across different grade levels and all content areas
  • Challenge students to examine their own writing processes for thinking and problem solving
  • Evaluate written work in a way that emphasizes growth over grades

Many exercises, prompts, and attempts at thinking found in the book can be easily adapted for use both in and out of the classroom. Whether you are a new or experienced teacher, Write, Think, Learn will enable you to make writing come alive for all your students.

Table of Contents

Meet the Author


Preface: How to read this book.

Chapter One: Why add writing?

Moving Toward a community of authentic learners

Exemplifying authentic learning • Ensuring student success • Understanding the struggle • Employing a Daybook

Chapter Two: Where to begin?

Motivating students to accept the daily writing challenge.

Introducing, formatting, and managing the notebook • Motivating students • Developing routines

Chapter Three: What will we write about?

Understanding characteristics of effective prompting.

Defining the teacher’s role • Reviewing theory • Examining questions • Anticipating answers • Categorizing prompting

Chapter Four: Where have we been? Where are we going?

Prompting Reflection and goal setting with an emphasis on inquiry.

Understanding reflection • Determining when to use reflection and goal setting • Activating reflection • Tying reflection to specific assignments

Chapter Five: Wait. What? You want my opinion?

Helping students locate their own thinking.

Highlighting existing student skills • Using expressive writing to locate thought • Engaging in thinking activities

Chapter Six: How does writing support course objectives?

Teaching the curriculum through writing.

Shifting away from teacher talk • Managing time • Deepening learning with writing • Understanding concepts with writing

Chapter Seven: Why are these essays so hard to read?

Scaffolding student products by collecting and brainstorming before assigning.

Assigning versus supporting writing • Exploring and collecting ideas • Breaking through writing blocks • Identifying gaps in research and argument

Chapter Eight: What about grading?

Assessing daily writing for growth that makes the invisible visible.

Reviewing grading and motivation • Creating a low-risk environment • Assessing in the moment • Letting students evaluate • Assessing learning through written products


Works Cited

Appendix A – Additional sources for prompting

Appendix B – Assignments that support reflecting and goal setting

Appendix C – Additional handouts

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Mary K. Tedrow is a National Board Certified Teacher of English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood with twenty-six years of classroom experience. She directs the Shenandoah Valley Writing Project housed at Shenandoah University.


"Mary Tedrow's book Write,Think, Learn offers an excellent collection of practical instructional strategies teachers can use to help their students become better writers. I know that I will be using many of them myself!"--Larry Ferlazzo, English and Social Studies Teacher, EdWeek blogger, and author of several books, including Building a Community of Self-Motivated Learners: Strategies to Help Students Thrive in School and Beyond

"The best advice ever for writers is the Roman maxim, 'nulla dies sine linea'—never a day without a line. In this practical and motivating book, master teacher Mary Tedrow shows how to use daybooks to build fluency, engage course content, and reflect on learning. Through daily practice, students come to view writing as a natural form of expression—not an attempt to fit someone else’s imposed formula."--Thomas Newkirk, Award-Winning Author, Educator, and Professor Emeritus, University of New Hampshire