How to Make Your Students into Authors Without Tears or Hair Loss

06 August 2016 / Leave a Comment
Turn your students into authors without tears or hair loss using the Writing Fix mentor text lessons for creative and sound instruction.

Just look at the energized and enthusiastic appearance of this young writer! Kids LOVE sharing their work with others. They love the pride of a finished product showcased for all to see, and they love the positive feedback they receive when someone notices what great work they've put together. We all know that quality writing (like reading, basketball, and art) takes practice, but writing can be LOTS of fun both for teachers and students if you find interesting ways to teach, model, and practice. Today, I'd like to share with you a WONDERFUL WEBSITE called The Writing Fix. You will be so glad you found this post if you aren't familiar with it already. 

I have been using lessons from [Writing Fix] for several years now and share it often. If you have not explored it yet, it is time to check it out! You will be amazed by all of the FREE resources available through it. In fact, you'll have your plans and materials ready to roll for a quarter or more AND...your kids will LOVE it!

writing fix gif

How Writing Fix Got Started

Writing Fix was begun in 1999 by Corbin Harrison and is promoted via donations and through the Northern Nevada Writing Project. It is a resource site that freely shares ideas, resources, interactive apps to be used for six trait lessons, and teacher tested lesson plans.  Fast forward to today, and you will find materials that will take you through each year to grade twelve with focus on developing each of the writing traits for all writing genres.  If you have favorite literature you enjoy, you may be able to locate writing resources to go with them using the [site bibliography] that is linked to the resources. It is amazing just how much is included. 

Why Writing Fix Should Be Bookmarked

I first learned about Writing Fix when I ran a weekly blog link up on my blog called Six Trait Sunday in *2013*.  Teachers linked up their favorite books and how they used them to model writing traits.  I had just started blogging at that point, so the link up sort of fizzled. Even so, it helped me learn the depth of resources available on this site, and how to make them work in my classroom. Here is what I like most about it.

1) Organized by Writing Type

If you have a certain type of writing you need to address (persuasive, procedural, narrative, expository), you can easily search the site for lesson modules that fit which will lead you to the mentor text that they've chosen as well as the associated resources.  I did this, and although it hopped me over to Google, it gave me a list of 179 links for persuasive writing including printables, apps, and lots of mentor text options. 

2) Features Quality Literature

Writing Fix features a wide array of book choices for the lessons. From the list, one of my favorites is All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan. In fact, I think this was the first picture book of hers I'd read, and it was just so beautiful. 
The lesson focus is on building sentence fluency using prepositional phrases, but it's a great lead for students to write about special places and draw from the reading the importance of family and memories. It includes student samples by grade level as well as checklists, organizers, and a detailed lesson plan. 

3) Encourages writing across the curriculum

Finally, the site has a tab for writing in science, social studies, and math too. You can go to Science Fix and see how to encourage deeper thinking through writing. You will find RAFT paper options, exit tickets, mentor texts that are content related, research project ideas, and more. Just click on the tabs in the left corner and familiarize yourself. 

The Writing Fix helps students see the Reading-Writing Connection, and it makes writing just plain fun! To get your year off to a great start, here are a few writing freebies I've got in my store. Add your favorite mentor texts (nonfiction for research or memoirs such as The Keeping Quilt, Memoirs of a Goldfish, or When I was Young in the Mountains). 
Writing Research Reports Made Easy   Writing a Memoir
So, how do you make your students into writers without tears or hair loss? My answer...check out this site and give a few of the lessons a try. Then, when you find a few you LOVE, apply the ideas with other mentor texts and topics your students will snag and explode. 

For other writing tips, I'll be sharing my writing routines over on my blog in a weekend link up with my bloggy friends from The Reading Crew. If you'd like to check out out posts for literacy tips and the freebies we've got for you, just visit me at Comprehension Connection this weekend. Otherwise, have a great transition back, and most importantly, have a great year! 


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