Quality Teaching Resources for K strategically designed lessons to help "fix" teachers who don't enjoy teaching writing How this website came to be.
Teachers should share with each other, and the Internet is the perfect tool for promoting sharing. I like it so much, in fact, that when I was asked to start designing professional development courses on writing instruction way back when, I jumped at the chance. I have been fortunate in that I have had so many great mentors over my year teaching career.
Back inI was one of the first teacher-trainers in our area to provide electronic resources before, during and after teacher inservice courses. The teacher-built lessons that were truly outstanding, well, they needed to be shared. Dena and I had been stocking WritingFix with our own inservice materials and student samples, and now it was time to ask teacher participants if they would mind us including the lessons they had created at the WritingFix website too.
Some were so excited to be asked. Some were too shy to grant permission to post them, which makes sense if you think that, in its heyday, WritingFix was receiving over 20, hits a day from teachers across the globe looking for good writing lessons.
That kind of traffic can be intimidating. Being Director allowed me to seek out new grant monies, and it was so helpful to already have a tried-and-tested "make and take" model of inservice ready to share with the potential grantors I met with.
Our NNWP was pursuing some pretty innovative ideas for new, research-driven inservice courses back then. With a promise to the grantors that a brand new webpage of teacher-built lessons and resources would be one of the outcomes of the class if they helped us pay for it, we impressed a lot of people, and we did some pretty great stuff with the grants we then earned.
In a very short period of time, we doubled and then tripled the number of lessons and resources posted at WritingFix, and we kept being discovered more and more teacher followers who eventually saw us as one of the best places to go if you wanted an innovative idea for teaching writing.
One of my favorite grants we earned bought all class participants a classroom iPod; in exchange for this small piece of technology, participants simply had to design and implement a writing lesson based on the lyrics of a song.
At the local level, we had never been asked to provide so many courses and workshops as we were during these years; at the national level, we were admired as writing project site that had used the Internet to create a well-respected national presence. With just barely enough money to keep its basic functions going, our local Northern Nevada Writing Project had to stop providing sponsorship to WritingFix.
It was too bad too. We had some great new directions planned for the website, but there was no money available to implement those plans. WritingFix, however, should NOT go away; Dena and I decided that we would take over paying the bill for all annual fees that keep the website online and free-to-use.
The lessons that were created and posted between and were very good and deserve to be housed on the Internet for all teachers to find and use; we know there are brand new teachers out there just discovering WritingFix for the first time, and they deserve to have access to these resources.
Perhaps some day, a grantor will read this page and send Dena and me a sizeable check so that we can organize and give WritingFix another chance at another heyday, but we doubt that will happen. We are ultimately happy with what the website became during the ten years that we had support and funding to keep it alive and strong.
I ultimately watched hundreds and hundreds of our local K teachers collaborate and implement research-based strategies in new lessons we asked them to create in exchange for recertification credit.
Dena and I are both still creating new lessons and posting them online at our own websites. Both of us are still WritingFix users. Corbett, who is currently teaching gifted and talented 6thth graders, shares his four favorite WritingFix resources below; Dena, who is a K-8 Writing Specialist, shares her four favorite resources below.
We hope you find time to explore them!Teen Ink, a national teen magazine, book series, and website devoted entirely to teenage writing, art, photos and forums.
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