The purpose of our innovative Writing Reviser tool is both significant and, I think, subtle—the tool aims to teach students how to write. No one would argue that this is easy. It isn't. We’ve all seen writing programs that take the “easy” path—marking student errors, subjecting students to endless “drill and kill”
Tag: writing navigator
When I’ve had the chance over the last few years to show Writing Reviser in classrooms and at conferences, I’ve been careful to point that its purpose is not punitive. Specifically, I mean that the tool does not simply search for and highlight mistakes that student writers inevitably make. Instead,
Good news! We’ve revised the Writing Reviser. We’re happy to announce a number of exciting new features we’ve recently added to the Writing Reviser menu to help students select words that are more vivid, accurate, and powerful. Give meaning to those empty expressions. A new feature in the Sentence Economy
We regularly revise and add features to Writing Reviser so that it is even more responsive to the needs of students! More specifically, we've bolstered the Writing Reviser menu to help students spot potentially problematic words and expressions, thus making their sentences clearer and more powerful. Tell the reader what “This” means.
In the spirit that even good work can get better with revision, we continually revise Writing Reviser. We think you'll be especially excited about a couple of features that help students revise words and expressions in ways that will make their sentences more varied and powerful. Draw on more words in your
It goes by many names. Proficiency-based education, mastery-based education, standards-based education, and—perhaps the most commonly used appellation these days—competency-based education. Whatever name you know it by, you’ve probably noticed that schools at every level are increasingly making the transition from a seat-time system of grade levels and courses to one
Writing Reviser, the free Curriculum Pathways writing tool, allows student writers to focus on purpose and audience, essay structure, and expressiveness in their own drafts — rather than in some abstract textbook example in which they have no investment and (alas, too often) little interest. Available on the web and as a
The Byzantine particulars of documenting sources within a research paper and correctly formatting a final Works Cited page have frustrated students and teachers since the invention of papyrus. Worse, struggling to research the proper way to cite research sources steals valuable time from activities central to any writing class: refining the essay’s
Strings of choppy prepositional phrases often cripple student writing—especially when those phrases attempt to compensate for a weak verb, a tactic akin to filling up your radiator as a remedy for running out of gas. Consider this defilement of my first sentence: A common type of failing in writing by
A simple problem has long prevented students from revising their papers to correct mistakes with relative clauses: they can’t identify those clauses. Writing Reviser eliminates that problem. We highlight all the relative pronouns in an essay and present arrows pointing toward the word to which it relates. Students simply follow
Too often beginning writers revise their work without a clear sense of purpose. Sadly, that often results in a paper that becomes different rather than better, a process akin to someone blindly twisting and re-twisting a Rubik’s cube, uniformed by a larger strategy. The process can be painful to watch.
One of the easiest ways to lose a reader is to write a series of sentences with the exact same structure: “See Spot run. Watch him jump. Pet his head.” Compare that juvenile effect to one in which the student purposefully varies her sentence lengths: “Sitting in an expensive restaurant,
“Prefer active voice” may be the single most frequently dispensed injunction to improve writing. Strunk and White, George Orwell, and all student handbooks of the past 50 years extol the virtue of active verbs. But two problems often go unremarked: Students cannot reliably identify passive constructions in their own work.
Open the Statistics feature in the free Writing Reviser Google Doc Add-on, and you’ll see an elaborate but easy-to-read analysis of your entire essay. It’s the writerly equivalent of a blood test report, except that instead of listing your cholesterol level and lipid profile, we diagnose statistics crucial to the revision process.
Students increasingly use Google Docs to complete essays, lab reports, blog posts, and other writing tasks. That’s why Curriculum Pathways has created free digital resources; they include a revision add-on and a punctuation tool—both of which help students who use Google Docs improve any type of writing. So if you’re attending
All learners have comfort zones. I find it enjoyable, for example, to grapple with the complexities and rhetorical puzzles that James Joyce offers up in his novel Ulysses. But we also know our discomfort zones— concepts or subject areas that make us nervous or unsettled. Give me anything written by
For English language arts, any discussion of Buried Treasures would be incomplete without a mention of the research wizard from the Writing Navigator series. The four products in this series guide students through the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, and publishing). But students who wish to support their ideas with quotations
As 2015 comes to a close, let's look back on the great year at SAS Curriculum Pathways. Again, we saw record-breaking new users, soaring student usage, and tons of app downloads. While we love all of our 1,500+ resources, here are the ones that teachers and students used the most in
Since we launched the Writing Reviser Google Doc Add-on, I’ve been recommending it to everyone I meet: professional development participants, friends, colleagues, waiters, strangers at gas stations, everyone. Simply put, it’s an exciting, free tool that will improve your written work. But truth be told, while I have long familiarity
Even for the most vigilant, experienced writers, clarity can be an elusive goal. Again and again, no matter how hard we try to eliminate any trace of ambiguity, an infuriating gap often separates what we think we are saying from what we actually say. Consider this simple exercise. Insert the
Are you one of the more than 240 million users of Google Drive? Are you using Google Docs in the classroom, for work or life? Whether you are writing a narrative essay for your 5th-grade teacher due in two days, summarizing your methods and results for the lab report due
I recall sitting at my desk one sunny morning back in June, frowning at my computer screen as I reread the first two paragraphs of a blog I had been laboring over for the last hour. This is not working at all, I remember thinking. I’m not saying what I
I’m sure most students would agree that writing well—especially writing well for a variety of purposes—is not easy. On any given school day, a student might be asked to analyze a poem by Emily Dickinson, to construct a lab report following a science experiment, or to explain the historical importance
In my school days, I recall making a dishonest, last-ditch effort to explain an English-class delinquency by claiming, “The dog ate my homework.” Perhaps some teachers are gullible enough to believe this bit of gastronomic nonsense. But none of them taught at St Pius X School in Rochester, NY. That
It’s late March, and I can see signs of spring everywhere I look. The dingy snow piles that lined our streets and highways in February have finally melted away. If I look closely, I can make out the first traces of tree pollen that will gradually coat our cars and
We've shared at length our resources for your iPad, but we're happy to announce our new Chromebook apps! Writing Navigator Writing Navigator is a suite of four tools, one for each step in the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, and publishing. Each tool offers numerous instructional features that help students create an effective
Perhaps you’ve had this nightmare. You’ve spent hours planning and drafting an essay for an assignment that’s due the next day. All of a sudden, your computer freezes or shuts down, and you can’t save your work. All that effort, all that time—wasted. And your deadline still looms. Well, there’s
Let me start by stating the obvious: teaching students to write well is hard. Yet teachers who have had success at the elementary level know that young writers can thrive when certain conditions and practices exist in the classroom. For instance, they know students need to be given time to
Writing Navigator–a powerful suite of tools that guides students through the process of planning, drafting, revising, and publishing their written work–is now available as a free app. Already available as a web-based resource in SAS Curriculum Pathways and as a Chromebook app, the new iOS app places this innovative tool
Although most often used as a tool to refine an entire essay, Writing Reviser also offers innovative opportunities to isolate and overcome some of the most durable stumbling blocks to forceful writing. Let’s consider one perennial obstacle: recognizing—and choosing skillfully between—active and passive verbs. In the traditional approach, students look