At a restaurant recently, I overheard part of the conversation at an adjoining table. A man with a stentorian voice was complaining about one of his co-workers. “And the worse part,” the man boomed, “is that this guy constantly tries to take credit for my ideas, which you know is
As a high school English teacher, I faced a dilemma every February. Throughout the year, I assigned texts by African American writers, including Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston. After all, their voices were central to any discussion of American literature. For Black History Month, however,
Want your students to ask questions experienced writers ask automatically? Available at no cost from Curriculum Pathways, Writing Reviser allows writers to focus on purpose and audience, essay structure, and use of written language (sentence economy, variety, power, and clarity). As a result, students learn to express themselves with greater precision and
Let’s face it: teaching students to write well is a remarkably complex task. Whether they’re explicating an Emily Dickinson poem or reporting lab results for a science class, student writers must express themselves clearly and forcefully—and that usually involves revision. As James Baldwin knew, rewriting is both painful and
As the new school year gets under way, you may be looking to ease your students back into English language arts. Here are a few ways that Curriculum Pathways can help. Check out Crio! Ready to give shape to some new ideas about novels or writing types you will be
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”
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
Working to reinforce the virtues extolled in our Writing Reviser, we’ve prepared a series of English language arts videos starring a lovable pit-bull named Muggs—aptly named after a dog owned by the famous American writer James Thurber. The synergy between the two tools has helped many students learn to write more forcefully,
The all-new online professional development offerings from Curriculum Pathways enable teachers to learn about new ideas and resources specific to their discipline areas and grade levels. Equally important, teachers focus on resources that model effective technology integration. This model fills a vital need identified by teachers, the National Schools Boards Association, the Center
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
We called her the Diagram Queen. She was a small woman, probably no taller than five feet, but her students looked upon her as a giant. Each day, she would greet us with a smile and utter these simple instructions: “Students, take out a sheet of paper. Before we start
I don’t need to make the case that providing students with models of good writing can be a powerful tool for improving their work. That’s why I want to feature in this Buried Treasures post the Argument Writing section from inContext, our massive network of terms, definitions, and activities that
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
The SAS Curriculum Pathways team suffered a loss recently, as writer and editor Tim McBride’s American Staffordshire Terrier (Pit bull), Muggs passed away at the age of 10. Now, many of us have pets and we don’t usually spend much time chronicling them here. But Muggs was different. Over the
Too often I hear my physics students complain about writing: they think it's important only in English classes. As teachers we know otherwise, but incorporating more writing into our classes can be demanding--especially when we have to get through core content. Working at SAS Curriculum Pathways this summer, I've discovered Writing
If you’ve been looking for an engaging punctuation tool that students can use on their tablets or phones, your search is over. Punctuation Rules!, one of our most popular web-based resources, has been converted to HTML5 and is now mobile ready. New Features The updated tool includes a few
Among the millions of Google Drive users are many students who increasingly use Google Docs to create essays, lab reports, blog posts, and other forms of communication. That’s one reason why Curriculum Pathways created the SAS Writing Reviser Add-on, a tool that helps students using Google Docs improve any type