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On occasion, I do revise or update a lesson here at WritingFix. I also add new student samples to many posted lessons. Here are ways to receive updates and keep in touch:


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We celebrate teachers who have created their own websites about teaching writing:


Corbett's
Always Write
Website
(Grades K-12)



Jodie's
Start to Learn
Website

(Primary Grades)



Holly's
Making Mathematicians
Website

(Grades K-12)



Brian's
Learning is Messy
Blog

(Grades 4-6)



Dena's
Write in the Middle
Website

(Grades 6-8)

WritingFix: Quality Teaching Resources for K-12
strategically designed lessons to help "fix" teachers who don't enjoy teaching writing

How this website came to be..and how you can help keep it online and free-to-use:
Teachers should share with each other, and the Internet is the perfect tool for promoting sharing.

My name is Corbett Harrison, and in 1999 I bought this domain name--WritingFix.com--because I wanted to launch a website where innovative ideas--focused on K-12 writing instruction--could be stored and exchanged freely between friends and colleagues. I don't know why I enjoy teaching writing so much, but I do. 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 25-year teaching career. From these amazing and generous mentors, I borrowed and adapted writing strategies and teaching ideas, and then I began sharing those adaptations with other educators during inservice courses which I was designing--mostly to pay the bills that earning my Master's Degree had created for me. Back in 1999, I was one of the first teacher-trainers in our area to provide electronic resources before, during and after teacher inservice courses. For ten years after establishing WritingFix, my wife (Dena) and I continued to design inservice courses that were purposefully different; in them, teachers were required to collaborate and actually design new lessons they would implement with their own students so that they might ask our inservice's other participants for revision advice. Through this "make-and-take" style of teacher workshop, I saw some truly great lessons being created; I also saw some stinkers, and it's important to be honest about that. 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 20,000 hits a day from teachers across the globe looking for good writing lessons. That kind of traffic can be intimidating.

WritingFix's best growth happened during the time I served as Director of the Northern Nevada Writing Project: 2002-2007. 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 100 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. We hired some of our best K-12 NNWP teacher-presenters to write "model lessons" that used songs as their "mentor texts," we paid those presenters stipends to come share their lessons with our classes' participants, we selected the very best lessons written by those same class participants, and--with permission--we posted those lessons (alongside our presenters' lessons) at our "iPods and Song Lyrics Lesson Page" at WritingFix. It was a pretty creative way to enhance an already-established website, and our writing project's reputation as a professional development provider soared to new heights both locally and nationally. 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. "Oh, you're from Nevada," other writing project members would say to me at conferences. "You guys have that really great website." WritingFix became that place where inspired teachers were sharing inspiring lessons and ideas.

In 2010, the National Writing Project--despite its amazing reputation as an effective provider of professional development that changes teachers' practices--had its budget horribly slashed. 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. Keeping a popular website online can be expensive (about $1200 a year).

With our NNWP's economic "crash," all planned growth for WritingFix went directly to the back-burner, and it has now remained there for so long that I am convinced the WritingFix website is a "completed" project. WritingFix, however, should NOT go away; Dena and I decided that we would take over payingg the bill for all annual fees that keep the website online and free-to-use. The lessons that were created and posted between 2000 and 2010 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.

While in its heyday, WritingFix was truly one of the most exciting projects I've ever been involved with. I ultimately watched hundreds and hundreds of our local K-12 teachers collaborate and implement research-based strategies in new lessons we asked them to create in exchange for recertification credit. Face to face in class, they inspired each other while sharing these lessons, and then the lessons we chose to post at the website went on to be used by tens of thousands of WritingFix's national and international followers.

Dena and I are both still creating new lessons and posting them online at our own websites. You can find our newest, Common Core-friendly resources for writing instruction at Corbett's Always Write website and Dena's Write in the Middle website. Both of us are still WritingFix users. Corbett, who is currently teaching gifted and talented 6th-12th 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!

Fast access...
Corbett's Four Favorite WritingFix Resources:
Fast access...
Dena's Four Favorite WritingFix Resources:

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Celebrating our NWP Colleagues' Independent Work in the Area of Writing Instruction
It was so interesting to watch. We gave a lot of Nevada teachers a little extra confidence in their lesson-building skills by publishing their innovative lessons here at WritingFix during our inservice classes. Inspired by the process, some of those teachers then went on to create their own resources independently, including their own websites (which you can access from the left-hand margin, just below that Twitter logo).

We happily celebrate our teachers' post-WritingFix work here in this space. The National Writing Project is all about empowering teachers and inspiring them to become teacher leaders and innovators of positive change. If you are an active Teacher Consultant for the National Writing Project, write me and let me know what website or teaching resources you have created. I will consider celebrating your work alongside these amazing resources:

Dena & Corbett Harrison's Sacred Writing Slides
Jodie Black's Common Core Materials for Primary
When Corbett was the NNWP's Director and co-taught its Summer Institute (with Jodie Black) for five summers, he fell in love with the idea of "Sacred Writing Time" every day as a technique for starting a writing class. Adults did very well with this class requirement, but students needed a bit more scaffolding, he discovered.

Dena actually proposed the idea of creating a set of PowerPoint slides that would assist students in finding writing topics in case they couldn't come to class with one on their own. It took Corbett & Dena an entire year to create this set of slides, but three years later, it truly remains one of the best investments in time the husband-wife team created. You can order their set of SWT slides from their website. Click here for details.

Our NNWP's most amazing kindergarten/writing teacher--Jodie Black--now has two self-published lesson collections inspired by Common Core State Standards at her teacher website.

Start Close Reading is her brand new set of four units for fiction and non-fiction written by Jodie and illustrated by her husband, Dennis. You can read all about this new resource at this ning page we posted on her behalf.

Start Common Core Writing is a series of thirteen tried-and-true lessons aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Kindergarten and primary teachers will find these lessons to be user friendly, timeless and fun while meeting requirements for the three important genres in Common Core.


Sue Gonyou's "Transitions in Time" Slides
Holly Young's Math & Writing
Our dear friend and one of the best professional development teachers we have ever taken a class from--Sue Gonyou--was inspired by the "Sacred Writing Slides" Dena and I created, and so she did what all great teachers do: she created something similar-yet-different for her own classroom. Here is free access to her first fifteen slides in this set: Free Slides.

Sue teaches a little bit of pretty much everything, but she has a love of teaching history more than anything else I bet. She also is a fantastic user of small group instruction. I've never seen anyone move kids to different groups as often as I see Sue do it with her sixth graders. Sue created this set of "Transitions in Time" slides to not only provide interesting historical facts related to the day, but she also uses them as "transitional talking points" when students move to their next grouping. She'll say, "When you sit with your new group," you need to have a one-minute conversation about today's word of the day on the slide." Click here to learn about ordering this set of slides.

Math and writing? Go figure! Pun intended!

NNWP Consultant and math teacher extra-ordinaire--Holly Young--is proud to share her first published book: The UnderAchievers. Holly specifically designed this book to help her teach fractions to the depth outlined in the Common Core Math Standards.

Holly passionately believes that every child has an inner mathematician and an inner writer inside them, and by publishing this book, she proved that to her students.

Our congratulations to Holly, who also coordinated NumberFix here at WritingFix.



I honor and respect every teacher who gave us permission to share lessons they created during WritingFix-inspired inservices. If you explore the blue menu bars at the top left-hand side of every WritingFix page, you can navigate to all the lessons we posted over the years. Here are the four most popular lessons teachers access and use at WritingFix.

WritingFix's Four Most Visited Lessons in 2014

Floating Down a River was created during an inservice class by Nevada teacher and NNWP Consultant Karen Suga.

Haiku Riddles was created as a demonstration lesson during the NNWP's annual Pinon Poetry Festival by Consultant Heather Clark.

What Your Room Shows about You was created for a publication the NNWP created on Narrative Writing by NNWP Consultant Karen McGee.

Three-Meal Weather was created during an inservice class by Nevada teacher Kacey Goman.

 

 

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We are Sponsored by our Users!

WritingFix is a free-to-use education website that once had a sponsor but now relies on public help to remain advertisement free. In 2015, we held a "pledge drive" and secured enough funds to keep this website active until 2020, but we are always accepting donations to keep us up and running beyond 2020.



Or you can support us by purchasing through Amazon. The six books pictured below served as "mentor texts" for inservice classes we designed during WritingFix's heyday.

If you're looking for a great text with innovative ideas for writing instruction, here are some of our favorites.

Using the links to Amazon we've provided below, you actually help us keep WritingFix online as we receive a small percentage of the sale that we use to keep the website online.


51 Wacky We-Search Reports
by Barry Lane
________________


Notebook Know-How

by Aimee Buckner
________________


Mentor Author, Mentor Texts

by Ralph Fletcher
________________


The 9 Rights of Every Writer

by Vicki Spandel
________________


The Story of My Thinking

by Gretchen Bernabei
________________


Vocabulary Unplugged

by Alana Morris

 

© Copyright 2015 - WritingFix- All Rights Reserved.
Please, share the resources you find on these pages freely with fellow educators, but please leave any page citations on handouts intact, and please give authorship credit to the cited teachers who created these wonderful lessons and resources. Thanks in advance for honoring other educators' intellectual property.

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