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

Always Write
(Grades K-12)

Start to Learn


Making Mathematicians

(Grades K-12)

Learning is Messy

(Grades 4-6)

Write in the Middle

(Grades 6-8)

A WritingFix/NNWP Teacher Presenter: Christy Aker-Minetto
a Northern Nevada Writing Project Teacher Consultant shares her on-line materials

Hello, I’m Christy Aker-Minetto. I am a writer, but sometimes I’m not a very good writing teacher. It’s easy for me to sweep writing to the side, since it is an ongoing process. There’s always another day. But I’ve finally realized that I’m sending the wrong message to my students, that writing isn’t as important as other subjects. I need to remind myself that there is a reason the NNWP calls free write journal time “Sacred Writing Time.” Writing is sacred, or should be so. Every time we write, no matter what it is, a piece of us, our thoughts and feelings, are left on the page.

As a teacher who has taught almost all grades K-5th, my beliefs on writing are simple. Writing is hard work! At any level – at any age! Below are three of my beliefs about teaching writing to elementary students.

Belief #1: Writing takes time. It takes a lot of thinking and talking and planning before the pencil ever hits the paper. Students need to know that they have the time to think and work things out. Writing on a short deadline (in school) rarely leads to good writing.

Belief #2: Writing takes patience and perseverance. Writing frustrates young students with their lack of skills or how quickly their thoughts come. How many teachers have seen a giant THE END, instead of a satisfying conclusion? We need to remind students it is ok to stop and take a break, think some more, and continue on with the writing.

Belief #3: Good writing has true revision – not just editing. Yes, students need to proofread their writing all the time – but that is not revision. Revision takes a second approach towards the writing – and, once again, that’s work!

Finally, what I like best about writing is that there is always a promise, at the beginning of a piece. I like that optimism that this piece of writing will speak to the audience. Students will surprise you. You see what’s in their heads and in their hearts. Great writing can come from anyone on any given day. The best thing about being a writing teacher is the smile I get when I’m done reading a good piece of writing.

Christy Aker-Minetto, a Nevada elementary teacher, has been a Northern Nevada Writing Project Consultant since 2000. Over the years, Christy has presented at numerous NNWP inservice classes, including their popular Chapter Books as Mentor Texts workshop.

A website Christy recommends:

Scholastic's Teacher Book Wizard

On Christy's Bookshelf...

Creating Writers Through 6-Trait Writing Assessment and Instruction

Three of Christy's Lessons at WritingFix:

Beyond the Basic Biography Report

Mentor Text: A. Lincoln and Me by Louise Borden

Focus Trait: Idea Development

Support Trait: Voice

Inventing a New Word

Mentor Text: Frindle by Andrew Clements

Focus Trait: Conventions

Support Trait: Word Choice

Christy presented this lesson as part of the the NNWP's Chapter Books as Mentor Texts workshop for teachers.

Imaginative Home Movies

Mentor Text: The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

Focus Trait: Idea Development

Support Trait: Voice

Christy presented this lesson as part of the the NNWP's Chapter Books as Mentor Texts workshop for teachers.

Other Teachers' WritingFix Lessons that Christy Uses:

A Scientific Mishap

Mentor Text: Dogzilla by Dav Pilkey

Focus Trait: Organization

Support Trait: Idea Development

Haiku Riddles

Mentor Text: If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky

Focus Trait: Word Choice

Support Trait: Idea Development

Episodic Narrative Writing

Mentor Text: Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

Focus Trait: Idea Development

Support Trait: Organization

Let Me Show You Nature

Mentor Text: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

Focus Trait: Word Choice

Support Trait: Sentence Fluency

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