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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

(Kindergarten)



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)

Teacher Portfolio: Tamara Turnbeaugh
a Northern Nevada teacher shares on-line lessons and ideas

My name is Tamara Turnbeaugh and I am a high school language arts teacher and the coordinator for the NNWP’s Literature Excerpts as Mentor Text inservice class. It is my belief that writing is key in connecting students with the world.

Too often students view writing as merely a dreaded activity confined solely to the English classroom. It has nothing to do with the path they see for themselves in the Real World. It is something to slog through until the bell rings and freedom beckons. It is a punishment bestowed upon them by heartless teachers. It is unnatural and forced discourse about something for which they have no feeling. Writing is stupid.

It is my belief that writing is necessary to the exploration of self, community, and world. It is my job to teach students to make these meaningful connections in order to think deeper about the world, and to write deeper about a given topic. To do this I believe in bringing a variety of resources—written, visual, and auditory-- into the classroom to demonstrate that writing and the ideas presented extend beyond the school’s walls. The bigger the web we weave together, the easier it is for them to catch connections on their own.

My goal is that when a student approaches writing, rather than saying “this is boring,” she will be able see the threads that weave throughout the writing, her life, and the world and will then be able to write passionately. As Sylvia Plath put it, “everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.”

A website recommendation:

goodreads.com

Looking for books that inspire student writing?


Click here to see our favorite books.

Four of Tamara's Lessons at WritingFix:

Lesson: A Monster of a Metaphor

Mentor Text: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (excerpt from chapter 5)

Focus Trait: Idea Development

Support Trait: Sentence Fluency

 

Lesson: Same Setting, Different Moods

Mentor Text: Lord of the Flies by William Golding (excerpts from chapter 3)

Focus Trait: Idea Development

Support Trait: Sentence Fluency

Lesson: Ain't That America

Mentor Text : John Mellencamp's song Pink Houses

Focus Trait: Idea Development

 

Lesson: Creating Memorable Advice

Mentor Text : Baz Luhrman's Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Focus Trait: Idea Development


Tamara presents the two lessons above as part of the Northern Nevada Writing Project's iPods Across the Curriculum inservice class.

Tamara presents the two lessons above as part of the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Literature as Mentor Texts in Writing Assignments inservice class.

Other Teachers' WritingFix Lessons that Tamara Uses:

Lesson: Poems of Apology

Mentor Text: Joyce Sidman's This is Just to Say...

Focus Trait: Sentence Fluency

Support Trait: Idea Development

 

Lesson: Antonyms and Comma Splices

Mentor Text: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (excerpt from chapter 1)

Focus Trait: Conventions

Support Trait: Word Choice

Lesson: Poems of Condition

Mentor Text: "If" by Rudyard. Kipling

Focus Trait: Sentence Fluency

Support Trait: Idea Development

 

 

Lesson: Where is the Love?

Mentor Text: Where is the Love, sung by the Black-Eyed Peas

Focus Trait: Idea Development

Support Trait: Voice

 

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