7 Writing

Writing Sites
OneWord - A good website / tool for getting minds thinking! You can read previous entries, submit as often as you like, and follow other writers. From the site: simple. you’ll see one word at the top of the following screen. you have sixty seconds to write about it. click ‘go’ and the page will load with the cursor in place. don’t think. just write.
Free Graphic Organizers - Site with PDF files of organizational frameworks.
Guide to Grammar and Writing- A variety of essay and research paper resources.
Prompts – A creative writing portal with ideas for writing.
Purdue Owl Online Writing Lab - Extensive formal paper writing site with the 2009 MLA Guide and current citation standards. There is quality information and examples.
Scratch – A program that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music and art.
Skillswise – Improve your English (and Maths) with fact sheets, worksheets and quizzes. Includes a summarizing game.
Spell Check Tester - If there isn't spell check available, use this online tool to spell check your writing.
Teen Ink - A teen literary magazine where teens can submit their own writing.
UVic Writer's Guide I have used this website as a reference point when teaching essay writing to grade 12 academic students, although it is useful for any level in high school. Each of the links take you and your students through the steps of the process of effective essay writing.
Visual Story Starters – Images to use as a starting point for writing a story; each image has a starting statement from which the students can continue their stories.
Writing Frameworks - Flash organizational frameworks and other teaching materials for writing from Read.Write.Think.
Writing Fun - Flashed-based text organizers to help kids write.
Writing Matters – (MsMkean’s English Country Garden) Plagiarism, Writing Tips, Thesis Statements, Paragraph Unity, Paragraph Sandwich and Final Exercise.
You Can Teach Writing – Resources and strategies for teaching writing in middle school and beyond.

Blogging - There are numerous sources online forblogkid.png creating blogs for personal or professional use. This activity can be beneficial for students as well, but a secure system needs to be used. When students are writing for public display, they are more concerned with the quality of their writing. There's more at stake when people other than your teacher is going to read your work.

Blogging Sites
  1. KIDBLOG - This free blogging site is great because the teacher sets up an account and the students have their blogs in a safe space that can only be viewed and commented on by their classmates.
  2. Edublogs - This option is the same as Kidblog but it does involve a cost of up to $40 per year if it is going to be set up safely. The free option is for an individual's blog, for example, a teacher's class blog.
  3. Google Sites - An individual with a Google account can sign up for Google Sites and create unlimited websites; however, you can only make 10 sites per week, so if you are going to create a free blog system using Google, you must plan in advance! There is one downside; the students must give you their emails so that you can 'invite' them to join their Google Sites that will be their blogs. (I did this with parent permission making full disclosure as to how I would use the email. Some school boards are moving in the direction of giving students a school email that is to be used for all their educational site registrations.)

Creating a Google Sites Blogging System
  1. Sign up for Google Sites. I'd suggest getting a Google Account that can be used to access all the Google applications: Mail, Calendar, Documents, Sites, etc. However, you can use your work email to create an account if you don't want a Gmail account.
  2. Create a site to use as your teacher website. (Then you can create whatever pages you would like to have on your teacher site.) Example.
  3. Create student sites. The sites should be set to private with the teacher and the student blogger as owners and the rest of the class as viewers, thus creating a safe online environment. (This does take some time to set up initially.) Example.
  4. Option 1: On each student site, create a page that is called an "announcement" page giving it the title of "Blog." This page will be where they create their blogging entries.Option 2: The students can create a new page for each 'blog' entry and the title of each will be displayed in the sidebar.
  5. Create a page on your teacher site to list the links to the student blogs. Each link must be manually created. Example.

Creating a Discussion Board (Forum) Site
A Google Site can also be used to create a discussion board assignment.
  1. Create a Google site giving it the title of your assignment. Example.
  2. If you are dividing your discussion by date, create a page for each of the time segments. If you are dividing your students into groups for one discussion, create a page for each group.
  3. Add a page for the evaluation rubric.
  4. Again, students will need to provide an email so that you can invite them to join the discussion board.