Creating Writers Through 6-Trait Writing Assessment and Instruction (5th Edition), Vicki Spandel
"Not only is Creating Writers the most comprehensive book ever on 6-trait writing instruction and assessment, it's also a practical, inspirational guide for any writing classroom. It's one of those rare professional books that both teachers and administrators read cover to cover, and you'll find the well-worn copies on their desks to prove it. This extensively revised edition, with voluminous examples from students and literature, draws the strongest link yet between writing assessment and instruction. No writing classroom should be without it. " — Barry Lane
Creating Young Writers (2nd Edition) , Vicki Spandel
This long-awaited text offers a most comprehensive exploration of Spandel's effective 6-trait approach to writing for K-3 teachers. The perfect complement to its phenomenally successful parent text, Creating Writers, Third Edition, this new text provides clear guidelines on helping young students draft, assess, and revise their writing, as well as explicit criteria to show students precisely what they must do to succeed as writers in virtually any situation-including state tests.
6 + 1 Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide (Grades 3 and Up), Ruth Culham
Amazon.com Teacher Review: "This paperback has it all. And you get to keep it with you for future reference! I bought this wonderful resource, 6 + 1 Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide, on a whim. I implemented it in my classroom, and I just can't say enough about how well it has been received. My middle school students really enjoy the activities I've used nearly straight from the book. Other teachers who come through my room comment on what they see hanging from the walls, things the students created using the structures set forth in 6+1 Traits. The grading rubrics used in the system work extremely well with the Florida standardized writing test scoring system, making this an ideal choice for any Florida teacher. Still, anyone anywhere who wants an easy to remember system with affordable supplemental products should look into the 6+1 Traits system offered by Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. While NWREL offers training, I've found this book needs no additional support to be a strong, effective foundation for teaching both the art and the science of fine writing."
On Writing Well, 25th Anniversary : The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, William Zinsser
Excellent, concise and clear.This book was easy to read and full of useful information, with a comprehensive index. After I finished reading, I radically edited a piece I'd just written. The wordiness was cut out, the point was made clearer and it read more smoothly. The cover says the book is the classic guide to writing non-fiction; though I think the advice applies equally well to fiction.
On Writing Well is split into four parts. The first, Principles, deals with the mechanics of writing. Zinsser is insistent that you strip the clutter from your writing. Part two is Methods, advising consistency of tone and tense, and the importance of strong beginnings and endings. Part three looks in detail at types of writing (humor, memoir, science, business etc.). The final part looks at attitudes, how we approach our writing and our unique writing. Zinsser says: "My commodity as a writer, whatever I'm writing, is me. And your commodity is you." Probably the best advice from Zinsser was about rewriting until the piece is as good as you can get it. I wrote the first draft of this review by hand, to force at least one rewrite as I typed it up. What you're reading now is the fourth draft, and it's much better than the first was. This is an excellent book I think everyone can learn from.
The Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr. , E.B. White
Still the Best. Twenty-one years ago, a professor in one of my English Lit. classes brought out a book that was NOT one of those texts that you thought you were going to have to take along into the next life in order to finish it. The book was quite the opposite. It was a small 92 page publication that was no more intimidating than a comic book. I was a student that needed help in my punctuation, word usage, and style. I hoped, as did all the students, that the day would come when we would be published. The professor said, "If you're ever going to make it in the writing field, this book will be your best guide. Stick to the principles mentioned in its pages and you will achieve your goals. That is, assuming you have any writing ability in you at all." Currently, I am taking a refresher course through a correspondence school back East. Guess what book is part of their curriculum? You're right, it's The Elements of Style. This time I have given the book a strict credence, and in the next few months I will have my first publishing credit. I believe, The Elements of Style, is still the best book on correct writing techniques there is on the market. It was so tweny-one years ago and it will be so twenty-one years from now.
In the Middle : New Understandings About Writing, Reading and Learning, Nancie Atwell
An Unselfish Guideline for Reading/Writing Workshops, May 20, 2001 For those entering the teaching field for the first time, changing schools or situations, or returning after a lengthy time off this book is a step-by-step guide for setting up reading/writing workshops in your classroom. It can be adapted for any grade level. It includes conversations, worksheets, tips, assessments and practical suggestions how to handle most situations with writing/reading with children struggling to define themselves. Nancie Atwell is an unselfish educator willing to share herself and what she has learned with her students and fellow teachers. An invaluable guide. I wish I could take a class or workshop with Nancie Atwell. She must be someone special.
The Art of Teaching Writing, Lucy McCormick Calkins
To Teach Writing---Read About The Art of Teaching Writing. This book was used in the two summer sessions of the Colorado Writing Project that I have taken. It is geared more towards elementary teachers, yet I teach middle school & have learned so much from Calkins. It gives great scenarios of teachers not giving proper feedback to child writers & gives examples of what is better. As teachers, we know that even constructive criticism is not always taken well by children. Calkins knows it's hard to teach writing without the criticism, but she helps us learn to conference better with our kids. Being able to say the write thing(pun intended) at the right time is crucial. The book re teaches the stages of writing and gives hundreds of samples of student writing. It's a great book to go along with the book What A Writer Needs. Also, Calkins just came out with The Art of Teaching Reading...I just got a copy & can't wait to have the same great experience as I have had with The Art of Teaching Writing. Of course, these are books we are done reading...never done learning!
A Fresh Look at Writing, Donald Graves
Life Change for Resistant Writing Teachers, August 6, 2000 This book truly gives one a "fresh look" at what they believe writing is about. Don begins the book by having the reader reflect on his own life to recognize why he teaches the way he does. It is easy to understand after the first two actions in his book why teaching writing seems so difficult. I found it most beneficial to read over a period of time so I could implement the actions he writes about. This book totally changed my attitude as a writing teacher. Now, instead of feeling frustrated about writing, Don has helped me find the writer within myself which is helping me become a great writing teacher.
Writing Down the Bones : Freeing the Writer Within, Natalie Goldberg
One more tool to get you writing, December 23, 2000 The Artist's Way, Bird by Bird, and Writing Down the Bones all cover much of the same territory -- tell your truth; don't edit yourself silent; write for the joy of writing and not to become rich and famous; write every day; make time and space for yourself, for your writing. Anne Lamott and Natalie Goldberg are more earthy and witty about it than Julia Cameron is. I don't think that jealousy toward other writers is spiritually advanced, and I don't indulge it -- but occasionally I feel a twinge of it. Julia Cameron has some very useful ways of exploring that jealousy and learning from it. Anne Lamott and Natalie Goldberg make antic jokes about the horrible people who write when you can't, acknowledging the jealousy and defusing it. Natalie Goldberg also has a number of real writing exercises in her book, like "describe your relationship with inanimate objects." She has a wonderful way of leaving you at the end of every chapter firmly placed at a table with your pen and paper, eager to write.
The Reviser's Toolbox, Barry Lane
Amazon Review: "Barry Lane is nationally known for his dynamic, hands-on workshops on writing and revision, as well as for his popular writing books Reviser's Toolbox, After THE END, and Why We Must Run with Scissors with Gretchen Bernebei. Teachers leave his workshops inspired by his stories and songs and filled with dozens of practical ideas to bring back to their classrooms."