Writing Lesson of the Month Network

...sharing thoughtful, mentor text-inspired lessons your students will love!

While preparing one's students to excel on their state writing tests, a teacher can and should launch many discussions about the qualities of good writing.  No matter what the genre/mode your state tests for, your students should engage in meaningful discussion about writing skills in other students' samples.  At WritingFix, we provide student samples for this reason. 

 

Inspired by two of Gretchen Bernabei's book, Sparklers: High Scoring Essays and What they Teach Us and Cruchtime, we began collecting "sparkling" student samples from our local students who were practicing to the practice prompts we use in Northern Nevada.  These sparklers (as well as other authentic test-prep materials) can be found on our Nevada's Writing Exam Homepage.

 

Two suggested uses of Sparklers:  1) Having your students discuss these "Nevada Sparklers" before, during, or after they write (for practice) to the same prompt can greatly increase their skills.  2) Reviewing and discussing these sparklers in the weeks immediately before the actual test should serve to remind your students of skills they should be using when they take their near-future exam.

 

WE WANT A FEW MORE SPARKLERS TO THIS PROMPT!  Each year, we plan to add 20-30 new Sparklers from students using our practice prompts as they prepare for the writing test.  If you're a teacher using our practice prompts, and you end up with a student sample you think would score between a 15 and 19, please type it up and post it in the "Leave a Reply" box that you will see below; you will only be able to post if you are a member of our ning.  If we end up featuring a sample you post over at the WritingFix website, we will send you a free print resource from the Northern Nevada Writing Project.

 

Help us celebrate your writers whose samples would inspire future writing.  Post here.

 

If you are posting here, the students' samples should be about this practice prompt:  Think about a time when something special or unusual happened at school. It could be a time when something unexpected happened in your classroom. Or it could be any event at school that you remember well. Write about what happened and why it was special or unusual.

 

IMPORTANT:  Do not include anything more than your students' first name and grade level when citing your posted sample. 

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September Sparkler Prompt

Anna, Grade 5

The Saint Patrick’s Day Scam

            “DING!” The lunch bell sounded as loud as a stampede of elephants. I had just finished writing a story about my beloved elf (Saint Patty’s Day elf), Fred. “Mrs. Meese’s monkeys, line up for lunch!” Mrs. Meese, my second grade teacher bellowed. The class gave quick good by hugs and kisses to their elves and shot out of the classroom like a bullet. Mrs. Meese slammed and locked the classroom door with a roaring BOOM! “All right elves, no messes while we’re gone!” Mrs. Meese whispered with a wink behind the door. Somewhere amongst the elves, there were winks. Tiny, sewn eyed winks.

            “Hup, two, three, four, keep it up two, three, four! One hand on your hip, one hand on your lip!” General Meese ordered as her sergants marched down the hallway to the classroom.

            As we aproched the no longer shiny, wooden door, we noticed something odd. Well, not quite odd, pequlier. No, no that either. How about suprising? Yeah, that’s the word. We noticed something suprising. The whole entire door was drenched in green and pink streamers! “What a coincidence.” Mrs. Meese muttered. She trudged up to the door, key at the ready. The door swung open with a soft CREAK… “Ahhh!” the class squealed. The whole room was decked out in green sparkles, plastic gold coins, streamers, upturned desks and chairs, and mistevious little smiles from our green handed elves.

            Suddenly, we heard a booming blast of a Irish jig. We whirled around the see Mrs. Meese holding scrumptious looking sugar cookies with green translucent sprinkles! We looked at her with questioning looks. “You only live once!” she revealed. Right on cue, the next song started. “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!” we all yelled.

Attachments:

September Sparkler Prompt

Anna, Grade 5

The Saint Patrick’s Day Scam

            “DING!” The lunch bell sounded as loud as a stampede of elephants. I had just finished writing a story about my beloved elf (Saint Patty’s Day elf), Fred. “Mrs. Meese’s monkeys, line up for lunch!” Mrs. Meese, my second grade teacher bellowed. The class gave quick good by hugs and kisses to their elves and shot out of the classroom like a bullet. Mrs. Meese slammed and locked the classroom door with a roaring BOOM! “All right elves, no messes while we’re gone!” Mrs. Meese whispered with a wink behind the door. Somewhere amongst the elves, there were winks. Tiny, sewn eyed winks.

            “Hup, two, three, four, keep it up two, three, four! One hand on your hip, one hand on your lip!” General Meese ordered as her sergants marched down the hallway to the classroom.

            As we aproched the no longer shiny, wooden door, we noticed something odd. Well, not quite odd, pequlier. No, no that either. How about suprising? Yeah, that’s the word. We noticed something suprising. The whole entire door was drenched in green and pink streamers! “What a coincidence.” Mrs. Meese muttered. She trudged up to the door, key at the ready. The door swung open with a soft CREAK… “Ahhh!” the class squealed. The whole room was decked out in green sparkles, plastic gold coins, streamers, upturned desks and chairs, and mistevious little smiles from our green handed elves.

            Suddenly, we heard a booming blast of a Irish jig. We whirled around the see Mrs. Meese holding scrumptious looking sugar cookies with green translucent sprinkles! We looked at her with questioning looks. “You only live once!” she revealed. Right on cue, the next song started. “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!” we all yelled.

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