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Content-Area Writing

  • Title:Content-Area Writing: Every Teacher's Guide
  • Author:Harvey "Smokey" Daniels, Steven Zemelman, Nancy Steineke
  • Publication Date:February 2007
  • Grade Level:6-12
  • ISBN:9780325009728
  • Publisher:Heinemann

There are three truths about teaching writing, one that’s widely known, one that isn’t, and one that will change your teaching forever:

  • the ability to write is essential for students in every subject area
  • writing is the most powerful and efficient tool that teachers have for helping students connect with content and deepen their understanding of it
  • every teacher, including you, is ready to coach middle and secondary writers successfully right now.

No matter what subject you teach, Content-Area Writing is for you, especially if you’re juggling broad curriculum mandates, thick textbooks, and severe time constraints. It not only shows that incorporating carefully structured writing activities into your lessons actually increases understanding and achievement, but also proves how writing can save, not consume, valuable instructional time.

Following up on  Subjects Matter—the book that changed how tens of thousands of language arts, math, science, and social studies teachers use reading in their classrooms—Harvey Daniels, Steven Zemelman, and Nancy Steineke now present the most thorough and practical exploration available of writing in the subject areas. Content-Area Writing guides you strategically through the two major types of writing that every student must know:

  • Writing to Learn: the quick, exploratory, and extemporaneous in-class writing that helps kids engage deeply with content, build connections, and retain what they’ve learned
  • Public Writing: planned, constructed, and polished writing in which students demonstrate knowledge and reflect on what they’ve learned.

With their contagious combination of humor, irreverence, and classroom smarts, Daniels, Zemelman, and Steineke give you dozens of valuable lessons for encouraging growth in both types of writing with subject-specific ideas for planning, organizing, and teaching, as well as samples of student work and guidelines for evaluation and assessment. They also include detailed information on how their strategies fit into the writing process, how they can be used in writing workshops across the curriculum, and how they prepare students for testing and other on-demand writing situations.

With writing, you can help students learn better, retain more, meet content- and skills-based standards, and tackle any test with confidence. No matter what you teach, read Content-Area Writing and discover for yourself that classroom time spent writing is classroom time well spent.

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Author Bio

Harvey “Smokey” Daniels has been a city and suburban classroom teacher and a college professor, and now works as a national consultant and author on literacy education. In language arts, Smokey is known for his pioneering work on student book clubs. Harvey works with elementary and secondary teachers throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, offering demonstration lessons, workshops, and consulting, with a special focus on creating, sustaining, and renewing student-centered inquiries and discussions of all kinds. Smokey shows colleagues how to simultaneously build students' reading strategies, balance their reading diets, and strengthen the social skills they need to become genuine lifelong readers.

Steven Zemelman has worked in many capacities to promote the sustainability of innovative schools in Chicago. For eight years he directed the Center for City Schools at National-Louis University, and he is a founding director of the Illinois Writing Project. He has spearheaded the start of a number of innovative small high schools in the city. His experiences and research in these areas led to his book 13 Steps to Teacher Empowerment, coauthored with Harry Ross. Steve has been a frequent collaborator with Harvey "Smokey" Daniels. They have coauthored six books and videos including Best Practice (4/e); Content-Area Writing; Subjects Matter: Every Teacher's Guide to Content-Area Reading; Rethinking High School and its companion video; and A Community of Writers. Steve consults with schools and districts around the country.

A 25-year veteran of the teaching profession, Nancy Steineke has taught 9-12 English at Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park, Illinois, since 1984. During the summer, she works with Dr. Harvey Daniels at the Walloon Institute, offering seminars for teachers, administrators, parent leaders, and their families.

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