Few practices promote student learning as efficiently as well-formed writing assignments paired with personal, constructive feedback. Of course, giving useful feedback can be very time consuming and has limited value if students don’t read or act on it. It’s easy for teachers to get frustrated correcting the same errors over and over again, without seeing […]
Our programmers have been working hard lately beefing up our ability to assess the nuts and bolts of English grammar. Not an easy task. At least, I imagine it’s difficult. I haven’t actually helped, so I have no idea. Instead, I’ve been finding ways to make grammar hilarious. This may be an even harder task.
There’s a great column over at visualthesaurus.com that recently featured some great tips for writing in content areas. Content-area writing is all about getting students to write outside of English class to help them better engage with and understand course material. Enhancing the lessons of any subject with writing activities helps students build connections, demonstrate […]
SAGrader is designed to help students express their understanding of concepts through careful, precise writing. We’re not big fans of “fluff” writing that sounds good, but doesn’t actually say anything. I call this writing to the point. The underlying goal is to remove any content that doesn’t help shape your main point in a unique […]
One of the core tenets of our philosophy is that when students revise their writing will improve. Study after study shows that when students are given the opportunity (or in some cases forced) to revise their work, they will learn the material better. This works in part because students continuously have to review their writing […]
A few weeks ago I suggested that students poor penmanship may be affecting their writing abilities. Turns out, our students may be writing better than ever if this Wired article by Clive Thompson can be believed. In many circles it’s vogue to say that students are getting dumber because of texting and Facebook. Turns out […]
It’s no secret that students and the general population are writing less and less by hand. A quick survey of the Idea Works office found that we do less than 10% of our total writing, including papers, e-mails, notes, etc., by hand. Elementary education students spend less time than ever learning penmanship and more specifically […]