October 27, 2017  •  In This Issue:

1.  10 reasons to write with your students
2.  Writing in math class is a win-win for students and teachers
3.  PD Corner: Inferring theme

Stenhouse Publishers
1) 10 reasons to write with your students
Vicki Meigs-Kahlenberg In honor of the National Day on Writing last week, author Vicki Meigs-Kahlenberg shared the 10 reasons why she writes with her students instead of assigning writing to them. She also offers two options for getting started with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that kicks off November 1:

The Author's Apprentice, by Vicki Meigs-Kahlenberg For more ideas on NaNoWriMo activities, preview Chapter 5 of Vicki's book, The Author's Apprentice:

And watch Vicki talk about why NaNoWriMo is so empowering for students:

For other NaNoWriMo resources, visit


2) Writing in math class is a win-win for students and teachers
In a recent Classroom Q&A column on EdWeek, editor Larry Ferlazzo asked experts to weigh in on why writing is important in math class. Stenhouse authors Linda Dacey and Mike Flynn responded along with several others.

Linda Dacey and Mike Flynn Linda, whose book Why Write in Math Class? will be published in Spring 2018, offers up several ways to engage students in writing activities that support their learning of math, including providing prompts and open-ended problems, as well as using math journals and notebooks.

Mike, who is the author of Beyond Answers, explains how contextualizing math problems helps students with sense making and deepens their understanding of abstract ideas.

Read both of their responses:


3) PD Corner: Inferring theme
Inferring is the bedrock of comprehension. We infer in many realms. Our life clicks along more smoothly if we can read the world as well as texts.
—Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis

Integrate art when teaching students how to infer to determine theme. Arts integrationist and teacher, Amanda Koonlaba, details how in "Teaching Theme through Art" from ASCD:

Review the difference between topics, themes, and clichés by watching "Disney Top 10 Pixar Life Lessons." Then jump into a short shared text and practice listing topics and creating theme statements:

Use SLIME (subject, lesson, idea, message, and evidence) to help students remember how to find theme in a work. Pack more power into the lesson with some sensory play too. Check out ELA Buffet for a quick review of the mnemonic:

Strategies That Work, 3rd Edition, by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis Don't miss the third edition of Strategies That Work, by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis. Chapter 10, "Visualizing and Inferring," provides clear guidance for helping students clarify theme:
(Jump down to the Table of Contents to find the Chapter 10 link.)


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Please send comments and questions to Zsofia McMullin, Newslinks Editor, at or call (800) 988-9812. View archives of past issues.
Contributing writer: Lee Ann Spillane

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