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Ralph Fletcher is a friend of writing teachers everywhere. Born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, he received his bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and his master's degree from Columbia University.
A former member of the Teachers College Writing Project, he is currently an author and consultant. He is the author or coauthor with his wife, JoAnnn Portalupi, of numerous professional books and videos.
"It has been said that a writer needs to specialize. Alas, I never did that," says Ralph about his prolific writing career. He has written all kinds of books for kids, including poetry, picture books, and chapter books. "I am a restless kind of person," he admits. "I don't want to feel confined to any one genre or audience. I guess I am a prolific writer, but I'd rather be remembered as an author of quality than quantity."
Ralph speaks at national conferences around the United States and abroad. He also conducts his own one-day seminars and does occasional author visits to schools.
Ralph and JoAnn have four sons. He grows orchids and giant pumpkins, enjoys reading, travel, movies, dark chocolate, and oaky chardonnay. He says, "I was a Boston Red Sox fan long before it was trendy to be one."
Do you have students whose nonfiction writing is formulaic, devoid of energy and voice? In Making Nonfiction from Scratch bestselling PD and children’s book author Ralph Fletcher offers a candid critique of how nonfiction writing is often taught in schools and gives teachers the inspiration and strategies they need to help their students write authentic nonfiction. Skilled nonfiction writers draw on strategies, techniques, and craft found in other genres: poetry, comedy, even mystery. Without those elements, nonfiction would be dry and dull. Making Nonfiction from Scratch helps bring all of those aspects together and shows how each genre can enrich nonfiction writing. Ralph emphasizes the power of choice, mentor texts, and nonfiction read-alouds in making nonfiction an everyday part of classrooms. “Classroom Connection” sections throughout the book suggest immediate, practical strategies for putting the ideas in the book to use. Two case studies and a chapter on the dos and don’ts of nonfiction writing instruction round out this short, practical book. Any informational writing should be insightful, accurate, and well organized – but it doesn’t have to be boring. Ralph invites you to make your classroom a place where students can create delicious nonfiction full of passion, voice, and insight.
Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi:::100025
Craft Lessons Second Edition
Since its publication in 1998 Craft Lessons has become a staple in the writing classroom of both new and experienced teachers. Authors Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi recognized the need for a succinct resource and teamed together to write the second edition of Craft Lessons: Teaching Writing K-8. Teachers pressed for time will appreciate the practical lessons and instructional language geared to three grade level groupings: K-2, 3-4, and 5-8. This edition includes:
17 brand new lessons; mini lessons designed from teachers’ comments about what is observed in students’ writing
Revisions to other craft lessons and the resource materials sections have been expanded
New ways to approach teaching using elements of craft and the reading-writing connection
A subject index to find specific craft lessons with ease
The authors’ thoughts about how craft lessons fit into their newest thinking about the qualities of writing: Ideas, Design, Language, and Presentation
The 95 lessons in this book provide a wealth of information for teaching leads, character, endings, stronger verbs, and much more. This new edition reestablishes Craft Lessons as the crucial “desert island book” for harried writing teachers everywhere
JoAnn Portalupi and Ralph Fletcher:::100024
Nonfiction Craft Lessons
Writing nonfiction represents a big step for most students, yet when they try to create a report or persuasive essay, they are often anxious and frustrated. JoAnn Portalupi and Ralph Fletcher created Nonfiction Craft Lessons: Teaching Information Writing, K-8 to help teachers bring the passion from student writing while helping students scaffold their ideas in this challenging genre.
The authors divided this book into grade-specific sections for K-2, 3-4, and middle school (grades 5-8) students. These divisions reflect various differences between emerging, competent, and fluent writers. In each section you'll find a generous collection of craft lessons directed at the genre that's most appropriate for that particular age. In the K-2 section, for example, a number of craft lessons focus on the all-about or concept book. In the 3-4 section there are several lessons on biography. In the 5-8 section a series of lessons addresses expository writing. Throughout the book each of the 80 lessons is presented on a single page in an easy-to-read format.
Every lesson features three teaching guidelines:
Discussion--A brief look at the reasons for teaching the particular element of craft specifically in a nonfiction context.
How to Teach It--Concrete language showing exactly how a teacher might bring this craft element to students in writing conferences or a small-group setting.
Resource Material--Specific book or text referred to in the craft lesson including trade books, or a piece of student writing in the Appendixes.
This book will help students breathe voice into lifeless "dump-truck" writing and improve their nonfiction writing by making it clearer, more authoritative, and more organized. Nonfiction Craft Lessons gives teachers a wealth of practical strategies to help students grow into strong writers as they explore and explain the world around them.
Writing test scores indicate that boys have fallen far behind girls across the grades. In general, boys don't enjoy writing as much as girls. What's wrong? How can we do a better of job of creating “boy-friendly” classrooms so their voices can be heard?
In Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices Ralph Fletcher draws upon his years of experience as staff developer, children's book author, and father of four boys. He also taps the insights from dozens of writing teachers around the US and abroad. Boy Writers asks teachers to imagine the writing classroom from a boy's perspective, and consider specific steps we might take to create stimulating classrooms for boys.
Topic choice emerges as a crucial issue. The subjects many boys like to write about (war, weapons, outlandish fiction, zany or bathroom humor) often do not get a warm reception from teachers. Fletcher argues that we must “widen the circle” and give boys more choice if we want to engage them as writers. How? We must begin by recognizing boys and the world in which they live. Boy Writers explores important questions such as:
What subjects are boy writers passionate about, and what motivates them as writers?
Why do boys like to incorporate violence into their stories, and how much should be allowed?
Why do we so often misread and misunderstand the humor boys include in their stories?
In addition, the book looks at: how handwriting can hamstring boy writers, and how drawing may help; welcoming boy-friendly writing genres in our classrooms; ways to improve our conferring with boys; and more.
Each chapter begins with a thorough discussion of a topic and ends with a highly practical section titled: "What can I do in my classroom?" Boy Writers does not advocate promoting the interests of boys at the expense of girls. Rather, it argues that developing sensitivity to the unique facets of boy writers will help teachers better address the needs of all their students.
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion