Literacy Superhero…Away!!!!!

Photo by Dean Shareski

I love being on this side of teaching. Don’t get me wrong. I miss my English and reading classes at the middle school, but now I get to work with all of the staff and students on every campus. Being able to see our brilliant teachers and their students expand their technology use and enjoy it makes it even better.

But I also get to network with some really great minds outside of White Oak. One of those great minds resides only a few hours west of us in Burleson ISD. Kim Estes has gone above and beyond what many people would do outside of their every day jobs in helping us. I will expand on her work with our ePortfolios after I finish the monument to her in my office, though. 😉

As I was reading through her newly redesigned blog, I found what every tech-loving, literacy teacher dreams about: a course outline complete with 6+1 Traits standards (our ISD uses New Jersey Writing, but they are basically the same) seamlessly meshed with technology integration where the curriculum is driving the technology. She created the outline, and then she found tools that supported the work.

Kim, you are a jewel to share this with everyone. I honor you by reposting it below with credit to you for the hard work it took. Thank you for being so generous in so many ways to us. Everyone who uses any part of this: I would appreciate it if you would leave a comment below to let Kim know what a valuable resource this truly is for us.

This is my teaching outline for
my class Improving Writing With Technology.  You are welcome to take
it, use it, and share it with others. A link back here or a little
credit would be appreciated!

Improving Writing with Technology  6 + 1 Traits

  1. Ideas – A clear, focused content packed with details
  2. Voice – Writing that is active and engaging for the reader (a specific audience)
    • Using your voice to give your writing voice – use audacity to record your writing and help you hear the voice in a work
      • Play examples of speeches and audio books that demonstrate clear voice
      • Students write a piece and then record their own (or mix it up and record someone elses)
      • Students then review the works and critique with a rubric
    • Literary Theatre/Readers Theatre
    • Using Movies to Teach Voice – play famous scenes from
      movies AUDIO ONLY and have the students listen for the voice in the
      script writing. (How was it achieved – word choice, tone, sentence
      fluency, etc.)
    • Create and record songs to help students remember their traits –
    • Use websites that have everything you need in one place –
  3. Word Choice – Choosing the right word or words to convey a message, idea, or feeling
    • Dead word funerals
    • Use websites that have everything you need in one place -
  4. Sentence Fluency – Sentences are clear, concise, and various lengths
  5. Organization – The order makes sense, including strong transitions words and a clear beginning, middle, and ending
  6. Conventions – Proper usage of grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  7. Presentation – Neatness, appealling to the reader’s eye

All –

  1. – interactive reading selections that students rate.
  2. – list and handouts for a student binder students can create their own to use all year
  3. Introduce each concept with a short infomercial!
  4. – interactive flash based games and activities
  5. – Free lessons on each aspect of the 6 traits
  6. I-pod and lyric inspired lessons –
  7. Self-Assessment/Teacher Feedback Post-it notes –

Types of Writing

  1. Narrative
      – March Movie Madness. 8th grade students write scripts that can be
      chosen to later be turned into short films. Students must base all
      short stories to demonstrate the plot diagram. (you could specify any
    • Radio Theatre
  2. Persuasive
  3. Comparative
  4. How-To
    • Photostories and video on How-To subjects (written by one group – recorded by another)
  5. Research
    • Netrekker
  6. Poetry


  1. Google Docs
  2. SMART tools

Feedback and Peer Review

  2. blogging

Learning is Fun

Professional Development & Teacher Tools

  1. Writing across the curriculum…a grassroots movement….
  2. Help with the writing process for teachers –
  3. Elementary Integration Ideas –


  1. Great site by a real teacher –
  2. Dena Harrison’s site is a great resource –
  3. United Streaming – One Place –
  4. – Helpful site for interactive resources

4 thoughts on “Literacy Superhero…Away!!!!!

  1. Scott,
    I’m ridiculously flattered at your kind words and repost! You’re making me blush! Thanks! You’ve been fun to work with, and I look forward to more collaboration and general all around coolness in the future!!!

  2. You deserve a lot of recognition for the work you are doing. It is truly outstanding. Besides, now maybe I found someone in you who can tell me why my stupid pictures on this blog post are doing what they are doing even though I put line breaks after them to force the text down. Yikes! Drives me nuts.

    Talk to you soon.

  3. Only a REAL EDUCATOR does all of this excellent work for her students and then gives it away for the students of the world. Thank you for being so generous and for motivating others to be so generous with their knowledge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *