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The Smart Writing Series

Laura Robb's Smart Writing series offers practical writing units that are uncommonly attuned to middle school writers' social and developmental needs. Providing the language and lessons she has honed over 45 years in the classroom, Robb's eight units of study helps to craft writing instruction that: taps into adolescents' desire for responsibility, relationships, and choice; guides students step by step through the writing of memoirs, short, short stories and persuasive, analytical, informative, and compare/contrast essays and free choice writing; aligns with the Common Core's writing genres; includes engaging, age-appropriate mentor texts; and is assessment driven and incorporates self and peer evaluations.

This Heinemann Curricular Resource includes 5 lesson books that lay out 8 units of study with 4–6 weeks of lessons, instruction and mentor texts. The series also includes: a teacher's guide from Laura which offers practical tips for using mentor texts, shows how the units fit into a variety of schedules, and explains the benefits of developing writing criteria for teachers and students; a CD-ROM offers print and video resources including mentor texts, criteria charts, evaluation forms, and student handouts; and a compact Smart Writing Handbook that reinforces important lessons and offers tips, rules, and guidelines for students writing on their own.

Making the Grade
Reflections on Being Learning Disabled

Virginia Trumbull, Dayle Upham

Making the Grade is a powerful illustration of the problems and frustrations of living with a learning disability. Like many people with a learning disability, Dayle Upham had experienced academic and professional failure. Yet somehow she found the inner strength to persevere and ultimately obtain a Ph.D. in special education. What is that strength? How did she find it? And what strategies did she develop to help her cope? These are some... more


The Smart Writing Handbook

Laura Robb

“Students need elbow room to make decisions about what to write, revise, and publish. Adolescents crave responsibility. This handbook supports students by showing them how to assume greater responsibility and independence with writing assignments.” Laura Robb The Smart Writing Handbook reinforces important lessons from Smart Writing’s units of study, summarizes key points, and offers tips, rules,... more


Smart Writing
Practical Units for Teaching Middle School Writers

Laura Robb

“Having powerful reasons to write and a teacher who motivates— a teacher who’s tuned into the emotional and academic needs of young adolescents—is a tough order. But it can be done and it makes all of the difference to middle school writers.” Laura Robb

In her groundbreaking Teaching Middle School Writers Laura... more