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Welcome to Our LTWN Blog!

Where learners come to write and writers come to learn.

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Latest Articles

February 15, 2024

Applying Metacognitive Skills to ELA

In the LTWN’s last blog post, we discussed metacognition (also known as metacognitive skills), more commonly defined as “thinking about thinking.” Metacognition is the practice of self-reflection on one’s learning, most notably making connections to prior knowledge, identifying strategies, and applying skills to successfully and effectively complete tasks. It requires deep, complex thinking and application of methods, sometimes through trial and error, until students identify the best methods for their learning style or task.

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February 15, 2024

Applying Metacognitive Skills to ELA

In the LTWN’s last blog post, we discussed metacognition (also known as metacognitive skills), more commonly defined as “thinking about thinking.” Metacognition is the practice of self-reflection on one’s learning, most notably making connections to prior knowledge, identifying strategies, and applying skills to successfully and effectively complete tasks. It requires deep, complex thinking and application of methods, sometimes through trial and error, until students identify the best methods for their learning style or task.

February 12, 2024

Metacognition: The Secret Skill to Effective Learning

In a time when standardized tests direct curriculums, everything is rushed and teachers do the heavy lifting for students. Information is spoon fed at mach speed to be memorized and regurgitated on one exam or another, either in the classroom or school-wide. But this isn’t learning, which explains why reading, writing, and math scores are at historic lows.

January 2, 2024

Good Handwriting = Higher Scores in School

Thanks to the availability of devices, typing has become a necessary skill for academic success. But good old fashioned handwriting is still an incredibly important skill for students to master. Research indicates that students with good handwriting perform better in math and reading, and writing by hand improves cognitive performance more than typing.

December 15, 2023

A Free and Easy Way to Motivate Reading

Some kids devour books, while others avoid reading at all costs. Many kids like reading independently but dislike book assignments from school. No matter what kind of reader you have, there is a free and easy way to challenge kids to consume books, allowing them to reap physical and academic rewards for their efforts.

November 13, 2023

How Student Choice Builds Strong Readers

It’s no secret that the most effective way to get students to read is to let them choose what they read. Decades of research have studied students who read for pleasure, seeking to understand what motivates habitual reading and the benefits of those sustained reading habits.

November 6, 2023

The Secret to Excellent Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension is the ability to process, retain, and correctly recite in their own words information learned from reading. For years, ELA teachers have emphasized skills like finding the main idea, summarizing

October 5, 2023

Effective Strategies to Maximize SAT Reading Score

Our previous blog post addressed the upcoming changes as the SAT goes digital in 2024. But, while the medium will change, does that mean the content will be all that different? Because the reading material can be diverse and unfamiliar to some, this makes the reading section difficult for many students.

September 28, 2023

Going Digital: How to Prepare for Online PSAT/SATs

Fast food orders, medical records, electronic payment methods– every service has an app these days, even standardized testing. The PSAT and SAT are going digital in the 2023-2024 school, breaking nearly a century tradition of paper testing.

September 14, 2023

Parent Prep for Parent-Teacher Conferences

School has been back in session in many districts for a few weeks. Students are returning to old routines or settling into new ones after a transition. Teachers are getting to know their new students, and in return, those students are learning the expectations set by their new teachers. This is a fantastic time for parents to begin prepping for end-of-quarter PTCs (parent-teacher conferences).

August 14, 2023

Challenging Bored, but Gifted Students

The beauty of public school is the opportunity to serve the broadest section of students. Students can receive education and services from kindergarten through senior year, regardless of ability. Much emphasis is put on “exceptional learners,” whose diverse needs differ from the average,

August 1, 2023

The Value of Feedback in Writing Improvement

Constructive teacher feedback plays a crucial role in the ELA learning process, especially in developing writing as a skill. With a specific emphasis on correcting bad writing habits, detailed feedback helps students identify their strengths and weaknesses when writing for different purposes. Unfortunately, public school teachers

July 25, 2023

Strong Readers Aren’t Always Strong Writers

It’s a common misconception that students who love reading must be very good at ELA. Some students exhibit strong reading skills but dislike writing to the point of avoidance. This disconnect often perplexes educators and parents when book-loving students respond to homework in short, one-line answers or have trouble composing whole paragraphs.

July 27, 2023

How Colleges Determine Student Fit in the Application Process

On average, admissions officers at elite universities spend less than ten minutes reviewing a candidate's application. A memorable application is paramount to earning acceptance at the country's most prestigious institutions. Top-tier universities, like Harvard and Stanford, receive over 50,000 applications

July 25, 2023

Importance of Verbal Testing for College Success

Standardized testing has received plenty of criticism in the last few decades. Many educators claim that the results provide little more information than the ability of a student to pass that particular test. Still, there are very few other metrics by which schools can assess the overall progress of individual students and grade-level performance.

July 25, 2023

Screen Time is Stealing Attention Spans

Today’s students have never known what school was like before the internet or the introduction of wireless devices. They have been raised purely in a digital age where information is accessible at their fingertips. Education has adapted to incorporate every possible technological advancement and device and now, we stand on the precipice of AI in the classroom.

July 25, 2023

Overcoming Can’t: The Power of a Growth Mindset

Writers know the power of words. Words express, explain, and even inspire. We salute the words of innovators, revolutionaries, and masters of their craft by holding their quotes up as motivation to achieve the impossible. Words shape and define our world in many ways, but we need to understand the source of their power, remembering that we think in words.

July 25, 2023

Encouraging Reading Habits in Middle and High School

Reading is a critical skill for life, but as we get older, we naturally lose interest in reading. Other things begin to eat up the bulk of our time, and we stop prioritizing learning. Many people desire more time to read, claiming responsibilities and social media distractions for their lack of

July 25, 2023

Avoid the “Summer Slide” Over Break

As summer approaches, many parents face a challenging choice: should my child keep working on skills over the summer, or do they need a break? It’s a legitimate question, especially for students who have busy academic calendars.

July 25, 2023

The Secret to Career Advancement: Strong Writing Skills

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful career. Crafting emails, reports, proposals, and presentations requires writing clearly and concisely. On average, miscommunication through bad writing results in $400 Billion in business losses annually, not to mention the time and resources lost to correct or revise.

July 27, 2023

Writing Skills in the Age of AI

In the age of ChatGPT and other AI writing generators, many people ask: why do I still need writing skills if AI can do it for me? It’s a reasonable question– after all, writing is really hard. Like any skill, good writing needs to be honed through trial and error. What’s the point in improving when emails for work or snappy social media posts are the only substantial writing people do in a day?

July 27, 2023

Guarantee Acceptance by Starting College Essays Early

As part of the regular college application process, the average high school senior will write upwards of 12-20 application essays. Thanks in part to the increase in first-year applicants (up 26% from pre-pandemic enrollment, according to CommonApp) and the fiercely competitive nature of the process, most colleges ask for multiple essays upon application.

July 27, 2023

Writing the Micro-Memoir in 2021

None of us are strangers to “the diary.” While it might conjure up images of Lisa Frank lock journals from the early 2000s, diary-keeping actually comes from centuries of travel and spiritual meditations. Some of the oldest records originate in antiquity ...

July 27, 2023

Why Is Grammar Important?

Grammar, simply, is the rules of and for language. Modern English grammar began in the eighteenth century with new printing technology and a rise in capitalism, which produced an explosion in printed material at affordable prices for broader audiences.

July 27, 2023

Writing with a Visual Thesaurus

Creative writers know that words can be powerful! One word can make all the difference in an essay, novel, or scene. Yet, it can be difficult to find the “right” word. No matter what you are writing or how lost you may find yourself, one of the most useful tools in a writer’s journey is the visual “Thinkmap.”

July 27, 2023

How To Find New Reads For All Ages

Has your child ever been stumped on what to read next? Maybe they want to explore a new genre, or find books similar to ones they’ve previously enjoyed. Asking the school or local librarian is a great place to start finding new texts, but what happens when your child is curious at home?

July 27, 2023

Looking For A Reading Challenge?

Reading challenges are not only a great way of improving upon literacy skills. They are also an opportunity for your child to explore what kind of reader they are, helping them come to new and exciting understandings about themselves and the world around them.

July 25, 2023

How To Teach Your Child Handwriting (The Fun Way)

Many parents stress not only over the content of their child’s writing, but also its appearance. “Chicken scratch” might be a parent’s worst nightmare, but it’s not as daunting as the task of teaching your child how to write legibly. Look no further, for I have the activity that will resolve many of your problems!

July 27, 2023

Where To Find Free Books Online

As an educator of ELA and writing, my students often ask me the simple, yet complex, question, “Where can I read books?” Today, there exist myriad digital resources that students often have difficulty locating. While reading physical copies of books is an enriching experience all its own...

July 27, 2023

Teaching Your Child Through Games

I grew up in the age of CD-ROMS, playing educational games like Spy Fox, Cluefinders, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?, and (the dreaded) Oregon Trail. Through these games, I read extensive dialogue and storylines, and I also learned about world history and science. I often found ...

July 27, 2023

Writing Resources for Your Child

Have you been searching tirelessly on the internet to find activities that your child can do, specifically to improve their writing and vocabulary skills? You are not alone! We have been doing the same. Thankfully, we have a few resources that will become staples in your child’s day-to-day life.

LTWN Blog

Blog image

Applying Metacognitive Skills to ELA

Education

In the LTWN’s last blog post, we discussed metacognition (also known as metacognitive skills), more commonly defined as “thinking about thinking.” Metacognition is the practice of self-reflection on one’s learning, most notably making connections to prior knowledge, identifying strategies, and applying skills to successfully and effectively complete tasks. It requires deep, complex thinking and application of methods, sometimes through trial and error, until students identify the best methods for their learning style or task.

Blog image

Metacognition: The Secret Skill to Effective Learning

Education

In a time when standardized tests direct curriculums, everything is rushed and teachers do the heavy lifting for students. Information is spoon fed at mach speed to be memorized and regurgitated on one exam or another, either in the classroom or school-wide. But this isn’t learning, which explains why reading, writing, and math scores are at historic lows.

Blog image

Good Handwriting = Higher Scores in School

Writing

Thanks to the availability of devices, typing has become a necessary skill for academic success. But good old fashioned handwriting is still an incredibly important skill for students to master. Research indicates that students with good handwriting perform better in math and reading, and writing by hand improves cognitive performance more than typing.

Blog image

A Free and Easy Way to Motivate Reading

Reading

Some kids devour books, while others avoid reading at all costs. Many kids like reading independently but dislike book assignments from school. No matter what kind of reader you have, there is a free and easy way to challenge kids to consume books, allowing them to reap physical and academic rewards for their efforts.

Blog image

How Student Choice Builds Strong Readers

Reading

It’s no secret that the most effective way to get students to read is to let them choose what they read. Decades of research have studied students who read for pleasure, seeking to understand what motivates habitual reading and the benefits of those sustained reading habits.

Blog image

The Secret to Excellent Reading Comprehension

Reading

Reading comprehension is the ability to process, retain, and correctly recite in their own words information learned from reading. For years, ELA teachers have emphasized skills like finding the main idea, summarizing