A Tip On Teaching Writing

The goal when teaching writing is to motivate students to write, write often, and write a lot. That is the only way they are going to become writers.

This is a difficult task when as educators we have been encouraged to use students’ writing as the primary vehicle to teaching writing.  We have traditionally accomplished this by returning students’ papers with low grades, red marks, and negative comments, which did nothing to encourage reticent students to continue writing.

Over the 30 years that I taught writing to students ranging in ages 5 – 16, I found that if you took the stress out of writing by just allowing students to write freely, they became much more comfortable and eager writers. They began applying the rules that I was reviewing or teaching away from their writing assignments.  Soon I found students were looking forward to writing and were getting better and better at it as time went by.

I will be sharing more tips on teaching writing in my next post.

Have a great weekend!



Back Into Action!!

 I know it has been a very long time since I have added anything to my blog.  It has been very remiss of me, but I have also been extremely busy finishing a new interactive writing book for grades 6 – 8.  It is finally edited and put up on Teachers pay Teachers, where it can be digitally downloaded.

The new book is called Interactive Writing Notebook Grades 6 – 8.  It is Common Core Aligned and student directed.  Students grade all of the lessons for each unit themselves.  The also edit and grade, using appropriate provided scoring rubrics, each of their final essays.  The Notebook includes the following units:

1.  A Narrative Essay Unit

2.  An Informative Explanatory, Compare/Contrast Essay Unit

3.  An Informative Explanatory, Cause/Effect Essay Unit

4.  An Argumentative Essay Unit

5.  A Poetry Unit

These units are to be used along with the current curriculum being taught, so the topics can be changed and used more than once throughout the year.  They may also be used from year to year.

These units may also be used for advance upper elementary students or for students in high school who need more practice writing.

Please follow the links and take a look at this great new writing product for middle school students.

Thank you and have a great beginning of summer day.




$5,000 + on TpT!! Yippee!!

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I have sold over $5,000 worth my creative writing lessons and the creative writing book, the expository lessons and the expository writing book, my poetry unit, and the comprehension weekly letter for informational reading and literature/fiction reading, and last but not least the Daily Dazzle lessons and books and Toolbox from my TpT store.

I so appreciate the tons of positive comments and feedback I’ve received from teachers and parents on the lessons they have purchased and downloaded on TpT.

Thank you, Thank you to all!



Crazy Summer

Holy Cow!  It has been an unbelievable summer of Disney World with the grandkids, family reunion, girlfriend week in Florida, company from afar, and so much more.  The list could go on and on.  I feel like I am just beginning to stop running and now I have so much work to do and so little time before the holidays.  I will put my nose to the grindstone and get busy.Image


Papa and Jax in the back of the Splash Mountain ride.  So much fun!!


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I just returned for the Woodlands Conference, and had so many requests to put the writing books on TpT, that I just sat down and got it done.  So now you can purchase either the Creative Writing book or the Expository Writing book here on my this website as a hard copy for $99.95 each, on Currclick as downloads for the Creative Writing book or the Expository Writing book for  $69.95 each, or on Teachers pay Teachers as  downloads for the Creative Writing book Expository Writing book for $52.20 each.

I had a wonderful time at the Woodlands Conference where I visited with many parents who were pleased with our curriculum and looking to add to their Razzle Dazzle collection.  We also met many new parents who were surprised to learn how easy it is to teach writing with our products.

We have had a very busy summer with my husband having a complete knee replacement in April, visiting friends and family in Brooklyn and Vermont in June, hosting the Darling family reunion in July and having grandchildren spending a lot of time at Papa and Grandma’s house.  It has been wonderful to be able to travel and spend so much time with our family now that Gene can walk so well with his new knee.  Life is good!

Be sure to let me know if you have any questions or need more information.  I am always available by email.

Have a good start to your school year, whether you are a teacher or a home school parent.

Sincerely,  Judith


What’s Going On In My World

My friend Barbara and I just got back from exhibiting my Razzle Dazzle Learning products at The Arlington Book Fair in Arlington, Texas.  We really had a wonderful time meeting so many teachers and home school parents interested in learning how to teach writing.

Barbara and I conducted many mini workshops on my products throughout the two days of the fair, and came away with a renewed since of pride in our products and what they do to help turn students on to writing while taking the work out of teaching writing.

Orders started coming in as soon as the fair started and have not stopped yet.  Hopefully there will be many many students out there enjoying learning to write the Razzle Dazzle way in the next school year, and just as many teachers and parents happy with the reduced paper work and grading.

You can see all of our products on:

1.  rdlco.com where you can purchase the hardbound copies of our books.

2.  Teachers pay Teachers (TpT), where you can download books and individual lessons

3.  Currclick, where you can download all of our books

Thank you so much!

Judith and Barbara



I have to say that there is no rest for the semi-retired!  I do not have to look for things to keep me busy, which can be a blessing and a curse.

I got my first paper check from TpT and couldn’t be happier.  I started with TpT in late December, right before Christmas, and was successful right away.

Thankfully my grandchildren are now well after all their spring fevers, colds and coughs, and so far I haven’t come down with anything.  I am knocking on wood on that one.

The big thing right now is my husband.  He is having total knee replacement next week, so we have been running around getting ready.  I know life will be better for both of us once he has it done.  We will be mobile again, and that will be awesome!

I am not usually a chatty kind of gal when it comes to blogging, but I have been told I need to step it up and add something about myself, so I am.   I have thirty years of very successful teaching that I could share with anyone who is interested and has a question.  I keep my finger on the pulse, so to speak, because I have a daughter that teaches fifth grade science and math, and she keeps me in the loop.  She also has two boys that I love to help with their homework.  I also have two home schooled, ice skating granddaughters that use all of my writing/language arts materials, and are very successful students.  Then I have two granddaughters living in Brooklyn that use my materials during the summer, so they retain what they learned the previous year and don’t lose it over the summer.  They all keep me abreast of any and all things going on in education that I need to know.  Plus I am an avid reader, and I also have many teacher friends that love to keep me informed as to what is going on in their educational lives.

I don’t mind just talking, but would really love for fans and followers to respond and chat with me.  I have a lot of teaching information that I would be willing to share, and I will be posting much of it in the future.

Since it is Friday, have a great weekend!

Happy Writing!



I have often been asked, “Why did you become a middle school teacher?”  I would reply that as a middle school teachers  I appreciated that age student for their honesty, humor and desire to learn how to be more grown up.  It is a painful time for children because they are learning how to become responsible and independent adults with proper manners, a good since of humor and a since of individuality that will carry them through life, which seemed to be something I could relate to.  I just knew I wanted to be a part of that teaching community.

Middle school aged children require educators that have a special kind of personality which is impervious to harsh comments about their hair, appearance and lifestyle in general.  Teachers and parents must have a quirky sense of humor that carries them through the constant critique of “all knowing” middle schoolers who ban together in their search for an identity and independence.  They must be able to guide students toward developing their own sense of style, toward becoming independent learners, toward understanding  differences in beliefs and views; and toward becoming ready to successfully move on to high school, college, and adulthood.  It is a daunting task for sure, but one I loved, considering the nature of the little beasts!

I discovered that middle school children need tons of guidance and strict boundaries, but want to feel like they are making decisions themselves.  This is a tricky tight rope to walk for teachers and parents.  I learned there were times when I needed to take the heat so a student could save face, and other times when a student would surprise me and show a real sense of maturity by stepping up and owning the problem or difficulty.

Durning all the years I taught middle school I can honestly say that I looked forward to almost every day in the classroom.  Life was not dull, I got honest feedback, students were always surprising me, I got to laugh often every day and I knew it was a place that was good for me.


Vacation over, now back to work!!

WOW! First time in Chicago and I loved it. That place has it going on for sure. We had a lovely Easter dinner, took in the Art Institute, the Aquarium, Hancock Tower, saw the preview of Big Fish and ate at some great restaurants. We also met lots of really nice people. I definitely want to visit Chicago again!

Now it’s back to work for me.  I have tons of emails and some questions to answer.  One of which was, will we be putting our Daily Dazzle products on TpT in book form?  They will start going up either today or tomorrow.  I have to get them ready, then I will post.  That means you will be able to buy the entire 32 weeks of lessons in one fell swoop, rather than buying them in bundles of 4 lessons.  It will be an easier download, and the price per page is exactly the same.  You will still have to buy the Tool Box separately.

I will receive my first paper check from TpT which is very exciting.  I have only been on TpT since the end of December, so I am very happy to be on the paper check list.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter, and are now finishing up standardized testing. Hopefully then, you will have an easy slide toward summer vacation.  I always loved the spring months, after testing, because everyone was more relaxed, and I could bring out some really fun lessons that applied everything my students had learned.  It was fun to compare the progress they had made over the year, from the first writing lessons they completed to the great work they were doing towards the end.

I’ll be talking with you soon, and happy writing.




I am working on adding more Common Core aligned writing products to my TpT store, but it will be a few weeks before my next lesson will be posted because I have two granddaughters visiting.

They will be here until the 29th, and then their grandfather and I will be escorting them to Chicago for a mini vacation.  We will meet their parents there to take in the sites, sounds and tastes of The Windy City.

I have added two writing lessons for now, that you can take a look at.  I am very happy with the way they turned out, and hope they make teaching writing much easier and more fun.

Happy Writing!