In Words On Fire, Heidi Simmons expertly shows teachers how to help young writers express themselves with better word choices. Young writers improve as they fire up their word choices and give power to their story. When young writers are taught to understand the wealth of word choice, they can be successful in finding the right word to express their thoughts. This longtime educator guides us step-by-step through eight lessons, each with multiple sessions that bring elements of word choice to life. For every session, Ms. Simmons shows us how to: say it, show it, discover it, note it, brave it, share it, and continue it. This is a gradual release plan that will make sense to both teachers and students--and will work! Busy teachers will also appreciate the time-saving classroom-ready resources, and clearly identified lists of materials and procedures to streamline lesson planning. Best of all are the many examples crafted by children that demonstrate not just a particular word choice concept, but exemplify inspired writing.
Heidi Simmons was the K-5 Literacy Coach at the Regional Multicultural Magnet School in New London, Connecticut, for many years. While there, her students won numerous prizes from the Connecticut Writing Project. She also taught writing to adolescents, undergraduates, and graduate students at home and in Taiwan, China, where she lived for three years. She received her BS in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College, a Masters in History from Northeastern and another Masters in Literacy from the University of Rhode Island. More recently she was a pre-doctoral candidate in Education at Lesley University. Through a combination of academic research and extensive teaching experience, she has created a book that helps teachers replicate her poetic approach to a child's word meaning development and written expression.