Click To Download       

A message from Steve Peha
(owner of TTMS (Teaching That Makes Sense)

All of our basic writing strategies can be found in "The Writing Teacher's Strategy Guide". Top link in the list on the left hand side.

For your convenience, and for the convenience of anyone, you'll find a comprehensive list of our most current packets below my signature in this message.

Please feel free to share this list with anyone in the group and to post it
in your "files" or "links" section if you like. It includes the all-important permissions and copyright information that will allow teachers to use the materials and have them reproduced without getting in trouble in their districts or being hassled by Kinko's.

Steve Peha

President, Teaching That Makes Sense, Inc.
314 Bolin Forest Drive
Carrboro, NC 27510
TEL 919-967-3712
FAX 919-882-9426
"The best way to teach is the way that makes sense
for you, your kids, and your community."


Below you'll find links to the most current versions of some of our
curriculum packets. You can download the packets listed here or e-mail the
links to anyone else. These materials may be copied and distributed by any
means print or electronic as long as all of the following conditions are
met: (1) They are reproduced in their entirety including this notice; (2)
They are used for non-commercial educational purposes only; and (3) They are
not modified in any way other than reduction, enlargement, or binding. For
more free materials, visit our website at . To obtain a license to use these materials in
connection with a commercial presentation or publication, write to us at


This packet features a collection of materials based on the
Content-Purpose-Audience strategy. This is perhaps the most powerful
strategy we have. Though probably best suited to persuasive and
informational writing, it can be used as a prewriting strategy for any
form. It can also be used as a reading strategy to dissect any type of text.


This packet features a collection of materials based on the
Transition-Action-Details strategy. Transition-Action-Details is a great
strategy for all forms of narrative writing, biographies, history,
processes, procedures, math algorithms, science experiments, directions,
summaries, and just about anything that can be described in a step-by-step
fashion. It's also a great reading strategy, too.


This packet features a collection of materials based on the
What-Why-Strategy. What-Why-How is one of our best strategies for helping
students with logical arguments, expository and persuasive writing, thesis
and support, essay questions, and constructed responses. It's also a
terrific nonfiction reading strategy.


This is a collection of over 40 of our best mini-lessons and articles. These
are the tools we use most frequently when we teach reading and writing at
all grade levels. Each lesson is on its own page and no single article is
longer than 750 words. These are things teachers can use once or use over
and over, things that can be used in Reader's and Writer's Workshop
classrooms and in traditional classrooms as well.


This is a collection of really useful tools. In fact, it's possible to teach
pretty much an entire year with just the 20-or-so pages in this packet. It
contains all of our best "organizers", those handy-dandy compilations of
strategies and other ideas for effective instruction. There's probably the
equivalent of 100+ lessons here, many of which can be used over and over
throughout the school year.

BESTING THE TESTING. Teachers are working harder than ever these days to
help kids learn. But schools still aren't making much progress. Except for
small gains in math, NAEP scores are flat over the last decade. And the
folks who publish the ACT just released their assessment which shows that
kids today are no more prepared for college than they were in the early
1990s. So what's the secret to besting the testing? Read the articles in
this packet and find out.

THE BEST OF TTMS. We're always writing about something having to do with
education. So periodically, we collect up a few current pieces that we think
represent the best of our thinking and make them available to the public.
Our purpose in doing this is to elicit response, to raise the level of
dialog on important issues. So if you've got anything to tell us about
anything we've said, please let us know. Drop us an e-mail at
and give us your best.

THE WRITING STUDENT'S STRATEGY GUIDE. This packet contains a wide variety of
writing strategies that can be used at all grade levels and across the
curriculum. You'll find mini-lessons, student samples, and tips for helping
kids get the most out of each technique. You'll also find information on
sharing, conferencing, beating writer's block, revision, beginnings and
endings, and many other important topics writers face every day.

STUDENT WRITING SAMPLES. We've collected over 100 authentic student writing
samples and arranged them by grade level so you can see how writers develop.
These samples have been carefully chosen thousands of papers to give you an
accurate understanding of grade level benchmarks. These are not the highest
kids in each grade level, nor are they the lowest. We have also taken pains
to pick papers written by children from different socio-economic and ethnic

PROMPTED WRITING. To help kids understand how prompted writing differs from
authentic writing, we've collected anchor papers at all score levels from
high-stakes tests in narrative, expository, and persuasive modes and
included 50 practice prompts. This packet explains why we should shun
prompts in everyday classroom teaching in favor of student-selected topics.
But it also explains how to help kids prepare for prompted assessments.

READ LIKE A READER, READ LIKE A WRITER. Explore the reading-writing
connection with this fascinating approach to comprehension and response.
Combining the best strategic teaching in reading with the same trait-based
criteria you use for writing assessment, the tools in this packet accelerate
literacy learning like nothing you've ever used before. This approach also
provides a single unified model of reading comprehension instruction that
can be shared across grade levels.

WELCOME TO WRITER'S WORKSHOP. There's simply no better way to run a writing
classroom than to use Writer's Workshop. But what exactly is Writer's
Workshop? This packet tells you in simple language you can understand and
apply to your daily teaching. You'll find a variety of practical tips for
getting started and handy single-page organizers for helping you manage a
classroom of writers effectively and efficiently.

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM. Everyone knows that all students should be
writing in every subject they study. But how do you fit that in without
losing time to cover your curriculum? This packet explores solutions to that
dilemma and provides practical tools for helping teachers in the content
areas bring best practice writing into their classrooms. With a few new
ideas and a set of simple strategies, you'll find it isn't nearly as hard as
you thought.

WRITING ASSESSMENT. Assessment is probably the most complex and
controversial area in education today. What's the difference between
testing, assessment, grading, and reporting? This packet helps you sort it
all out. It also provides you with some innovative assessment models you've
probably never seen before. And while all the tools in this collection can
be used to assess writing, they can also be used in other subjects.

WHAT IS GOOD WRITING? We spend hour after hour drilling criteria for writing
into our students, yet most of them never understand what those criteria
mean. This packet provides a detailed discussion of each criteria item
across six traits of writing quality: ideas, organization, voice, word
choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. You'll also find handy
single-page organizers with trait language for both beginning and maturing

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE WRITING PROCESS. Nothing in the teaching of writing
seems more basic than the writing process. But there's more to it than you
might expect. We all think we know the writing process but few of us
actually use it to help our students become more effective writers. In this
short, introductory overview, you'll get the basic concepts you need to
manage classroom writing more effectively and to help your students develop
a true process approach.

WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT A BOOK? Are you tired of boring book reports and
bland character sketches? Ever wish your kids could engage in the same high
quality authentic book discussions that adults do? This packet gives you the
tools. But it also gives you an important perspective. By looking at
authentic book reviews, and organizing real reader responses by topic, you
can help your students develop a wide repertoire of analytical techniques.

THE FIVE FACTS OF FICTION. Still using the same old story grammar approach
to fiction that your teachers taught you? Still drilling kids in theme,
plot, problem, conflict, and all the other sacred cows of the old-fashioned
Language Arts curriculum? Step into the 21st century with this dynamic set
of strategies for helping kids write great stories and get more
understanding and enjoyment out of the great stories they read.

abilities to read and write authentic non-fiction, there's nothing better
than the newspaper. In this unique guide to a big city paper, you'll find
interesting applications of high quality strategies and standards-based
lessons that use articles from the daily paper. Based on the award-winning
Effective Learning Series, these tools bring the power of the press right to
your classroom.

ALL'S WELL THAT SPELLS WELL. Tired of spelling lists, spelling sentences,
and spelling tests that never have any positive effect on your students'
ability to spell when they write? You're not alone. By now, virtually all
teachers have discovered what spelling experts have knows for ages:
traditional spelling programs are merely a waste of time. Find out what real
spelling instruction is like with a sound introduction to contemporary
research-based best practice.

THE HANDOUTS. If you're already using the reading and writing strategies in
our other packets, you'll want these handy handouts, too. Each one contains
a single strategy or criteria item attractively formatted on an 8.5 by 11
page. They're perfect for mini-bulletin boards when you're short on space or
for kids to keep in their folders or notebooks. They also work well as
overheads when you're introducing concepts in mini-lessons.

THE ORGANIZERS. Wouldn't it be great if you could get an entire curriculum
on one or two sheets of paper? Well now you can with TTMS Instructional
Organizers. Each organizer neatly summarizes the essential elements of a
particular part of your curriculum from reading and writing strategies to
criteria to the basic elements of Reader's and Writer's Workshop. Stop
schlepping around those cumbersome notebooks. Get organized with TTMS
Instructional Organizers.

THE POSTERS. This set of materials is a collection of 28 black and white
posters that match the strategies in the packets; they are also coordinated
with the materials in the handouts and organizers. With a single strategy or
criteria item printed on each 11 x 17 page, the posters are great for
bulletin boards or other special displays. And if you want them even larger,
just send the digital files to your local copy shop and have them enlarged.