Always Write (http://corbettharrison.com/) has been a resource I have found inspiring for many years, and have frequently recommended to my fellow writing teachers. Students engage the lessons, and love the interactive pages within the site. Teachers who are just starting out and writers’ workshop pros will benefit. It is connected to WritingFix.com, and Corbett is a contributor. Both sites complement each other, and WritingFix has other contributor sites that connect to it that you may find useful.
There is more on this site for reading and writing than could be used in ten years, and I will highlight the resources I consider favorites. Ready for an alternative to book reports? Click the Reading Workshop link and it will describe some relevant projects such as Book Reviewer and Book Marketer. Also, check out the W.A.C. (Writing Across the Curriculum), and Mr. Stick (really cool way to have students express themselves, create projects, take content area notes, and be metacognitive).
Furthermore, there are student interactives, such as the Writing Prompt Generator. I usually introduce it on the whiteboard and then put it on my links page. Later, students can visit that page and click through the interactive parts to inspire their writing, provide some structure, or narrow their focus. Students love the choices, and usually pick one that fits. I’m using this page for an upcoming lesson that integrates my new kidblog.org student blogs! If you have computer lab time or any other 1:1 time they can explore all the options on their own. Finally, for writing teachers who use writer’s notebooks, there are Bingo Cards (one is free!) that offer monthly challenges for student writing notebook prompts. Each part of the bingo card can help students create a half-page tribute on a topic of their choice. My fifth graders buddy write with third graders every Friday, and these have been a staple of our work together. Both classes get revved up for the collaborative work they perform.
The units on the site are fun and motivating, and they contain student anchor papers and places where you can safely submit student work. If your students are blogging, this could be another step to widen their audience, and have their work become anchor papers for lessons that teachers are using everywhere. Next, I recommend heading over to WritingFix and you can find resources for many, many elementary and middle school mentor texts and themes and that you may be using as read alouds, book clubs, and guided reading. Happy Writing!