Welcome. My name is Corbett Harrison, and I have been an educator and a teacher-trainer since 1991. I specialize in teaching writing using differentiated instruction. I also focus on critical thinking techniques, especially during the pre-writing and revision steps of the writing process.

I serve Northern Nevada for nine months of the year (August-May), and during summers and during our two-weeek breaks during the school year, I hire myself out to school districts and professional organizations around the country.

Summer of 2014 is all booked. If you would like to check my availability for the summer of 2015, please contact me at my e-mail address.

 

Always
Write

 
       Because writing--when taught right--can be the most enjoyable part of your teaching day, I created this website.

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If you plan on earning extra credit from me this year, you need to start earning it from day one, not two weeks before school lets out.

You want extra credit, you say. Then you should be putting tons of extra effort into three things: your writer's notebook, your reading workshop projects, and your writer's workshop pieces. If I see you slacking off with any of those class requirements, then extra credit is not an option that will be available to you.

I have a different philosophy of "extra credit" than many teachers. I do offer it, but a student must earn it all year long if he/she wants it to affect a report card grade. Suddenly wanting to earn extra credit in the last few weeks of school or a semester doesn't impress me. If students expect me to boost their overall grade on a report card, then I better see evidence that all semester long they participated in the extra challenges I frequently offer. And please note, these are challenges, my students. I don't set these up to be easy. Doing a haphazard job on any of these will not impress me enough to put you in the extra credit column in my gradebook. Create something you're proud to show me if you're taking on extra credit.

This page contains links to my extra credit challenges that are available all year long. Plan ahead so that Mr. Harrison notices that you are earning (or attempting to earn) points every month; doing this should guarantee you enough extra credit to boost your grade to where you'd like it to be.

There are But Three Ways to Earn Extra Credit in my Language Arts Classroom

Do what you're assigned but do it better than normal to be eligible for extra credit: I want your writer's notebooks to have occasional pages you're really proud to show someone. I want your weekly vocabulary assignments to look like you cared about how you shared your week's worth of words. Since I require you to write in your notebooks daily and collect vocabulary words weekly anyway, know that I look for three or four students who "go the extra mile" with either task, and I award extra credit to those folks. That's how extra credit works for me. If you want extra credit, do extra wok on the assignment I gave you anyway and proudly nominate it for an extra credit award.

1. Mr. Stick of the Week Awards
2. Vocabulary Collector of the Week Awards

You know how much I like it when you design visuals to accompany your writer's notebook ideas, right? Every week, students may self-nominate a page (or two) from their writer's notebook where a Mr. Stick cartoon has been added to the writing in way that makes the writing better and makes the page a fun one to come back to and read again.

Want to win? Turn one of your good written ideas from sacred writing into a GREAT idea that stands out in your notebook. Show me you care enough about the idea you're exploring by adding a little stickman or two to your ideas. Every week I will select the four or five very best decorated (and colored) notebook pages, and they shall earn a "Mr. Stick of the Week" award.

Need some Mr. Stick resources? Click here to visit my resource page just for Mr. Stick!.

What does a award-winning notebook page look like?
Mr. Harrison's Mr. Stick of the Week Pinterest Board

I know many of you actually believe I assign weekly vocabulary words as my twisted way of torturing you, but it's not true. Smart people actively seek new words to add to their vocabularies; un-smart people hear words they don't know, and they do nothing about it. We collect vocabulary weekly not because it's torture but because it's a life-skill for smart people.

Here's the deal. Nobody has worse handwriting than I did when I was your age; because of that, I have provided enough tools to help you present your words neatly, and each week, I will select four or five students whose vocabulary collections stand out as being visually appealing. These students will earn a "Vocabulary Collector of the Week" award.

Need some vocabulary resources? Click here to visit my resource page for online forms.

What does a winning vocabulary collection look like?
Mr. Harrison's Vocabulary Collectors Pinterest Board

 

Imitate a Page from Mr. Harrison's Amazing Writer's Notebook

You know I have several writer's notebooks. You also know which one I am referring to when I say my "amazing" writer's notebook. Over five years ago, I decided to start keeping that very special notebook where some of my favorite one-page ideas for writing are stored after I take great care to decorate and present them. Most of the ideas in my "amazing notebook" are interesting ideas that came to me when I was looking through some favorite picture books from my own classroom library; I wanted to see if I could borrow a premise from another author's book in order to create something that was completely original to me.

To earn extra credit using this third and final option, you must basically imitate my imitation. To do this, you must follow this sequence:

  1. Investigate which of the six notebook pages below intrigues you the most. Click on the link I've provided to read a summary of the idea behind each notebook page. From the link, you can also take a much closer look at my notebook page, zooming in on details, if you wish. If you like my notebook page enough to imitate, make sure you can tell me the title of the book I used to inspire my own writing; you can find the title and a picture of the book by visiting the links below.
  2. Announce your intention of trying for this extra credit option by making an appointment with me so you can read the book he used to inspire his notebook page. I don't check out these books to students, but you can read them while sitting in my classroom. Set up an appointment before school, during lunch, or after school so that you can read the same book I did.
  3. Create an original idea inspired by the premise of the picture book. You can simply imitate what I did to pay tribute to the original story with my own original idea (for up to 10 points of extra credit), or you can create your own original way to celebrate the book's idea in your own, creative way (for up to 20 points of extra credit).
  4. Publish the writing/visual in your notebook. You really have to earn 10 or 20 points by making an outstanding original page for your notebook. Don't slap something together and think you're guaranteed the extra credit; I'll award you points based on the amount of extra effort I see on the notebook page you create.
Original Pages from my Writer's Notebook inspired by some of my favorite Picture Books

for my pun-sters...
Four Homophone Comics

My Mentor Text: A Chocolate Moose for Dinner
by Fred Gwynne

for my time travelers...
Crazy Time/Place for a News Reporter...

My Mentor Text: Tub-boo-boo
by Margie Palatini

for my riddle-writers...
Creating Collective Nouns

Mentor Text: A Cache of Jewels
by Ruth Heller

for my artists and/or musicians
Artistic Neighbors & Angry Letters

Mentor Text: When Pigasso Met Mootisse
by Nina Laden
for my visual learners and thinkers
Blueprint Storyboards


Mentor Text: P.T.A. Night
by Jeremy R. Scott
an ABC-list with a story
26 Super Skills & a Story

Mentor Text: Superhero ABC
by Bob McLeod