Recently, I learned the difference between a recipe and a formula:
A recipe is all the pieces and parts that you need in order to make something.
A formula, however, is all the pieces and parts you need to make something and the order in which you should use those parts and pieces to get the best result.
I couldn’t help but connect that analogy to our writing instruction. We teach a lot of little nitty gritty things to kids when it comes to writing, but are we doing it in a way that teaches them how to do things in the right order and get a great result every time?
With writing instruction, we need to give the kids the recipe, but we also really need to focus our teaching around the formula and how to put all the parts together so they get the best result again and again.
For more help and tips on how to simplify teaching writing, check out these books:
- The Simplified Lesson Planning Formula
- How to Teach Students to Write Informational Text
- How to Teach Students to Critically Think About Text