Ignite Writing by Patterning

“There’s nothing new under the sun!” True, but students can be inspired by the old to do something new for themselves. Sounds weird, but that’s exactly what can occur when we invite students to pattern the writing they read.  Students soon learn that close reading, analysis and imitation unleash bursts…

Shakespeare’s Birthday

Happy 455th   Birthday, Will! April 23rd is the day many celebrate the birth of William Shakespeare, one of the more widely read dramatists of all times.This year is his 455th! Prepare your students to understand Elizabethan society a little better. Have a go with your students and have them take…

Planning for Short Courses

Get Off to a Good Start  Consider thematic units that may be drawn from Essential Questions. Once you decide on themes or essential questions for the first unit or marking period, you could ask the students to choose the themes/questions for the subsequent ones.  Almost any piece of fiction/non-fiction can be adapted…

Writing to Learn in Content Areas

WRITING TO LEARN Across Content Areas Now that more schools are considering ways to teach and utilize literacy tools to enhance instruction and increase learning across the content areas, many English Language Arts educators are being viewed as the repository for such strategies.  Remember, while schools are implementing the Common…

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month   What an exciting time to feature the contributions of LatinX Writers, Speakers and Movie Makers! Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with culturally relevant texts, video, and speeches that give students opportunity to expand and explore their emerging ELA skills. Read about Historically Significant Events then invite students to share what they've…

Prep for Semester Exam

Prepare Now to Assess  Begin now and ensure that your students will be ready to do well on the semester exams.   First, write in your own words specifically what plan to measure.  Consider these ideas.   (1) How well students recall what you’ve taught about ______________. (2) How well…

Inspire Curiosity

Getting Them Into a Book Are you familiar with the INTO, THROUGH and BEYOND strategy for teaching text?  Looking for something that can work in a single period to get students into their next book?  Here’s an idea may work for you this Spring. Distribute the book.  Invite students to…

Books for Boys

Perhaps, because so many elementary and middle school teachers are female, the books on our standard reading lists tend to appeal more to students of that same gender.  Not sure if that's the case, but admittedly teachers of young men in all grades recognize that our male students often are…
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