Celebrate and Educate

Black History Month and Common Core In the United States, February is Black (African-American) History Month, a time when many teachers tailor lessons to feature the contributions of African-Americans. Since the oral tradition is significant in African-American history, and since oral language skill is one of the English Language Arts…

Sensitivity to Holidays

Writing About the Holidays The holiday season, for many, extends from November through February.  Families will be celebrating Diwali, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the New Year at various times during these months. Writing about holidays is a wonderful way to share cultures in words, pictures, and music.  Yes, holidays also…

Writing to Learn

Informal Informative Writing Admit Slip Hand out 3 x 5 cards, or slips of scratch paper as students enter the classroom.  Ask students to write, anonymously, one or two sentences indicating the particular kind(s) of problem(s) they experienced while doing the recent homework assignment.  Collect, then quickly read these slips,…

Managing Grades

It's Not Too Late to Modify Grading Guidelines Four approaches to grading revolutionized my planning and grading for teaching middle, high school and college students. The first occurred after I spent a summer studying and then implementing National Writing Project strategies that include process writing and rubrics, which I customized…
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