Oral Book Report Prep

Practice together, then assign students oral reports on independent reading books. Adapt the handout for a whole class or small group assignment and have student complete the form based on a book the class has just finished reading.  (Great way to review a book before an end-of-book assignment.) Then use similar…

Evaluating Proposed Solutions

Educators today are using blogs as a way for students to practice writing persuasive and argumentative essays based on current events.  Some middle and high school teachers are not sure how to guide their students in ways that will assure the proposed solutions backed by solid evidence.  Some students are unclear about how…

Students Starters Enhance Teaching

Student Starters Now is a good time to plan on releasing more responsibility for learning to your students. The first quarter/semester is when you model reading and writing strategies, making, connections, incorporating a wide variety of examples in your own instruction, and also informing the students that you’ll be sharing the teaching…

Activating Strategies for Reading

Reading: Activating Thinking Here is a chart strategies to get students thinking about new units, new books, or new readings.  Many are interactive and though they come from a site prepared for elementary school students most can be adapted for use with students of all ages.  You'll recognize many ideas that are commonly…

Making Masks to Reveal Character

Why Did They Do That? Students sometimes miss the significance of a fictional character's behavior because these inexperienced readers may have missed direct and/or indirect characterization clues authors incorporate to show what motivates their characters to act or reaction they way they do.  This is especially true with indirect characterization. Consider in-class activities…

Writing Historical Fiction

HISTORICAL FICTION is a made-up story set in specific time and integrates references to real people, places, and or events and writing one can help meet both English Language Arts and History/Social Studies Content Area Standards. Writing historical fiction can be an efficient way for students to utilize what they…

Organizing a Week of Speeches

Speaking and Listening in CCSS Consider the two sides of communication: the SPEAKER and the LISTENER as you continue to massage your assignments and scheduling. Because critical listening and useful commenting are skills of equal value to speaking well, I ask students to provide written feedback to each speaker.  To…

Revisions that Improve Writing

How Do I Make It Better? " Students sometimes wonder how they can make a well written early draft even better. If you teach them specific steps they can take to improve their writing themselves, you will have taught a skill they can use for life. Consider using alliteration to…