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…

COLORS, ARRANGEMENT AND STORIES

Critical Thinking in Colors and Shapes Colors and arrangements can be used evoke different moods, different personalities, and different feelings.  Spend at least five minutes looking closely at this painting, Nine Colors by Ellsworth Kelly.  1.  What do you notice about the colors and arrangement of these circles on a…

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…

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…

Write Right Away

Get' em Writing about Themselves Looking for ways to get to know your students while having them do authentic writing that builds on works you've read?  Here are three ideas to consider that can serve as a beginning of the year formative assessments of reading and writing.  No need to…

POETRY Notebook – Product and Performance

Poetry Notebook   Looking for a way to engage students to create a POETRY-Notebook that showcases their learning about poetry and other English Language Arts skills and completing a product/performance assignment that reflects your instruction to meet COMMON CORE STANDARDS.   Here's a link to student handout to show how they can use Poetry T.I.M.E.…

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…

April is Poetry Month 2017

How are you going to celebrate in 2017?   "What you learn through reading and writing poetry will stay with you throughout your life," Michelle Obama said in a statement about a national initiative to support the study of poetry. "It will spark your imagination and broaden your horizons and…
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