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…

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…

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…

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…

Credible Text???

What Questions Can Help One Decide? Students sometimes wonder what questions they should be asking about a text.  Tell them about Five W’s and H questions. Invite students to adapt questions to the text, but be sure to ask at least one for each of the six words. Who wrote this…