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…

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…

Talk Teaches

Sentence Starters Invigorate Conversation   Guided talking teaches students to think, listen, and rethink. Observing students talking teaches teachers what they need to teach next.  Here's a flyer with SENTENCE STARTERS from I found on Pinterest that may be just what you need to jump start conversations between and among students.…

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…

Digital Storytelling

Cross-Curricular Writing Teachers in elective courses sometimes struggle to design lessons that teach the content and skills of their courses when students are challenged by the demands of the required courses. Consider drawing on content matter from other courses as you teach the information and skills related to your course. Here's…

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…