Making Research Relevant: Teaching Students to Synthesize Evidence

Every time I go to a workshop about research writing and synthesis (and I’ve been to a few since I teach both AP Language and AP Seminar), we talk about making smoothies or chocolate chip cookies or chili. In every instance–much to my disappointment– we’re not talking about eating, we’re talking about blending evidence effectively. […]

Making Research Relevant: Writing To Understand

There are lots of  ways to “do” research in a secondary classroom–everything from small writing pieces with just a little research to full-blown research projects that span several weeks. However you do it, though, it can get messy quickly. How do we show them all the  rules of citation without overwhelming them? How do we […]

Using Blogging to Grow Independent Writers (or: How to Kick Your Little Birds Out of the Nest)

It’s second semester and my AP Seminar kids are knee-deep in their official Performance Tasks. For those unfamiliar with the AP Capstone program, that means my kids are doing giant, independent research projects and I am required to take a very “hands off” approach.  I can give general instructions to the whole class, and I […]

Teaching From My Twitter Feed: Two different Modest Proposals

  Twitter never ceases to amaze me for its ability to come through with exactly what I need at the right moment.  This week my students are studying Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” and my colleagues and I wanted to pair it with some modern satire. Though Swift’s text certainly has some shock value (eating […]