Vulture’s “Close Reads” and Key Passage Analysis: Perfecting On-Demand Literary Analysis with Mentor Text Study

“I just don’t have enough time to say what I want to say!” “If I had more time, I would be better.” “I had all of these ideas planned, but I could only write about one of them.” “I just don’t think I work well under timed conditions.” Eleventh-graders’  laments fill my IB English classroom […]

Starting a Writing Center: A Risk, a Recipe, and an Invitation

Vulnerability–in life, in writing, in yoga class, you name it–is really tough for me, so you can imagine how moved I am when another teacher in this amazing community is willing to share a challenge in the classroom, a well-intentioned project gone slightly askew, or a new endeavor in its wobbly-legged infancy. Reading about those moments […]

“Getting to Know You”: Introductions Inspired by Broadway

My last post mentioned Pippin, and now I’m quoting Rodgers & Hammerstein; I had musical theater on my mind this summer because I knew my break would end with a “bucket list” vacation to Broadway, the four-plays-in-four-days kind of trip my Tony Awards-watching teenage self had always dreamed about. The trip was an absolute treat, […]

“The Right Words at the Right Time”: Commencement Speeches and Essays for End-of-the-Year Reflection

It is six o’clock on a Saturday night, and I am sitting at my desk in my classroom. The end of the semester is definitely near! While many of you might still have weeks of instruction left on the calendar, I am down to my last week before finals and commencement. My desk is a […]

Introducing Argumentative Writing with Infographics

Like Rebekah, Allison, and probably many of you, I am a big fan of Kelly Gallagher’s work. In fact, a colleague and I structured our freshman curriculum to mirror the writing scaffold in his book Write Like This: our first freshman writing assignments encourage students to “express and reflect” in personal narratives, assignments throughout the […]