In almost two decades (!!!) of teaching, I’ve taught every grade 7-12. And whether I’m teaching 12-year olds or 19-year olds, run-ons and comma splices abound. I’m not going to spend time here theorizing about why this is true. I suspect that if I interviewed my high school English teachers, they’d say it was prevalent […]
This ready-to-use mini grammar unit aims to provide a framework for the student to systematically learn and use articles in their spoken and written English. Slides included.
I kept trying to get better at giving students more independent writing time and ensure I conferred with every student every day. Yet, my ELLs continued to struggle in both their language proficiency and productivity. They wrote the least number of pieces every year.
Things are a little stressful in Texas, where I live. We just survived a snow-pocalypse the likes we’ve not seen in a century. Many of us had power outages, no internet, no water, or busted pipes, and this was just during the week of SNOVID! That doesn’t include all of the trials of the aftermath. […]
Teaching conventions seems to be the most straightforward part of teaching English. Learning conventions, though, doesn’t come easy, especially to ELLs.
Teaching grammar is my instructional nemesis. I’m sure I am not alone in feeling this way. For nearly twenty years now, I have worked at teaching grammar in the context of writing, without skill-and-drill worksheets, and every year I tweak my approach, often some variation of Harry Noden’s creative Image Grammar approach. But it’s still […]
ESSENTIAL QUESTION: How do we provide students with the opportunities and space to write “sin miedo”? ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What does it mean to write without fear? Where does fear come from in the context of writing in the classroom? What kinds of classroom traumas create or worsen this fear? How do we help […]
Things are crazy right now, to say the least. When I started my instructional coaching job, I made a vision and a mission statement that I hung up above my desk. I refer to it more often than I care to admit as I often let my agenda, my feelings, and what I think is […]
I came across one of those well-intended but ultimately wrong-minded tweets today while scrolling through Twitter. It offered advice for “ELA teachers” from someone who isn’t one. It suggested encouraging students to try out a new Microsoft Word feature that will basically auto-suggest (or replace, if I interpreted the gif correctly) segments of student writing […]
As is our habit, we are taking the summer away from the blog to read, write, and recharge. We’ll be back in late August with new content, but for the summer, let’s take a journey down memory lane as we visit our ten most-read posts from the previous school year! This semester I’m bringing […]