Need a break? Splash around in the contextual pool.

I’m writing this post during my SAT proctoring break and I’m exhausted.  I just read mind-numbing directions for almost an hour, then checked calculators, then more directions, then watched kids bubble. I’m beat. And I didn’t even take the test! Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age, but I’m pretty sure that by Friday […]

Picture Book-Driven Inquiry: Picturing Survival with Octavia Butler

I’ve been eager to shake up my classroom literature circles.  Sometimes, it is easy to fall into a routine rut: assign some chapters to be read, passages to be annotated, literary techniques to be identified.  As we read Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, I thought about what it meant for Lauren Olamina to come […]

Ready to Find Love? Swipe Right on These Five Social Studies Writing Workshops

Choosing the right writing workshop (say that five times fast) at the right time in a content-based classroom will have a large impact on the success of your writing instruction. A workshop that is too complex or does not serve your class’s current needs could also derail your unit, resulting in total heartbreak for you and your students. Preview five, eligible workshops that will adapt to your curriculum and help your students write like historians.

Mini-Mentors for Fixing Run-Ons and Comma Splices

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 […]

Inquiry Lab: Anchor Charts that Help Students Go Further

Welcome back to the Inquiry Lab! In my last post, I shared ways I teach and coach students to nudge each other toward deeper learning. Today, we’ll get into ways the teacher can leverage a workshop approach to similar effect, especially when it comes to inquiry work. It all begins with effective anchor charts. To […]