As the season of AP Lang exams fast approaches, I find myself more and more urgently seeking ways to help tighten gaps in my students’ skill sets. Fine tuning writing skills is a part of it, but when it comes to one AP Lang task–the Open Argument essay–there are more pressing issues that are a […]
I thought, There must be a key to good endings. It must be a skill – a teachable, practice-able skill.
The answer: Irony.
In his 1995 work, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, astrophysicist Carl Sagan wrote a sentence that would be uttered in classrooms around the world for decades to come: “there’s no such thing as a dumb question.” We’ll assume, of course, that Sagan is excluding the students in your class who […]
Breather Routines and the Misdiagnosis of Writing Stamina I produce a podcast called Write Answers, and about a month ago, Beth Rimer (co-director of the Ohio Writing Project) and I recorded an interview in which she talked about a between-unit-plans break that she called “Breather Routines.” A Breather Routine can be a 1-3 week series […]
A few weeks ago I outlined my peculiar teacher headspace this year as I face the challenge of teaching AP Lang after years of working to perfect English 11, a course I helped design from the ground up and continue to approach eagerly every day. In that post I outlined my major goal for the […]
In Charlie La Greca and Rebecca Bratspies’ environmental justice comic, Mayah’s Lot, the image of the aspen seed is prominent. The titular character intends to plant an aspen seed in a garden she secretly tends on a vacant lot, just before finding out a corporation’s plan to transform the lot into an industrial toxic storage waste facility. […]
As an American now living and teaching in Canada, I’ve had to learn a lot in a short period of time. I’m teaching a self-contained 3rd + 4th grade class this year, which means I’m teaching Social Studies, and the American Education system doesn’t really give us all that much about our neighbors to the […]
Picasso’s quote may seem somewhat contradictory as giving answers is not necessarily a useless trait; however, dig a little deeper and it makes a lot of sense. Computers (or rather Google) give us the answers we are looking for — we receive an output for a question asked. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing — […]
This year in my school district, my colleagues and I have held rich and ongoing conversations about ways to be more culturally and historically responsive in our curriculum and instruction. Within these conversations, we discovered that part of being more responsive in these matters involves valuing our students’ sense of identity in their learning. In […]
Playlists are constantly playing in my classroom and house. But what are the playlist of our lives? In this piece Abigail takes you through the moves of using writing playlists to create meaningful narratives.