Getting some perspective: Choice and Authenticity in the Learning Process

When I think of increasing student choice and voice this leads me to think about increasing student motivation and happiness. And when these ideas coalesce I can’t help but think of Malcolm Gladwell’s Ted Talk (I realize this is a strange connection to make, but hear me out). Gladwell discusses how Prego, back in the ’70s, took over […]

I Get Wise with a Little Pop From My Friends

I want my students to be continually thinking about context–cultural, historical, and otherwise.  For many of my students, the boundaries of their writing AND reading are constricted by their narrow contextual pools of knowledge.  Helping them to see why the narratives of their history classes or the view through the microscope in biology are actually […]

YA Sentence Study Snapshot: We Were Liars

Text:  We Were Liars by E. Lockhart       Audience: Later middle school – high school (Perhaps 7-12?) Book Talk: Every summer, members of the incredibly wealthy Sinclair family gather on a private island. Everything appears to be perfect — perfect children, perfect relationships, plenty of money. But, of course, you know that things are […]

YA Sentence Study Snapshot: Everything, Everything

Today’s snapshot comes from Katie Stuart (@KatieStuart10) who teaches 9th grade English and 11th and 12 grade electives at Windham High School in Windham, NH. She previously taught at Windham Middle School and Pinkerton Academy in Derry, NH.  She earned her B.A. in English and M.A.T. in Secondary English from the University of New Hampshire. […]

Oh, the places you’ll go! Mentor texts for writing about a meaningful place

Each year, my students compose a series of brief writing pieces—each one describing a person, place, or thing. Currently, students are working on their “person” essay—a personal essay inspired by the beautiful mentor text, “The Stranger in the Photo is Me” by Don Murray. The essay is a meditation on memory and identity, and as […]