One of my greatest NCTE joys have been the times members of the Moving Writers team have gotten to join forces at NCTE. I love these people — their deeply-felt philosophies about teaching writing to make a difference in children’s learning and lives, their practical, boots-on-the-ground, why-didn’t-I-think-of-that brilliance. Here are some of the resources from […]
Category: Test Preparation
Preview, not Review.
You can feel the anxiety in the air. A buzzing current at present, but one that will steadily increase in intensity as the days close in on the AP Language and Composition exam (May 15th). So my focus right now is on my juniors—a group of 21 bright, young individuals who I have worked with […]
Writing Our Way In: Tips for Balancing Literature Study and Writing Workshop
My beat this fall is all about exploring how students can write their way INto texts and use their writing (or others’) to learn more about literature. If you’re looking for new ways to use writing in a literature study or hoping to blend writing workshop into a course where it doesn’t seem like a […]
Student-Led Mentor Text Talks
We have officially arrived at the point in the year where panic ensues. The fourth marking period is here and there is still. so. much. to. do. And with the additional pressures of AP and state testing season, to say I’m feeling overwhelmed would be an understatement. The truth is that it’s when the going […]
Leaning into Difficult Topics: Toward an Informed Stance
After the Parkland school shooting in February, we witnessed something tangible shift in our discourse about school safety and gun regulation. Nationally, we saw and still see young people like the Parkland student survivors stand up and make their voices heard, including the CNN sponsored town hall with Florida politicians and a coordinated student-led walkout on […]
3 Tips for AP Lang Test Prep
Like most teachers, I’ve had a estranged relationship with the AP exam—and any standardized test. Do we have an obligation to prepare students for the “test”? I think so. But that obligation can never supplant the greater responsibility we bear to build our students’ literacy lives in an increasingly challenging world. Or put another way—do […]
Tackling IB Literature Papers I & II: Test Prep Without Test Rep
IB exams begin in early May, and I’m a teacher who loves to settle into a discussion when the ideas are good and they just keep coming, so if you asked my students to identify an external conflict in the drama of senior year of IB Literature, they would say “Ms. Jochman vs. the calendar.” […]
The SAT Essay: Preparing Students for the Test & Tips for Sealing the Deal
There aren’t any cheat sheets or formulas to help students do well on the SAT essay. But as it turns out, that might actually be a good thing.
Low stakes writing: How I reclaimed my sanity and unburied myself from grading.
My first year teaching AP Language, I was overwhelmed by the grading. The class culminates in a three hour exam; for two of those hours, students are writing three different essays. The amount of prep your average student needs to confidently bang out three essays asking them to do three different things in two hours? […]
A Test-Prep/Writing Workshop Loop
I acknowledge that learning to really craft writing on demand (rather than brain-dumping on demand) is an important skill for our students to cultivate. They will all engage in some kind of timed, test-like writing situation in their academic lives. And after that, they will still be asked to compose something on-the-spot in job interviews […]