Peeking at Twitter last Wednesday during the school day as teachers and reporters posted pictures of students during the National Walk Out, I couldn’t help but cry. Isn’t that always the way you feel when you are so, so sad and also when you see people you love do something extraordinary? But when I saw […]
We’ve been studying up on the idea of journalistic “angles”, in preparation for the writing of our big narrative journalism piece. It’s an unfortunate and important time to be examining such things with high school students. Where we’d normally examining several models about random topics and attempt to uncover the underlying purpose or persuasive efforts […]
Kelly Gallagher is well-known for a lot of reasons in our English teacher world. Killer writing activities. “Readicide”. Clark Kent vibe. (Allison and I once stalked him around a breakfast at NCTE. Remind me to tell you that story sometime.) But I would argue that the thing most frequently associated with Kelly Gallagher is the […]
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 […]
This piece explores ways to let your below-grade-level learners imagine and envision a pathway to their career aspirations all through the use of research writing.
One of the books that my AP Lang students read is Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist (the other is 1984; they make an interesting pair). I actually had the opportunity to meet Kleon briefly and hear him speak when he came to my school district as the keynote speaker for our in-service day earlier this month. […]
When my PLC revisited our Hot Take writing unit this year, we decided we needed to help students find a balance between voice, style, and evidence.
I love a giant leap. A big swing. I want to tell you that I carefully research, weigh, and plan each and every instructional decision that rolls forth from my desk. But I don’t. More often than not, I don’t think all that much. I come up with a wild “What if?”, jump, and see […]
Last year, I began to notice a curious but recurring pattern — students’ final papers lacked many of the elements we noticed in the mentor texts. It was as though students had forgotten that we studied the mentor texts for days and days and made grand lists of noticings. It was as though they had […]
Some thoughts on how to help our students become writers in modern contexts as well as traditional ones.