Articles of the Week1.3.2018

Faster Feedback: Creating Shortcuts in Google Docs has a GREAT tip allowing for more efficient feedback! Thanks, Catlin Tucker!

3 Teacher Stances for Writing Conferences by Rebekah O’Dell breaks down three different approaches to writing conferences with suggestions for starting conversations. I have had 9 writing conferences this week and cannot stress how much more effective these are as opposed to simply giving comments on essays.

I am always looking for different ways and different words to explain and 3 Ways to Help Students Write a Better Thesis Statement from the Daring English Teacher provides just that. I am using this in class today with my 9th graders to help them with their thesis statements without giving them a formula to follow.
Independent Writing Time: Beyond the Fundamentals of Writing Workshop from Melanie Meehan at the Two Writing Teachers blog offers some great reminders and things to consider for writing workshop – especially this time of year when I am just trying to survive. These help anchor me.
Google Classroom Book Club: How to Engage Your Student Readers Online by Emily Aierstok has some great ideas for setting up an online book club through Google classroom. My freshmen will start sharing about their choice reading through this format after break.
Poem of the Week: Quarantine by Boland. I have shared this before but oh – this is true love. “Let no love poem ever come to this threshold.”

Allusions that Allude

Write This, Not That_ Allusions

I remember when Mrs. Roby, my high school English teacher, told our class on the first day of junior English that we would never understand literature until we had a firm grasp of allusions and proceeded to assign of the New Testament and Proverbs for reading; it was due the next Monday. How could she possibly expect us to read the New Testament in a week? But the following Monday we were testing on our reading – the entire New Testament and Proverbs. The next week we proceeded to read Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, in a week, and were tested on that as well. And now, Mrs. Roby claimed, we were ready to read and understand literature. … KEEP READING

AOW 2.7.18

Articles of the Week1.3.2018
Multiple Types of Assessments with Whole Class Texts by Julie Swinehart has some great ideas if you’re stuck in an assessment rut. I especially loved the graded video discussion and will be trying this soon.
How Do We Give Meaningful Feedback to Student Writers – the trend in assessing writing continues to move from teachers editing writing to coaching students to better writing. I especially like the Praise, Question, Wish strategy (similar to Glow and Grow).
Promoting Community in the Workshop Classroom from Three Teachers Talk offers some great ideas for celebrating the reading lives of students.
Janet Nayer has pulled together a list of  Podcasts, so if you’re needing a break from grading or a fresh voice in education to listen to, try one of these.
Humble – Boldness – it’s no secret I’m a Dave Stuart, Jr., and this article by him, though non-ELA, is such a good reminder of why we do what we do and how we should approach it.
Poem of the Week: Rain Effect by Mary Ruefle


A Collaborative Approach to Improve Writing

Teaming Up for Good Writing

AP Literature students are challenged to read a  fresh passage, determine the task, formulate an insightful argument, and write a thoughtful, coherent first-draft essay in 40 minutes.  This is a daunting proposition for all students, but for those students who struggle with time pressures, AP timed-writing can be overwhelming. One way to help all students develop the requisite skills to be successful on the AP exam is the group timed-writing. My students recently wrote a group timed writing based on Oscar Wilde’s play Lady Windermere’s Fan, and as you can see, they were pretty excited about the process!KEEP READING

Articles of the Week 1.31.18

Articles of the Week1.3.2018
Do you use Writing Checklists? My freshmen are starting a writing checklist today and will be adding to it the rest of the semester. This article provides practical ideas for creating and using them.
Teaching Literary Approaches in the Classroom lists specific stories to go with critical lens. The more our students recognize patterns, the easier for them to make meaning of texts.
Breaking Through the Midyear Slump provides several ideas to mix things up in the classroom during these long winter weeks.
Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing links to several posts centered on NCTE’s beliefs on the teaching of writing. There’s tons of great info and ideas here.

I am not familiar with EdPuzzle but looks like a good option if you’re wanting to do a flipped lesson. I’d love to hear from anyone who has used this about its functionality.

Poem of the Week: White Eyes by Mary Oliver

Ideas to Push Learning Forward When Motivation is Lacking

Breaking through theMid-year Slump

The mid-year slump. That summarizes how teachers of year-long classes feel in the late January to early February time period. We’re settled back into a routine from our holiday break (even though my fellow southerners had a few extra snow days last week), the weather is bleak, and energy is lacking. The year is no longer new yet we’re not close enough to feel the excitement of graduation. We are in the mid-life crisis of AP Lit (there is no personal parallel here). Here are a few ideas to bring some energy to your classes until spring kicks in and the adrenaline for the finishing kick to the exam takes over. … KEEP READING

Articles of the Week 1.24.18

Articles of the Week1.3.2018
Happy Wednesday! Here’s to a great week of instruction in the classroom.
Citations and Citing Your Work (Common Craft Video) from Richard Byrne is a good resource for students to understand what needs to be cited and what’s common knowledge. (The video is approximately 4 minutes).

Literature Circle 2.0: Technology Infused Book Clubs in the Digital Age offers specific strategies for using technology to encourage collaboration in literature circles as opposed to having students working alone on a device.

Moving from Feedback to Feedforward posted on Cult of Pedagogy keeps teachers asking the right questions: what is the most effective type of feedback for my students? how can feedback move students to growth? what type of feedback is most effective? when do I offer feedback? Lots of good food for thought here.

Paragraphs Give Us a Break from Teach Write provides strategies for helping students know when to begin new paragraphs.

Encouraging a Love of Reading in a Culture of Assessment – I guess this falls under my weekly article to remind us that yes while we teach students how to read and build skill, we must also do what we can to provide students the opportunity to read for enjoyment and foster a love for reading.

Poem of the Week: I’ll offer a few instead of one. Here’s a collection of winter poems with links to the poem. Enjoy and stay warm!

Back to Basics – Essay Writing

The AP Lit Essay Primer

I don’t know about you, but I usually end the first semester somewhat in a frenzy, jump into the holidays without (rightly) thinking about work, and begin the second semester with thoughts of regrouping and refocusing. Enter the #aplitchat two weeks ago which focused on basic essay components; this proved to be just what I needed to help me refocus and think about what it truly important in terms of writing the AP essay. The responses have been summarized by questions (here’s a list of all of the answers) and some application activities follow. As an added bonus, a list of favorite winter poems from our community is at the bottom of the post; I definitely see this list being a great resource for a class activity on a cold day.  Now to essay writing – KEEP READING

Articles of the Week – 1.17.18

Articles of the Week1.3.2018

One of my goals for the year was to make this site better by posting five articles to the site every Wednesday related to ELA instruction. Imagine my dismay last Friday when I realized I had failed to post on just the second Wednesday of the month; needless to say, I am still trying to settle into the rhythm of the new year.

What’s Going on in This Graph? from The Learning Network at the New York Times is a new monthly feature to help students read graphs and info pictures. I see this as having potential to pair with both fiction and nonfiction pieces.

Why Giving Feedback is Trickier than It Seems from MindShift has lots of food for thought for teachers and lots of classroom application. I like this article because it doesn’t say “this is the way to give feedback” but instead gives considerations.
9 Misconceptions about Student-Centered Writing Instruction (Heinemann) explains the myths associated with giving students choice in their writing.
Aiding Reading Comprehension with Post-its from Edutopia this week details a strategy of using sticky notes and writing prompts to improve reading comprehension.
3 Ways to Make the Writing Process More Authentic by Katie Martin is an easy read that helps teachers keep writing from being formulaic.
Poem of the Week: Winter Poem by Nikki Giovanni
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