I frequently ask students to show their understanding of the various texts we read through a literary analysis paragraph or essay. I prefer this method of assessment over the traditional standardized, multiple choice tests to assess reading. Within a literary analysis, students are required to think deeply about a given text, then make inferences and provide evidence to support that inference. Not only does the skill of drafting a quality literary analysis response support students in high school English classes, but will essentially define much of their English coursework in college.Read More
Engage secondary students in a meaningful real-world writing activity at the end of the school year - or any time! Writing thank you letters is an important life skill, but it's becoming overshadowed by emails and text messages. Teach middle and high school students about how to spread love and kindness by encouraging others through writing.Read More
Being able to decipher the tone of a piece of writing is crucial to being able to decipher the thematic message of a text. This is absolutely true for analyzing poetry.Read More
I yearned for a way to practice skills such as evaluating the sufficiency of evidence and seeing multiple perspectives on a topic. I wished to help them in creating rich and effective arguments with elements of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Finally, I needed to find a way to help students in creating effective counter-arguments that actually refute the argument as opposed to simply changing the subject.Read More
Understanding the many nuances of great writing can seem like a daunting challenge for teachers and students alike. As educators, we are aware of the strong correlation between good reading skills and good writing skills. This is because students are absorbing the author’s craft as they explore amazing works of literature. This knowledge has given rise to the popularity of mentor texts within the ELA classroom.Read More
I love allowing students to choose their own issue for this argument essay, but that can be difficult for students who do not immediately know their topic or issue. I have found two techniques that really get students thinking about the issues that may resonate with them prior to their research and drafting stages of writing.
1. The Chart Paper Brainstorm and Gallery Walk
2. The Cube of PerspectiveRead More
Teachers know. The end of the year is wild. Testing is over and everyone is ready to sleep in, go on vacations, hang out at the swimming pool and just be free! Summer is just around the corner and yet it is so insanely far away!Read More
If there’s one thing I don’t want to do, it’s sit my students down for a three hour matching and multiple choice exam at the end of the year. After nine months of creative units and showcase projects, this type of finale wouldn't be consistent with my course or my goals as a teacher.