Annotation is an important skill for ELA students to master. But where do we start? When I rent a movie I’m a sucker for the bonus features. I recently watched “Mission Impossible: Fallout and then spent the next hour watching how all the stunts were done. I was amazed to
Category: teaching tips
I’m frequently asked by other people what books I teach. No one ever asks what poems I teach. There’s no question that language arts curriculum centers around novels and our classroom can get pretty novel heavy if we’re not careful. We all know about the need for non-fiction. But
Many students find annotation a chore. They do it for the teacher and not for their own benefit. They claim annotating makes them hate reading. I understand where they’re coming from. Annotation is difficult. It slows down the reading process. However, we can’t build active readers without it. We want
I begin class by with a short story. An extremely short story, in fact —it’s called “The Birthday Party” and it’s only three paragraphs long. Reading it with a class is an opportunity to see what my students do when they are asked to do a close read. We’ve trained
Teachers have been using online discussions for a while, way before the “flipped classroom” was even an idea. They can be a valuable tool for extending learning and allowing kids to interact outside the classroom. But how do you get the most out of online discussions? Here are some ideas.
For the most part, my students put up with poetry. Many of them don’t really like it. They find it difficult and it makes them feel dumb. And most of the common strategies that we use, like “SOAPS,” give them too much to manage and make them feel
What does a piece of writing need to do in order to be called a poem? This is the question I asked my seniors at the beginning of class this week. We had just finished up a poetry unit on lyric poetry and to finish off I wanted them
We all know that the best way to improve our students’ writing is by having them write more. However, it’s no fun to think about grading all of those extra papers, especially when you already have piles of stuff already to grade. The back log can get pretty unmanageable and
I don’t know a single teacher who would rather grade than teach (and if you do, give me your address. I’ll send you a large package with a self-addressed stamped envelope with some essays. Thanks!) However, grading essays, tests, and homework is part of the responsibility of being a teacher.