About Katie Sluiter

Katie Sluiter is currently an 8th English teacher in West Michigan. She has taught middle school, high school, and community college and has her Masters Degree in Teaching English. Her writing has been featured on BonBon Break, BlogHer, Today Moms, and The Washington Post. She has also been published in numerous anthologies, most recently Mothering Through The Darkness: Women Open Up About the Postpartum Experience. She is a member of and has presented at both NCTE and MCTE. She is a National Writing Project participant and has been published in the Language Arts Journal of Michigan multiple times.

Why Choice Matters: Reading as a Matter of Social Justice

Once upon a time I was a high school American Literature teacher who believed in the survey method of "these are the canonical works that all students should read before they leave high school." I spent years patting myself on the back for getting struggling readers to love The Crucible, Of Mice and Men, and The Great Gatsby. We [...]

By | August 25th, 2016|High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy|0 Comments

Lit Circles in the Middle: Procedures for Middle School Literature Circles

This is my second year trying Literature Circles with my students. The first time, two years ago, I had seniors. They were extremely motivated and self-sufficient. I gave them a checklist of things I wanted them to produce, I sat in on their discussions, and they went really well. This year I am trying it [...]

Using Literature Circles with YA Historical Fiction

As English teachers, we are constantly told that "choice matters" and "choice gives students a voice." Multiple experts (Kelly Gallagher, Penny Kittle, Donalyn Miller, Nancie Atwell, Harvey Daniels, just to name a few) have written multiple books and articles on the topic. But I think many teachers struggle with how to incorporate choice into a [...]

Love and Hate for the 5-Paragraph Essay

When I taught high school English, I worked hard to help my students avoid and move beyond the five-paragraph essay. In fact, I almost went crazy trying to pull better-than-five-paragraphs-essays out of my seniors. I was apt to tell students, "you are stuck in a five-paragraph box! GET OUT OF THE BOX!" I swore I would [...]