Reading Response Prompts for Nonfiction

In March, I shared how I create reading response prompts for my 8th grade ELA students. Since then, I have gotten inquiries from other content areas about what sorts of prompts are appropriate for nonfiction texts. Many of my students choose to read nonfiction, but there are times when we all read nonfiction together. Other [...]

Conversations About Betsy DeVos

As one of the writers for The Educator’s Room, I participate with all the authors in regular conversations. We share ideas, talk about pedagogy, discuss writing topics, and sometimes even debate politics. That has been especially true in our newly politically-charged world that is so prevalent lately. Our current political discussion (a proper word since [...]

Have You Tried Socratic Seminars Yet?

Have you jumped into Socratic Seminars in your classroom yet? If not, I've got a few easy tips to help you get started - including a 'real life' demo video! If you're already using Socratic Seminar, maybe I've got a way you can snazz yours up and take your students' thinking a little bit deeper. [...]

Poverty, Parents, Homework and Kitchen Tables

Poverty is more than just an excuse Policymakers and mainstream education reformers have been chronically unwilling to acknowledge education research and evidence indicating the impact of poverty on school children and the need for social and economic reforms. Yet at the same time they demand attention to and respect for the test data they believe [...]

Text Evidence in the Common Core: There Are Such Things as Facts

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were released in 2009. They are now seven years old. I will admit that I was not initially enthusiastic about the English Language Arts literacy standards.  I felt they were heavy in non-fiction…(no, wait.. heavy in “informational texts”). The CCSS suggested a typical student should have a reading diet filled with informational texts [...]