Why Poetry Is So Great for Teaching Growth Mindset

When she first studied students to learn about how a growth mindset can be instilled in people, Carol Dweck gave kids puzzles.  After successfully completing the somewhat easy puzzles, one group of kids was praised for their effort while the other was praised for their talent at puzzles or for being “good at puzzles.”  Thus [...]

By | October 7th, 2016|Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy|0 Comments

And then, the Plot Mountain Blows its Lid Off!

You probably have encountered the plot mountain diagram: Exposition. Rising action. Climax. Falling action. Resolution.                   The plot mountain diagram is taught with short stories in English Language Arts at different grade levels, but I suspect that like most graphic organizers, the plot mountain diagram is over-taught, especially in [...]

By | October 6th, 2016|High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy|0 Comments

A Paul Bunyan Story Map Becomes a Lesson in Racism

As it often happens, I was looking for one thing (Google's expansion into creating maps and navigation tools) when I came upon another. I had clicked my way to a story map of the folk tale hero Paul Bunyan. I had followed a link to the Osher Library Map Cartographic Southern Maine University website and soon was down an [...]

Literature Circles in Middle School: Assignments & Assessment

Over the course of three articles, I have talked about doing Literature Circles with my 8th-grade students. For a list of the novels we used, check here. To read about the procedures I put in place for my students, check here. And for an explanation of how I used mini-lessons both as a full class [...]

Relearning and Unlearning Writing in Grades 6-12

To relearn is to "learn something again, as after having forgotten or neglected it," and after the five-seven weeks of summer break, students may have a fair amount of forgetting. That means teachers will begin each school year focused on student relearning. The German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus was a pioneer in the study of memory and learning which led to his discovery [...]

By | September 22nd, 2016|High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy|0 Comments