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 [...]

Six Books for Secondary Teachers on Teaching Students to Write

Writing across the curriculum is not a new idea. In fact, for over a decade we have seen professional development and training about how to incorporate more writing in more content areas other than ELA. The National Writing Project (NWP) has been a leader in the pursuit of bringing more and better writing instruction to [...]

By | 2017-05-12T11:52:30+00:00 May 1st, 2017|Instruction&Curriculum, Writing|0 Comments

The Struggles of Grading Writing: It’s the Process That Matters

I absolutely hate assigning a letter grade to student writing; it's depressing. Not because my students are bad writers because they aren't. It's that I hate to see all the mini-lessons, and drafting, revising, editing, conversations, and growing as writers reduced to one letter. A percentage in the grade book. As soon as that grade is [...]

By | 2017-05-09T22:21:32+00:00 April 24th, 2017|Instruction&Curriculum, Writing|4 Comments

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. [...]

Being a Teacher (but first, just being “Dad”)

About four years ago my wife called me at school and told me that our oldest daughter had gotten off the school bus crying. Walking up our 100 feet of driveway between the road and our door, she had her report card in one hand and was clearly trying to gather herself before getting to [...]