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Why Your Students Need Creative Writing (And You Need it More Than They Do)

By |2016-11-01T13:46:11+00:00August 9th, 2016|Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy|

I have taught the most driven, elite-college bound students, and I have taught students who barely squeaked through their graduation requirements.  I have taught students for whom English was their favorite class of the day, and I have taught students who let out a big sigh every day when they walked through the door.  I [...]

Making the Best Persuasive Argument Does Not Mean Writing an Essay

By |2016-11-01T13:55:12+00:00January 6th, 2016|Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy, Opinion|

The Best Persuasive Argument of 2015 was not presented in the form of the standard five paragraph essay. Instead, the best persuasive argument made this year featured 1000 musicians playing the song “Learn to Fly" in a field in order to persuade the rock band Foo Fighters to play a concert in a small town in Italy. The entire project was [...]

Some Advice on Writing College Essays

By |2016-11-01T13:59:32+00:00September 14th, 2015|Featured, High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy|

  The SAT and ACT are taken, scores received. The transcripts bundled with a plethora of application pages.  The FAFSA and other financial information finally finished after hours of telephone calls, online services, old receipts and bank statements gathered. Yes, one of the most exciting and stressful elements of senior year is  the college application [...]

Surviving those Five Stages of Writing Curriculum

By |2016-11-01T14:03:03+00:00June 11th, 2015|High School, High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy|

Who wants to rewrite curriculum this summer? (Anyone? Anyone?…..) Let’s be honest. Writing  or rewriting curriculum is a ongoing process that, while necessary, is not always seen as the most positive experience. Moreover, the suggestion of spending summer days writing curriculum (paid or unpaid) may trigger range of emotions, some strangely akin to the model offered by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On [...]

Good Writing vs. Great Writing: Leading the Way

By |2016-11-01T14:04:16+00:00April 27th, 2015|Featured, High School, High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Literacy|

Have you ever been frustrated between grading pieces of writing that were good (had all the "bones," all the structures, all the requirements), and grading really great, well-written, interesting pieces of writing? Both had all the meat, but only one had real substance. As an English Language Arts teacher, the question has been raised in my mind numerous times, [...]

Digital Writing Text: "Snow Fall-The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek"

By |2016-11-01T14:07:42+00:00February 3rd, 2015|Common Core, High School, High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Literacy|

“Snow Fall” by John Branch The blizzard raging outside recalls the looping GIF of drifting snow that opens the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times feature story, “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.” As a model text, this example of digital writing is the kind of writing that we should [...]