This school year will be my 20th year in the classroom. For the past 19 years, summer months have provided necessary respite—the quiet pause—I’ve needed to refuel for the coming school year. To refill my cup so that I can arrive well and whole for my students… Read More
All posts filed under “Reading Workshop”
Using Listicles for Literary Analysis
Whenever my students and I come to the end of any novel study, I’ve always struggled with finding that perfect and elusive “closing” activity—the lesson that can somehow do justice to our novel study before we move on to the next text. While we often… Read More
Self-Reflection, Identity as a Path to Critical Inquiry
My students have been studying argument for the last few weeks. We’ve covered most of the basics and a bit more: the rhetorical triangle, ethos, pathos, logos, classical v. Rogerian structures, induction v. deduction. syllogisms, and claims, evidence, and warrants a la the Toulmin model.… Read More
What do we hope for our student readers?
I‘ve been thinking and writing a lot lately about how our beliefs about students, learning, and teaching influence our practices. Part of this reflection has stemmed from my own instructional practice and how it has shifted—in subtle but also dramatic ways. How, for example, the nagging… Read More
How can we get students to re-read?
As I walk around the room, I notice students talking—generally enthusiastically—about the book we are reading. They have a few discussion questions on a handout to take notes, which they dutifully fill out. What I don’t notice are any books open on their desks. In… Read More
Making Thinking Visible: Initial Thoughts
I‘m currently reading Making Thinking Visible by Ritchhart, Church, and Morrison (2011). I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make thinking processes like writing and reading visible to students. Writing, for example, is part art but mostly craft. While some students think of good writing as… Read More
Slice of Life 23: Rethinking Time to Read
On my list of things to do this spring break was to plan out the next unit in both of my classes. In my AP Lang class, the time after spring break means a shift toward the AP exam. With only a few weeks left, I’m… Read More
Fostering a Reading/Writing Life Using Independent Reading
Presented on October 16, 2015, at the PA Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (PCTELA) Annual Conference, Harrisburg, PA. CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRESENTATION. Feel free to browse this site for additional materials and ideas. Much of the information shared in the presentation is… Read More
How I made time for reading . . . and had one of the best years ever (Part 3: A Weekly Framework)
With the first week of school behind us, the groundwork for our independent reading endeavors has been set. This week, my 9th grade students walked around my room, browsed the classroom library, and marked titles that they’re interested in reading. Through our scavenger hunt, students learned the ins and… Read More
How I made time for reading . . . and had one of the best years ever (Part 2: The Power of Booktalks)
Although I’d been doing some form of independent reading for several years, with each year better than the one before, I came into last school year determined to commit in a way I hadn’t before. I wanted to find a way to make students’ independent… Read More
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