Tackling Complex Texts with Think Tank Groups, Silent Gallery Walks, Noticings, and Reflections

Last week, four sections (two Honors Level and two CP) of my 11th ELA took on the challenge of deconstructing our reading of an excerpt of Thomas Paine's The Crisis, Number 1 as we explore examples of persuasive texts across time periods and around themes of resilience and resistance. Our primary essential questions included: How [...]

Notebook Time + Research Metacognition=Vocabulary Yoga with Mari Andrew

For the last few months, I have been inspired by the ways Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O'Dell have used the art of Mari Andrew with their students for notebook time. https://twitter.com/AllisonMarchett/status/911935054523326465 https://twitter.com/RebekahODell1/status/898150537421623297   I've already used one illustration as a notebook prompt with my seniors earlier this year, and the students loved her work.  With [...]

Deconstructing Mentor Texts for Our Own Writing: Research-Based Informational Writing In the Wild

My seniors have completed their research on their self-selected topics related to the Future of Work (see blog for previous posts); we have gone deep with our inquiry work as we have worked on this for the most part of the first nine weeks of the semester while sprinkling in some other writing studies and [...]

Notebook Time: From Individual Writing to Think Tank Collaboration and Sharing

We are wading into our next unit and looking at a variety of essential questions across different time periods and genres in my 11th English Language Arts classes.  To set us up for work we'll be doing with some selections from Thomas Paine in the next few days, last week we began with our latest [...]

Visualizing Our Research with Sticky Notes

My seniors, who have been researching  their self-selected topics under the umbrella of "The Future of Work," have completed their first round of research.  We had roughly four days (we meet for 90 minute blocks) to delve into our research guide.   Students formed Birds of Feather groups by interest and designed their research questions [...]

Seesaw: A Space for Sharing, Community Building, Feedback, and Formative Assessment

For the last year, I have been wanting to try Seesaw, but the timing was not right until last week.  Seesaw is a digital portfolio where students can "capture their learning" in any form.  The Seesaw "Learn More" page says that Seesaw "empowers students to independently document what they are learning at school" and that students [...]

Notebook Invitations, Annotation Statements, and Sketchnoting for Introducing and Navigating Challenging Nonfiction

Like many of you, I have found Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" to be a challenging text for students in terms of both content and vocabulary.  Most 11th grade teachers find this be an especially tedious text to teach; several of you on Twitter shared it has been a struggle [...]

Reader’s Theatre for Introducing Informational Content: It’s Not Just for K-5!

Way back in the day of my graduate school days at the University of Georgia, I took a Folk Literature class with Dr. Linda DeGroff as part of my coursework (sadly, Dr. DeGroff passed away last year).   It was in this course I was introduced to the joys of Reader's Theatre.  You can find [...]

Notebook Invitations, a Carousel Walk, and 3-2-1 Reflections: A Living KWL and Formative Assessment for Instructional Design

For roughly two and half weeks in August, my seniors have been mucking around and exploring topics related to the future of work through reading frenzies, reading rumbles, birds of feather groups formation with compass points discussion and question planning, and a philosophical chairs discussion. The Writer's Notebook Invitation This past Wednesday, August 30, we [...]

Gettin’ Sticky With It: Post-It Notes for Formative Assessment, Sharing, Meaning Making, and Noticing

During the week of August 14-21,we read and discussed together the following Native American selections in all of my 11th Language Arts classes: "The Earth on Turtle’s Back" "When Grizzlies Walked Upright" from The Iroquois Constitution During that week we engaged in a good bit of collaborative work with station work and partner created Venn [...]