Give Them Something To Talk About: Collaboration and Conversations with Reflection Squares

Like many of you, I am always looking for ways to engage students in conversation with each other.  After we finished reading Act II of Macbeth together last week, I wanted to give students a conversation structure to help them discuss their review questions as well as some bigger questions related to theme, what they … Continue reading Give Them Something To Talk About: Collaboration and Conversations with Reflection Squares

New: Upcoming Presentation at GCTE 2018

  After a long self-imposed hiatus from public speaking, I'm excited to be presenting a session in Athens, Georgia at the GCTE (Georgia Council of Teacher of English) in February.  Here is a preview of my session, Lift Every Voice and Sing: What Will Their Verses Be? Creating a Chorus of Student Conversations for Learning … Continue reading New: Upcoming Presentation at GCTE 2018

Using the Write-Around Structure as a Collaborative Anticipation Guide

Those of you who have followed my work in the past five years know I am a huge fan of Harvey Daniels' written conversation strategies.  Today I decided to take anticipation guide prompts/quotes and incorporate them into a write-around with my 12th ELA Honors seniors as a fun way to kick off our first day … Continue reading Using the Write-Around Structure as a Collaborative Anticipation Guide

Analyzing Literature with Graphic Essays

The Georgia Department of Education English Language Arts division has its very own Twitter account and has been hosting a weekly series this academic school year of "Twitter takeovers" from different schools and educators around the state to showcase and highlight best practices in English Language Arts instruction across K-12.   In late October, I saw … Continue reading Analyzing Literature with Graphic Essays

Scaffolding and Organizing Jigsaw Discussions

I've been experimenting this semester with different ways of encouraging meaningful academic talk between and among students.  I think giving students opportunities to engage in meaning making for themselves is important at all levels, and after reading Cris Tovani's wonderful No More Telling as Teaching, I have been more intentional about ways to help students … Continue reading Scaffolding and Organizing Jigsaw Discussions

Introducing Students to Ralph Waldo Emerson with Gallery Walks, Notebook Time, and Speed Dating Discussions

We are coming down the home stretch of the semester in a fast and furious manner.  Because time is limited, I am being selective in the pieces of literature I want my juniors to read as we explore the key transcendentalist writers in American literature.  I first introduced students to Emerson with a gallery walk … Continue reading Introducing Students to Ralph Waldo Emerson with Gallery Walks, Notebook Time, and Speed Dating Discussions

Fun with Text Structure: Paragraph Scramble Competition

About a month ago, I wrote about some rather sophisticated work my honors 12th ELA students did with deconstructing mentor texts.  However, not all students are ready to take on such a task.  How might you scaffold those learners and give them the experience but on a smaller scale and in a way that is … Continue reading Fun with Text Structure: Paragraph Scramble Competition

From Notebook Time to Student Talk and Share: It’s Easy as A-B-C, 1-2-3

Many of us like to incorporate share time for students to share what they are thinking and writing during notebook time.   I've shared some ways I encourage students to speak up or interact during this share time because I have found most are reluctant to do so.  Another strategy that is easy to do … Continue reading From Notebook Time to Student Talk and Share: It’s Easy as A-B-C, 1-2-3

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

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 … Continue reading Notebook Time + Research Metacognition=Vocabulary Yoga with Mari Andrew