Category: Articles

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Use Writing Activities to Bond with New Students

“One of the most important factors in student achievement is a positive connection with the teacher,” says teaching consultant Barbara Blackburn. “An easy way to bond with kids is through writing.” She suggests two activities students will enjoy and you will learn from.

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10 Steps to Closer Student Reading

What do your students need to succeed in close reading? Literacy consultant Nancy Boyles outlines 10 steps in this article, drawn from her recent Corwin book “Closer Reading.” She also includes five questions to consider before students get started.

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Smart Homework: How to Manage & Assess It

In his final article on smart homework, middle grades teaching expert Rick Wormeli suggests ways to assess take-home assignments and manage the steady flow of “product” that homework requirements generate. Bonus idea: Homework extension certificates.

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Teaching Media as Text: The Emmy Awards

Movies and television are recognized in the Common Core standards as forms of “text” that deserve serious study. Media literacy expert Frank W. Baker suggests ways that the Emmy Awards might serve as a way to engage students around familiar media.

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How to Create an Effective Teaching Plan

The most effective teachers know that if you want to have a great lesson, you need to plan a great lesson, say experts Todd Whitaker and Annette Breaux. Novice teachers will appreciate their handy planning checklist. Bonus download: How to overplan!

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How to Close Read the Language of Film

When students are challenged to “close read” a movie, they must not only learn how to deconstruct the story, they must also understand the many techniques that are used by filmmakers to create the total effect, says expert Frank Baker.

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Smart Homework: 13 Ways to Make It Meaningful

“I’ve been accumulating guiding principles for creating highly motivating homework assignments for many years,” writes expert Rick Wormeli. “Here are a baker’s dozen. Choose the ones most appropriate for students’ learning goals and your curriculum.”