When we give in and teach students to “write for the test,” Brent Gilson says, we force them into a writing box that many kids come to hate. Learn how he’s reinventing his writing instruction so students discover their truth, expressed through their own words and ideas.
Tagged: English language arts
Meaning well and teaching well are not the same – a painful truth that ELA teacher Dina Strasser’s exponential learning about race has helped her realize. She uses the story of her unit based on Gary Paulsen’s “Nightjohn” to underscore the difference between intent and impact.
Pairing English Language Arts classrooms with appropriate technology can be “down right difficult,” says author and middle grades ELA teacher Jeremy Hyler. He recommends experimenting with no more than two digital tools at a time and shares a pair of his own favorites.
Why do middle school students study The Great Depression? What do we want them to learn and understand about this period in American history? Media literacy expert Frank Baker offers a wealth of teaching ideas tied to the novel The Grapes of Wrath and its film treatment.
For many students, grammar is mostly about memorizing rules and having teachers correct their mistakes. Author Sean Ruday’s Bachelor Grammar activity helps them see how authors use grammatical concepts purposefully to make a piece of writing as strong as possible.
With its ready-made product menus and immediate applicability, Differentiating Instruction with Menus is one of those books that won’t gather dust, as teachers will turn to it for quick reference throughout the school year, says ELA and gifted facilitator Kim Rensch.
Anna Roseboro’s Teaching Writing in the Middle School can serve as a practical handbook to support the work of beginning English Language Arts teachers. Literacy coach Cynthia McKenzie says those new teachers will find many helpful ideas in the year-long guide.
Leila Christenbury and Ken Lindblom pack the voices of teachers and students, activities, stories, recommended reading, and references into the journey they lay out for new and novice ELA teachers. Forty-year veteran Linda BIondi recommends their book highly.
If bibliotherapy is an effective way to ease the growing pains of adolescents, writes 7th grade teacher Laurie Lichtenstein, The Outsiders is “the gold standard of therapy in middle grades literature.” It’s the only whole class novel she teaches each year.
Ariel Sacks says teachers who read The Flexible ELA Classroom will get to know “an enthusiastic, skilled teacher” effectively applying “many of the best current teaching trends.” Amber Chandler’s practical, student centered ideas include flexible differentiation, PBL infusion, family involvement and more.