I See What You Mean

Think of English class and what comes to mind? Probably topics related to literature, poetry, and writing. Probably not graphs. Those are relegated to math and science classes. But why? Students encounter graphic information, or infographics, in nonfiction texts across disciplines, in textbooks, professional articles, newspapers, magazines, and online. Most state standards and Common Core […]


Heart-pounding Literature Apro-Poe for Halloween

In the realm of high school English classes, a commonplace trigger that prompts students to read classic literary pieces is usually teacher prodding. An exception to this exercise is the work of Edgar Allen Poe. His writing is brilliantly spooky, and often musters interest by the most indifferent of students. Poe’s multi-dimensional horror is a […]

Reading Nonfiction

Take the grunting and groaning out of reading nonfiction. Help students build their nonfiction reading muscles. Students often complain that reading nonfiction is unwieldy, unpleasant, difficult. Instead, many readers are drawn to fiction. Older ELA curricula support this by focusing on fiction and prose, and including only narrative nonfiction, such as biographies. Other nonfiction, including […]

The Process of Writing

A recent Vanderbilt study of 300 fourth, fifth, and sixth grade teachers reveals that teachers reported spending only about 15 minutes per day explicitly teaching writing.  Students spent just 25 minutes a day on writing activities that focused on worksheets and short answer responses. Children will write essays throughout their academic careers, to gain admission […]

Rocking the SAT Writing Section Essay

With three SAT test dates coming up (March 9, May 4, June 1), high school juniors feel the pressure while keeping up with regular busy academic and extracurricular schedules. Hopefully students have had the opportunity to explore the variety of free tutorials and practice tests offered online in order to prepare for this mega, almost […]

Wise Words: Preparing Students for the SAT Verbal Section

For an entire year, three letters pervade the minds of every high school junior: the S-A-T. This standardized test issued by the College Board plays a significant factor in determining entrance into various colleges, universities, and post-high school programs. With the recent tumultuous news of a “new” SAT verbal component, current eleventh grade students are […]

Gearing up for the SAT’s Writing Section

The SAT Writing test reinforces the importance of writing throughout a student’s education. This section requires students to develop a point of a view on an issue, and to use reasoning and evidence based on their own experiences, readings, or observations to support their ideas. The essay will be graded based on a student’s ability […]

D’Oh! Teaching with The Simpsons

What American television family has entertained, mocked, and shocked Americans for the past 23 years? The Simpsons! Few would have predicted when The Simpsons debuted on December 17, 1989, that it would endure to be the longest-running American sitcom in television history, and the longest-running show in primetime. The Simpsons—Bart, Marge, Homer, Lisa, and Maggie—may […]

Let’s Get Ready for some Football Fun

When Hank Williams Jr. penned the song “Are You Ready for Some Football”, he probably did not realize the impact of those words. The music gets you excited about your favorite football team. You root for a championship season and a shot at the playing in the Super Bowl. While baseball might be the considered […]

Teaching with WebQuests

How can teachers encourage critical and analytic thinking, develop problem-solving skills, and integrate technology into the curriculum? It might seem challenging, but a WebQuest provides students the opportunity to explore a topic while honing these critical skills. And, it’s fun! Webquest is an effective way to incorporate inquiry learning through technology into the classroom.  In […]

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