Read All About It: International Literacy Day

Imagine a life without reading: job and college applications, the comics or sports page, birthday cards, bus schedules, Facebook pages, prescription bottles. Your opportunities, recreation, and daily habits would all be different. For those who can read, it may seem automatic, like breathing. However, becoming literate is a lifelong process that begins when you are […]

Test Stress Remedy: Laughter!

According to the article “Laughter is the Best Medicine: The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter”: Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and […]

Mastering Homophones

English is fool of homophones—too words that sound alike butt are spelled differently and half different meanings. Plug in the wrong word and confusion rains.  The solution is often practice, practice, practice. But this knead knot be unpleasant. Homophones kneed not feel like a yolk around students’ necks. A pull of online lists and games will […]

He Said, She Said: The Art of Classroom Conversation

Jack and Shelly are working together on a math story problem. As they talk to each other, they debate whether to use addition or subtraction. They search for key words and decide the best approach to take. Their discussion encourages both students to apply critical thinking for problem solving. As teachers, we know that learning […]

Play Ball: Including Sports Writing in Your Class

Sports writing is a genre that is often benched in English class. It deserves playing time. Do you have some students who are not fans of reading? Surprise and excite them by introducing a genre study on a topic often ignored in English class: sports writing.  Sports writing may surprise you also. Yes, it includes […]

Growing a Poetry Tree

“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree” is from the poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer. Imagine growing a Poetry Tree in your classroom to investigate and celebrate poetry. Cultivate the soil by studying the elements of poetry, fertilize your plant by examining poetry, and admire your Poetry Tree […]

What do you Know? – Assessing Student Learning

In some quarters, “assessment” has become a tarnished term, associated with ‘No Student Left Behind’ and fears of teaching to the test. But assessments help to understand how students are learning, to identify accomplishments worth celebrating, and to recognize gaps in knowledge or skills. Re-visit the types of assessments and explore some interactive, online formative […]

Put a Little Poetry in your Life (or your Pocket)

When is the last time you read a poem? It is easy to overlook the genre; poems are often so short they could fit on slips of paper, tucked in a pocket like a secret. Novels carry the weight of pages, non-fiction texts the importance of facts. To some, poetry seems insignificant, but poetry expresses […]

Try This: Four Sites to Explore

Mining the Internet can be dirty business. Who among us has not spent hours searching for academically sound, interactive, and relevant sites? It can be difficult to identify the worthwhile sites, and to stay on track. That dirty work is no longer necessary thanks to one site that digs for us and then challenges us […]


Word Power: A Wealth of Words at Your Fingertips

Jonathan is reading about Amelia Earhart and comes to the word “plane.” He understands the meaning of this word, but later reads that some people thought Earhart was a “plain” woman. Jonathan thinks that means she was nicknamed the “airplane lady.” While the two words sound alike, you explain to him that “plain” and “plane” […]

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