Monthly Archives: January 2013

COMMON CORE Online Resources: UPDATE 1-27-13

The online resources targeting the Common Core Standards seem to be multiplying daily!!! THE COMMON CORE CONVERSATION provides links to DOZENS of other Websites dealing with the Common Core, including some of the usual suspects such as: Common Core State … Continue reading

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SAMPLE COMMON CORE UNIT: “Persuasion Across Time and Space”

If you’re looking for sample Common Core-aligned units, here is one for grades 7-8. As Ed Week noted: called “Persuasion Across Time and Space,” the five-lesson unit is the first major classroom resource produced by the Understanding Language team, a group of English-language-learner experts … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Persuasion, Resources, TLC Website Resources, Unit-planning | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


If I am honest, I never really thought about WHY we use metaphors until the day one of my colleagues came across the hall and asked for help.  Her 10th-graders were reading Hamlet, and she’d asked them to identify uses … Continue reading

Posted in Metaphors, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


If you haven’t seen it yet, Maddie Witter’s new book, READING WITHOUT LIMITS, is worth checking out.  Maddie was a founding teacher of KIPP Infinity Charter School, one of the top-performing middle schools in New York City. At KIPP Infinity, … Continue reading

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Approaches to the Common Core: HOW vs. WHY*

Questions beginning with “How” and “Why” can elicit inferences and explanations, so they provide essential triggers for comprehension and expression.  The problem is that although they seem like simple words, students often conflate them. I figured this out one day … Continue reading

Posted in How vs. Why, Questioning, Rubrics, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

RPM Objectives: Why Not “RPMS”?

I was halfway through delivering a workshop on RPM objectives one day when a very smart teacher in the audience raised her hand and said, “Shouldn’t it be ‘RPM…S’?  We keep talking about how the objectives need to be specific.  … Continue reading

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Approaches to the Common Core: STILL MORE THOUGHTS ON ANNOTATION

Sitting in a classroom with fourth-graders today as their teacher led a discussion about how and why we annotate, it occurred to me that this is how I think about annotation: You walk into a grocery store and start pushing … Continue reading

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