Author Archives: theliteracycookbook

About theliteracycookbook

In addition to this blog, I am the creator of THE LITERACY COOKBOOK Website ( and ONLY GOOD BOOKS Blog (, and the author of THE LITERACY COOKBOOK: A Practical Guide to Effective Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Instruction (Jossey-Bass, 2012), LITERACY AND THE COMMON CORE: Recipes for Action (Jossey-Bass, 2014), and USING GRAMMAR TO IMPROVE WRITING: Recipes for Action (BookBaby, 2018). Check out my Website for more information about my consulting work.

Feedback That Saves Time and Improves Student Writing

[This post, drawn largely from Using Grammar to Improve Writing: Recipes for Action, originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb.] One of my deepest regrets about my teaching career is how much time I wasted on grading papers. I … Continue reading

Posted in Rubrics, TLC Website Resources, Using Grammar to Improve Writing BOOK, Writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A New Page on The Literacy Cookbook Website: “English Language Learners”!!!

Friends: In response to popular demand, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve added a new page to The Literacy Cookbook Website: “English Language Learners.” (It appears under the “Reading” section.) This page is a work in progress, so if you … Continue reading

Posted in ELL students, English Language Learners, ESL instruction, TLC Website Resources | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


Friends— I apologize for the shameless self-promotion, but I’m pleased to share Susan Chenelle’s recent review of my book, which originally appeared on the NJ Council of Teachers of English Blog. Susan is the Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction at … Continue reading

Posted in Combatting learned helplessness, Grammar, Professional Development, Resources, Using Grammar to Improve Writing BOOK | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


Hi, all— I’m pleased to report that I’ll be presenting twice in October at events that are open to the public: Oct. 11: “Using Grammar to Improve Writing” at NJ Charter Public Schools Association Annual Conference in Newark, NJ (Click … Continue reading

Posted in Events, Grammar, Presentations, Professional Development, Using Grammar to Improve Writing BOOK | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Cool Resource: C-SPAN!

Until very recently, I thought of C-SPAN as merely a government cable channel, a place to see the ongoing proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. So: ho hum. Not my favorite channel. But it turns out … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, DBQ Approach, Lesson-planning, Nonfiction, PARCC, Research, Research Writing, Resources, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CURRICULUM RESOURCES & LINKS: A Page from The Literacy Cookbook Website

If you already subscribe to The Literacy Cookbook Website, you’re probably aware of the thousands of resources available. In addition to the Website’s 1,200-plus field-tested Word documents that you can download to use instantly with your students, I’ve also curated … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, PARCC, Recommended Reading, Resources, TLC Website Resources, Uncategorized, Unit-planning | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Techniques and Tools for Vocabulary Instruction

When it comes to vocabulary instruction, teachers have many, many questions. Here are just a few: “How can I fit vocabulary in with everything else I have to do? How should I pick the words? What should my quizzes look … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment(s), Curriculum, Demo Lesson, ELA Common Core Standards, Instruction, Lesson-planning, TLC Website Resources, Vocabulary, Vocabulary in Context | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Every once in a while, I come across a Website that has so many resources on it that I am flabbergasted and not even sure how to describe it. PBS Learning Media is such a Website. No matter what grade … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, DBQ Approach, ELA Common Core Standards, PARCC, Professional Development, Research, Research Writing, Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Incorporate Grammar into Your Curriculum

As we approach summer—or what I like to call “curriculum writing season”—we have an opportunity to reflect and improve upon the work we’ve done this year. Writing or revising curriculum enables us to strengthen instruction. To that end, I’d like … Continue reading

Posted in Analyzing the Common Core Standards, Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Grammar, Professional Development, Using Grammar to Improve Writing BOOK, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NEW CURRICULUM RESOURCE: Success Academy’s MS Literacy Curriculum

Success Academy, a high-performing charter school network which won the 2017 Broad Prize, (awarded annually to a charter school operator that demonstrates “outstanding academic outcomes among low-income students and students of color”), has just released its middle school literacy curriculum … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Resources | Tagged , , | Leave a comment