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.


Friends: Here are three ways to get your copy of Using Grammar to Improve Writing: Amazon eBook HERE. (Only $3.99!!! It’s a steal!!!) Amazon pre-order the paperback HERE. (Still a bargain at $24.99!) BookShop order the paperback HERE. (Ditto) In … Continue reading

Posted in Grammar, Using Grammar to Improve Writing BOOK | Tagged , | Leave a comment


Dear friends, I am thrilled to inform you that my latest book, Using Grammar to Improve Writing: Recipes for Action, is NOW AVAILABLE on Amazon!!! To order a paperback or eBook, please click HERE. (Please note: The eBook is available … Continue reading

Posted in Analyzing the Common Core Standards, Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Grammar, Instruction, Language Standards, Lesson-planning, Paragraph writing, Resources, Using Grammar to Improve Writing BOOK, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reality Check Podcast: My Conversation with Jeanne Allen

Hi, all– I was recently interviewed by Jeanne Allen, founder and CEO of the Center for Ed Reform, on her podcast, Reality Check.  It was a fascinating conversation!!!  Here’s the link: Cheers, ST

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A GREAT RESOURCE: The ELL Teacher’s Toolbox

Lately I seem to keep bumping into people who ask about resources for English Language Learners, so I was excited to get a copy of The ELL Teacher’s Toolbox: Hundreds of Practical Ideas to Support Your Students by Larry Ferlazzo … Continue reading

Posted in ELL students, English Language Learners, ESL instruction, Resources | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

PARCC ELA Prep Checklist

As a former high school English teacher who loves literature and loves to write, I do not believe in doing test prep 24/7. I believe tests are a genre, the same way that drama is a genre and poetry is … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment(s), PARCC, Resources, Test Prep, TLC Website Resources | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

An Argument for “Quote Lasagna”

Although I’ve been a longtime proponent of teaching “quote sandwiches” to help students write effective paragraphs (see HERE and most recently HERE), lately I’ve begun to notice that students who use this approach (context, quote/evidence, explanation) seem to overemphasize the … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, Context, Evidence, Explanation, Literacy and the Common Core BOOK, Open-ended Response Writing, Paragraph writing, Quote Lasagna, Quote Sandwiches, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PARCC Releases 2017 Items!

Apparently PARCC recently released 2017 ELA materials. To be honest, I’m not sure when they did this because I have not received their newsletter in months (in fact, I’m not sure they still send out newsletters). So I found out … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment(s), Literary Analysis Writing, Narrative Writing, PARCC, Research Writing, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Please help me present…

Friends, I’ve submitted a proposal to the 2018 National Charter Schools Conference, and I need your vote to help me secure a slot to present! IT ONLY TAKES 30 SECONDS AND WILL MEAN A LOT TO ME. To vote, visit … Continue reading

Posted in Combatting learned helplessness, Professional Development | Tagged , | 4 Comments

ANNOUNCING: New TLC “Argument vs Evidence” page!

I’ve just launched a new page on the TLC Website: “Argument vs Evidence“! This page curates my online resources for teaching students how to use “Argument vs. Evidence, Steps 1-6” to write more clearly. The TLC Blog posts explain the … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Literacy and the Common Core BOOK, Literary Analysis Writing, Paragraph writing, Research Writing, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shared Reading Needs to Have a Clear Purpose

  [This post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb on January 8, 2018.] Recently while conducting an observation, I saw a teacher direct students to sit in pairs and read an article together. I kept waiting for further … Continue reading

Posted in Close Reading, Comprehension, Questioning, Reading, Shared Reading, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment