Category Archives: Annotation

For my AP Language and Composition Friends: SOAPSTONE Organizer

I’m spending this week trying to learn more about AP tests (at a conference organized by KIPP, thanks!), and in the AP Language and Composition section, we had a fascinating discussion about the use of SOAPSTONE, an acronym for a type … Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, AP Language and Composition, Close Reading, Comprehension, Evidence, Explanation, Inference, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Resources, Test Prep, TLC Website Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Common Core and PARCC Prep: More Reading Resources!

One of our biggest challenges in preparing students to meet and exceed the ELA Common Core Standards is finding appropriate texts as we revise curriculum. Here are two more Websites that offer helpful resources: Achievethecore.org is “full of free content … Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, Argument, Assessment(s), Close Reading, Comprehension, Curriculum, DBQ Approach, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Lesson-planning, Main Idea, Nonfiction, PARCC, Professional Development, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, Resources, Test Prep, Text Selection, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PARCC Prep: A Better Way to Teach Compare and Contrast

[The following post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb on January 7, 2015:] In the PARCC literary analysis task, students must closely analyze two literary texts—often focusing on their themes or points of view—and compare and contrast these … Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, Assessment(s), Compare and Contrast, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Literary Analysis Writing, Organizing an Essay, PARCC, Reading, Reading Literature, Resources, Test Prep, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

PARCC Prep: Literary Analysis Writing Task

[The following post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb, on Dec. 16, 2014:] As we all strive to help our students meet and exceed the Common Core Standards, one reality we also have to prepare them for is … Continue reading

Posted in Analyzing the Common Core Standards, Annotation, Assessment(s), ELA Common Core Standards, Lesson-planning, Literary Analysis Writing, MiddleWeb, Narrative Writing, Organizing an Essay, PARCC, Questioning, Reading, Reading Literature, Research Writing, Resources, Rubrics, Test Prep, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

PARCC Prep: How to Approach the Narrative Writing Task

While some folks might gloss over preparation for the PARCC Narrative Writing Task (thinking perhaps, Students know the elements of short stories and they know how to write a story; this should be relatively easy for them), this task is … Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, Assessment(s), Character Analysis, Genre, Lesson-planning, Narrative Writing, PARCC, Reading Literature, Resources, Test Prep, TLC Website Resources, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

PARCC Preparation: Tackling the Research Writing Task

In many schools where I work, they have opted to divide the responsibilities for mastering the PARCC writing tasks: the ELA teachers own the narrative and literary analysis tasks; the Social Studies/Science teachers own the research writing tasks. This post … Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, Argument, Assessment(s), DBQ Approach, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Genre, Main Idea, Media Literacy, Nonfiction, PARCC, Research Writing, Resources, Rubrics, Skimming, Test Prep, Thesis Statements, Topic Sentences, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

HOW TO PREPARE STUDENTS FOR PARCC WRITING TASKS

If you teach in a state that uses PARCC assessments, then you have probably already reviewed the PARCC Practice Tests, so you know that the writing tasks look like this: 6th grade ELA:LITERARY ANALYSIS TASK: Today, you will read and think … Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, Assessment(s), DBQ Approach, Literary Analysis Writing, Narrative Writing, PARCC, Research Writing, Resources, Test Prep, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SOCRATIC SEMINARS MADE EASY*

One terrific method for training students in how to conduct intelligent conversations is Socratic Seminars.  Students learn how to use effective habits of discussion, explain their ideas, and support them with evidence (Take THAT, Common Core Standards!).  Different educators have … Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, Argument, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Persuasion, Rubrics, Socratic Seminars, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

OPEN-ENDED RESPONSE Care Package

As much as we would like to know what the PARCC Assessments are really going to look like, this year all we have to go on is what our State Department of Education tells us.  And in my home state … Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, Assessment(s), Context, Evidence, Explanation, Open-ended Response Writing, Punchy Insights, Quote Sandwiches, Rubrics, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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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