Category Archives: Argument

Looking for Essential Literacy Work PD? SIGN UP NOW!

If you are looking for professional development support on Essential Literacy Work, I encourage you to attend my full-day training session at NJPSA/FEA on Oct. 2 from 9am-3pm! Here’s the link for more information: http://njpsa.org/documents/pdf/PDCalFall2017-web.pdf Here’s the blurb: PARCC ELA … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, Close Reading, Evidence, Paraphrasing, PARCC, Professional Development, Test Prep, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teaching Writers How to Select and Explain Evidence

[This post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb on November 15, 2016.] The more time I spend in classrooms trying to help students write effectively, the more I recognize how detailed and nuanced this process is, especially when … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Literacy and the Common Core BOOK, Paragraph writing, Research Writing, Resources, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Essential Literacy Work Before You Begin Test Prep

Here are some things to work on before you begin preparing students for the genre of standardized testing this year: Review/teach The Comprehension Process using the TLC Comprehension Process Staircase here. You will need an anchor chart of this process … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, Assessment(s), Close Reading, Compare and Contrast, Comprehension, Evidence, Explanation, How vs. Why, Literacy and the Common Core BOOK, Literary Analysis Writing, Narrative Writing, Paragraph writing, Paraphrasing, PARCC, Research Writing, Resources, Skimming, Summarizing, Test Prep, TLC Website Resources, Topic Sentences, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nonfiction Writing: How to Build Quote Sandwiches

[This post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb on October 3, 2016.] When writing nonfiction paragraphs or essays, students must frame their quotes (evidence) with appropriate context and explanation. In English teacher speak, we call this “building quote … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, Context, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Literacy and the Common Core BOOK, MiddleWeb, Nonfiction, Open-ended Response Writing, Paragraph writing, Quote Sandwiches, Resources, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Pace PARCC Writing Preparation

Regardless of how one might feel about the PARCC assessments, they are a reality many of us must confront. To this end, I have some suggestions for how to prepare students efficiently and effectively for the PARCC ELA writing tasks. … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, Assessment(s), Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Genre, Lesson-planning, Literary Analysis Writing, MiddleWeb, Narrative Writing, Paragraph writing, PARCC, Research Writing, Resources, Skimming, Test Prep, Themes, TLC Website Resources, Unit-planning, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Teach Students to Write Strong Paragraphs

[This post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb on April 12, 2016.] Lately I have become obsessed with the beauty and utility of paragraph responses. When students are struggling to write clear, coherent essays or aren’t explaining their … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Paragraph writing, Resources, TLC Website Resources, Topic Sentences, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tools to Help Writers Explain Good Evidence (Part II)

[This post, written with Jamison Fort, originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb on March 15, 2016.] In Part I of this mini-series, we looked at how to help students rule out ineffective evidence when they are attempting to … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, Evidence, Explanation, MiddleWeb, Reading Informational Text, Research Writing, Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Help Student Writers Find the Best Evidence

[This post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb on Feb. 23, 2016.] No matter what grade or subject you teach, sooner or later you find yourself trying to help students write more clearly and convincingly. In one of … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, MiddleWeb, Reading, Resources, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Students Don’t Write Clearly and What We Can Do About It

[The following post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb on Nov. 3, 2015.] After reading yet another piece lamenting students’ inability to write clearly, I feel compelled to share what I’ve learned about this problem and offer some … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, Assessment(s), Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Grammar, Literacy and the Common Core BOOK, MiddleWeb, Research, Resources, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources, Vocabulary, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Professional Development Ideas to Support Literacy Instruction

This has been a particularly challenging year in our field. As teachers and school leaders continue to wrestle with how best to prepare students to meet and exceed the Common Core Standards, I would like to humbly submit some professional … Continue reading

Posted in Analyzing the Common Core Standards, Argument, Assessment(s), Close Reading, Comprehension, Curriculum, DBQ Approach, ELA Common Core Standards, Essential Questions, Events, Evidence, Explanation, Grant Wiggins, Inference, Lesson-planning, Literacy and the Common Core BOOK, Literacy Manipulatives, Literary Analysis Writing, Main Idea, Narrative Writing, Nonfiction, Novels, Paraphrasing, PARCC, Presentations, Professional Development, Quadrant Analysis, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, Research Writing, Resources, RPM Objectives, Socratic Seminars, Test Prep, Text Selection, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources, Trajectory Analysis, Unit-planning, Using Data, Vocabulary, Vocabulary in Context, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment