Category Archives: ELA Common Core Standards

Teaching Students How to Set a Purpose for Reading

[This post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb on April 23, 2017.] I think we can all agree that annotating texts helps students comprehend them more deeply. But not all forms of annotating are helpful. How you annotate … Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, Close Reading, Comprehension, ELA Common Core Standards, Genre, MiddleWeb, Questioning, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PARCC Prep: Research Simulation Task Writing Lesson Cycle

I’ve been working with colleagues in the field on an UPDATED lesson cycle for history/social studies/science teachers who are trying to prepare their students for the PARCC Research Simulation Task. (PS: I have previously blogged about teaching the RST here … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment(s), Compare and Contrast, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Lesson-planning, Media Literacy, Organizing an Essay, PARCC, Research Writing, Resources, RPM Objectives, Rubrics, Test Prep, Thesis Statements, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

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

PARAPHRASING: Step One in the Comprehension Process

[This post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb on August 16, 2016.] If you are trying to decide what to teach in the first few weeks of school, I have some advice: No matter what grade or subject … Continue reading

Posted in Close Reading, Comprehension, Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, MiddleWeb, Paraphrasing, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, Resources, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources | 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

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

PARCC Prep Writing Task Care Packages

In the spirit of holiday giving, I have created “PARCC Prep Writing Task Care Packages” for all three PARCC writing tasks. Everything attached here is FREE. Yes, free. You’re welcome. PARCC Narrative Writing Task PARCC Narrative Writing Prompts 12-22-15 (NEW!) … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment(s), Compare and Contrast, ELA Common Core Standards, Literary Analysis Writing, Narrative Writing, Organizing an Essay, PARCC, Research Writing, Resources, Rubrics, Test Prep, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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