Category Archives: Instruction

NEW Grammar Resources!

Hi, all—I’ve been working in the field with teachers, testing out lessons based on my book USING GRAMMAR TO IMPROVE WRITING. I’m excited to report that these lessons are WORKING! When asked to reflect on “What surprised you about this … Continue reading

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

PARCC RST Prep: How to Connect Note-taking to Sentence Writing

Whether you are in the throes of “test prep season” or not, it’s important to teach students how to take effective notes (i.e., brief and suited to the question at hand) and turn those notes into sentences (then paragraphs and … Continue reading

Posted in ELA Common Core Standards, Instruction, Lesson-planning, Note-taking, Paragraph writing, PARCC, Research Writing, Test Prep, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Blend Grammar into Daily ELA Instruction

[This post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb.] One of the most common concerns I hear from ELA teachers is “I want to teach grammar, but I’m not sure how to fit it in.” This post explains a … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Grammar, Instruction, Lesson-planning, MiddleWeb, Reading Instruction, Resources, TLC Website Resources, Using Grammar to Improve Writing BOOK, Vocabulary, Writing, Writing Feedback | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Narrative Writing Feedback Tools

Following up on my recent post about writing feedback in general, this post offers two tools targeting NARRATIVE writing specifically. As I’ve said many times before, I don’t believe in “peer editing,” which strikes me as “the blind leading the … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction, Narrative Writing, PARCC, Resources, TLC Website Resources, Using Grammar to Improve Writing BOOK, Writing, Writing Feedback | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Podcast That Could Change Children’s Lives

While this post’s title might seem overly dramatic, I urge you to listen to this podcast before you cast judgment: “Hard Words: Why Aren’t Our Kids Being Taught to Read?” from APM Reports Documentaries (9/9/18, available for free on iTunes), … Continue reading

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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

My New Book, USING GRAMMAR TO IMPROVE WRITING, Is NOW AVAILABLE!

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

Essential Curriculum Resource: MATCH FISHTANK

If you’re writing curriculum plans, here’s a tremendous new FREE resource: Match Fishtank. Here’s the blurb that explains what this is: Welcome to Match Fishtank, where you can view, share, and download the curriculum we use every day at Match Charter School, the … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Essential Questions, Instruction, Lesson-planning, Professional Development, Resources, Unit-planning | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

17 Ideas to Combat Learned Helplessness

[This post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb on Dec. 18, 2016.] Recently I’ve been thinking about the ways in which we either inculcate or prevent learned helplessness in students. Some teaching practices help strengthen students’ self-efficacy, motivation … Continue reading

Posted in Combatting learned helplessness, Instruction, Professional Development, Resources | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment