Category Archives: MiddleWeb

How to Help Students Explain Their Ideas in Writing

[This post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb.] By Sarah Tantillo with Bianca Licata Probably the most common problem we see in students’ writing at every level is their struggle to explain. Even students who can generate a … Continue reading

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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

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

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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

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

12 Ways to Get Students Speaking & Listening: Part 2 of a two-part “Speaking and Listening” Series

[The following post originally appeared in slightly different form on MiddleWeb on August 30, 2015, and it is based on an excerpt from The Literacy Cookbook (Jossey-Bass, 2012).] In Part I, we looked at why oral fluency is so important. … Continue reading

Posted in Comprehension, ELA Common Core Standards, Inference, Lesson-planning, MiddleWeb, Oral Fluency, Paraphrasing, Questioning, Speaking and Listening, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment