Category Archives: Research

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

Another Helpful Reading Resource: Smithsonian TweenTribune

If you are looking for more resources to support nonfiction reading, The Smithsonian TweenTribune is a FREE online educational service offered by the Smithsonian for use by K-12 grade teachers and students. TTribune consists of daily news sites for kids, … Continue reading

Posted in Comprehension, Curriculum, DBQ Approach, ELA Common Core Standards, Independent Reading, Inference, Lesson-planning, Main Idea, Media Literacy, Nonfiction, Paraphrasing, PARCC, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Recommended Reading, Research, Resources, Test Prep, Text Selection, TLC Website Resources, Vocabulary, Vocabulary in Context | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING TEXTS FOR K-12

[This post is adapted from my recently-released book, Literacy and the Common Core: Recipes for Action (Jossey-Bass, 2014), and it appeared in slightly different form as a MiddleWeb Guest Article on July 20, 2014.] In Reading without Limits, Maddie Witter … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Literacy and the Common Core BOOK, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, Research, Resources, Text Selection, Unit-planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE WIDESPREAD PROBLEM OF INEFFECTIVE LESSON PLANS

Mike Schmoker (author of Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning [ASCD 2011]) recently wrote a piece in EdWeek called “The Lost Art of Teaching Soundly Structured Lessons.”  My reaction?  I couldn’t agree more.  Check it out: http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2013/06/04/fp_schmoker_lessons.html?cmp=ENL-EU-MOSTPOPContinue reading

Posted in Curriculum, Lesson-planning, Professional Development, Research, Resources | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

APPROACHES TO THE COMMON CORE: Quadrant Analysis as a Way to Boost Comprehension

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  They should also add, “And it’s a great way for students to practice comprehension skills, build background knowledge, and become inspired through inquiry.”  If you’re looking for a simple, straightforward, fun … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, Comprehension, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Inference, Main Idea, Metaphors, Paraphrasing, Quadrant Analysis, Questioning, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Approaches to the Common Core: ARGUMENT VS. EVIDENCE, Step 6*

We now resume our Big Picture discussion of ways to use argument and evidence.  Remember, Step 5 was “Generate your own questions that warrant research and debate.”  In Step 6, we move dramatically further down this road: “Generate your own questions, … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Main Idea, Questioning, Research, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Approaches to the Common Core: ARGUMENT VS. EVIDENCE, Step 5*

If you’ve been following our ongoing “Argument vs. Evidence” series, you already know that Step 5 is “Generate your own questions that warrant research and debate.”  In other words, students need to learn how to ask their own research- and debate-worthy … Continue reading

Posted in Analyzing the Common Core Standards, Argument, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Inference, Questioning, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, Research, Resources, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment