Category Archives: Topic Sentences

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

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

PARCC Preparation: Tackling the Research Writing Task

In many schools where I work, they have opted to divide the responsibilities for mastering the PARCC writing tasks: the ELA teachers own the narrative and literary analysis tasks; the Social Studies/Science teachers own the research writing tasks. This post … Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, Argument, Assessment(s), DBQ Approach, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Genre, Main Idea, Media Literacy, Nonfiction, PARCC, Research Writing, Resources, Rubrics, Skimming, Test Prep, Thesis Statements, Topic Sentences, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

New TLC page: OPEN-ENDED RESPONSE WRITING!

In response to popular demand, I have added a new page to the TLC Website: Open-ended Response Writing!  No matter what grade or subject you teach, your students will benefit from the tools featured on this page. Check it out!

Posted in ELA Common Core Standards, Open-ended Response Writing, Punchy Insights, Quote Sandwiches, TLC Website Resources, Topic Sentences, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Approaches to the Common Core: MORE THOUGHTS ON ANNOTATION

My previous entry on annotation may have oversimplified things.  Although annotation is important, that doesn’t mean it’s EASY.  Students often struggle with it, for several reasons which we need to address: We fail to establish the rationale for annotating.  In … Continue reading

Posted in Annotation, ELA Common Core Standards, Genre, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, TLC Website Resources, Topic Sentences | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Approaches to the Common Core: ARGUMENT VS. EVIDENCE, Step 4

By the end of our previous post, I hope you noticed that we have reached a point where it becomes clear how reading and writing are two sides of the same coin.  You need to be able to identify topic … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Reading, TLC Website Resources, Topic Sentences, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Approaches to the Common Core: ARGUMENT VS. EVIDENCE, Step 3

Once students have had some practice in distinguishing between argument and evidence and in matching arguments with RELEVANT evidence, you can move on to Step 3: Given arguments, students must support them with their own relevant evidence and explanation. Although students … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Inference, Paraphrasing, Reading, TLC Website Resources, Topic Sentences | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments