Category Archives: students

Question-Comment-Connect: QC²

For several years now, teachers of all levels have made close reading a point of emphasis. Teachers, across disciplines, have urged students to circle, underline, and mark up the text. By having students close read texts, students will, theoretically, read … Continue reading

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The Lightning Thief As Difficult As The Odyssey…#Truth

Conducted an interesting experiment in my advance English 9 class recently. We are currently reading The Odyssey, Robert Fagles translation.  When asked after the first eight books of the epic, The most confusing part of The Odyssey so far is … Continue reading

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Literacy Stamina and Social Media

I use social media in assorted formats and diverse purposes.  As a high school ELA teacher, I aspire to immerse students in literacy: lots of opportunities to read and write every day.  As time has passed, there has always been a … Continue reading

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Self-Discovery: Cheryl Strayed’s Most Compelling Message in WILD

I have been using Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail in my Outdoor and Survival Literature class.  I’m not completely convinced of the aesthetic value, but it’s message(s) is noble, engaging, and worthwhile. … Continue reading

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Embracing Complex Texts: 2nd Draft Reading

With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the research validating the need for children to read, read more, and read again, I have  been doing some teacher soul-searching in recent years.  I am in the midst of … Continue reading

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Embracing Complex Texts: Supporting First Reads

Often, in the midst of blogging,  there’s a voice inside my head, a writer’s voice I suppose,  haunting me, “For Blog’s sake John, get to the flippin’ point!  Folks want to learn in 140 characters or less…stop getting lost in … Continue reading

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Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life…SHS-Style

Students were asked to create an ‘Encyclopedia’ of their lives drawing inspiration from their heart maps, memoir-worthy lists, and brainstormed writing territories.  The process of creating this personal ‘Encyclopedia’ was inspired by educator Kelly Gallagher and based on the book Encyclopedia … Continue reading

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Embracing Complex Texts

About a year ago, the curriculum coordinator in our school district introduced me to a few reading strategies as outlined and demonstrated by Kelly Gallagher.  I browsed through the material at first, but soon started reading every word and searching … Continue reading

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Google and Education in the 21st Century

Our school has gone Google.  We have officially been Google for almost one calendar year. I have gone Google, to the extent that I intellectually understand what it means to Go Google:  Google Chrome, Google Site,  Google Drive,  Google Calendar, … Continue reading

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Reading and Writing Strategies that Work!

When I began teaching in the mid 1990’s, I remember trying to survive, one period at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time.   During my first full year of teaching, the arrival of Halloween … Continue reading

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