Teaching Insights: How to Model Effective Writing

Do you remember learning to drive? You probably didn’t learn by reading a how-to manual or listening to your parents lecture about driving. Most likely, you watched your parents operate a car while giving you step-by-step instructions. You probably learned through demonstrations and practice.  It’s the same way in education, and that’s where the strategy […] ...

Teaching Students to Judge Credibility 

One of the most important skills students need to be equipped with in today’s society is judging the credibility of sources. In the past, gatekeepers mediated all information that was dispersed to the public. Nowadays, anyone with a computer can project their voice out to the masses. This technology is a double-edged sword.  It is […] ...

6 Ways to Save Time Grading Essays

Teachers have a lot on their plates, but one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks is grading student essays. Even if you give your students a 2-page limit, grading 150 papers can take hours. It’s difficult to give each of your students the specific, helpful feedback you want to provide (at least if you’re […] ...

A Storyteller’s Guide to Library Branding

Let’s open the floodgates to today’s topic with this quote by branding guru Scott Bredbury: “A brand is a story that is always being told.” This quote literally stopped me in my tracks. A story! Of course. What a beautiful and succinct way to express my beliefs about school library branding. I believe that a […] ...

Teaching Writing: When to Quote, Paraphrase, or Summarize

Students often struggle to integrate sources into their writing. After the difficult process of finding evidence to support their thesis, they face the new challenge of deciding whether to quote, paraphrase, or summarize sources. Before asking students to paraphrase, it’s important to explain what that means. In the simplest terms, paraphrasing is rewording AND rearranging. […] ...

Three Strategies for Teaching High Level ELLs

While much of the research around strategies for teaching English Language Learners focuses on those who are just beginning their study of English, many of the same methods can be adapted to teach students who have been studying English as a second language for years. When I was teaching middle and high school English in […] ...

Video Lesson: Box & Bullet Method of Note Taking

It’s a never ending search trying to find clever hacks and new techniques to make the note taking process easier for our students. Many websites and apps offer features and tools to help stay on task and organized. One tried and true note taking method that has lasted the test of time? The good ol’ […] ...

Educating Against Plagiarism in High School

Life keeps teaching you the same lessons until you learn them. Next year, I will have finally learned my lesson about teaching plagiarism in high school: do it early.  At the beginning of the year I’m always so excited to meet my new students and learn about their literary interests and writing skills that I […] ...

How to Teach Writing for Different Learning Styles

In high school, I was one of the lucky ones: a visual learner. To this day, I prefer to sit down and read an article as opposed to listening to a podcast. Many of my classmates were not so fortunate. In many cases they slipped through the cracks, missing out on valuable knowledge and skills […] ...

Teaching Tactics for Timed Writings

A few weeks ago a student walked out of my class angry and frustrated because he hadn’t  finished his fifth timed writing assignment of the year. Before he’d even started writing, I had given him some advice on writing a concluding sentence, knowing this was a weakness of his. I told him a story of […] ...