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How much is too much? Currently a commercial for AT&T is asking if more is better, and, of course, the little kids sitting in the circle clamor that more is definitely better. In the world of writing prompts, though, more or less becomes one of those debatable things. Be too specific, and a teacher may actually be limiting student creativity. Yet, being too vague might frazzle kids completely.  Continue reading...
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When Snoopy takes out his typewriter and begins to compose a novel atop his doghouse, he always begins with "It was a dark and stormy night..." This phrase — originally appearing in a schmaltzy 19th century British novel — has come to symbolize all that can go wrong with melodramatic writing, especially the clumsy attempts of a writer trying to evoke a dramatic setting within the first sentence of a work of literature.  Continue reading...
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In this interview, Lori Wilfong, author of Vocabulary Strategies That Work — Do This, Not That!, describes some of her pet peeves about traditional vocabulary instruction and gives us some fresh ideas about how teachers can enliven their practice with student-generated definitions, word walls, and word jars.  Continue reading...
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After a trying few weeks, English teacher Michele Dunaway has arrived at some insights about what kids learn in school: "Here are the things schools teach, the things schools and teachers do that can never be addressed or assessed by fill-in-the-bubbles."  Continue reading...
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The new semester is starting, and a colleague proudly announced on Facebook that he is banning laptops, tablets, and cell phones in his classes because students are using them to go on Facebook. Other colleagues, who seem always to be trumpeting their support for the digital revolution on their own Facebooks, promptly "commented" their own plans to institute classroom bans on these attention-sapping devices.  Continue reading...
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Michele Dunaway teaches English and journalism at Francis Howell High School in St. Charles, Missouri (when she's not writing best-selling romance novels). As 2012 begins, she's been thinking about some New Year's resolutions for the classroom. Here she shares seven of them.  Continue reading...
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Okay, I'll commit educational blasphemy. I'm not a fan of whole-class/large-group discussions. I don't care what you name them (one of the most common monikers is Socratic seminars), but get more than 10 people in a group and it becomes a license to zone out.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 140 Articles