Figuring out how to teach poetry is particularly troublesome, and may be ruining some poor teacher's time on the beach at this very moment. The threshold for frustration over poetry seems to be extremely low, indeed, judging from the groans and complaints from both sides of the teacher's desk.  Continue reading...
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Getting to grips with stories in the EFL environment is more than simply dealing with problematic vocabulary. It's all to do with context, and how words work together to form a greater whole. Finding the right trigger means students being able to exceed the "normal" lexical load.  Continue reading...
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Teachers in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) are heading back to school this fall with some added anxieties: new Common Core State Standards seek to put reading, writing, and vocabulary at the forefront of the STEM classroom. Here, Shannon Reed breaks down what the new standards mean to STEM teachers, and how they can use the opportunity to engage with students more profoundly.  Continue reading...
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As my school year draws to a close and I pack the box to head over to another building and teach summer school, I've paused for a minute of reflection. So I'll share some of my thoughts with you. First, reflecting back on the school year is something that needs to be done. Too often (and yes, I'm guilty on occasion, too) we close the door, yell hooray and try to forget the past. After all, isn't that what summer's about? So we start fresh in the fall?  Continue reading...
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With the rising emphasis on preparing students for standardized tests in reading, writing and math in the classrooms of the U.S. today, it's easy for the "other" subjects — Science, Foreign Language, Social Studies, the Arts and so on — to feel neglected. As an English teacher, I feel the disparity too, especially in teaching the upper grades.  Continue reading...
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Here are a few summer programs that provide incentives for students who reach their reading goals.  Continue reading...
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I'm an avid reader, and when I was little, I'd ride my bike down to the library bookmobile at the start of June and sign up for the summer reading program. Each week I'd read book after book, make the pilgrimage and watch my goal chart fill up with stars.  Continue reading...
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