Category: Uncategorized

Meaningful and Coherent Paragraphs

Chapter Five: Meaningful and Coherent Paragraphs Readers are not sheep, and not every pen tempts them. Vladimir Nabokov               Several years ago, a student approached me after school with an unusual, but fun request. He had convinced his history teacher to give him extra credit for memorizing the lyrics...

Fight the Clutter: Concision and Flow

Chapter Four Fight the Clutter: Concision and Flow Clutter is the laborious phrase that has pushed out the short word that means the same thing. William Zinsser               In the previous chapter, I presented basics for writing clear sentences: use a high-imagery subject and an action verb. That’s a...

Be Clear: Images and Movement

Be Clear: Images and Movement Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style. Matthew Arnold So far, I have presented writing as a liberating activity that anyone can undertake, and anyone can perform well. It can be. It...

Writing Process: From Invention to Drafting

The Writing Process from Invention to Drafting Write about what makes you different–Sandra Cisneros In the previous chapter, I discussed approaching writing as both a capability within grasp and as an activity that clarifies thinking. Now we need to expand on the latter idea and consider what we want...

Creating A Positive Writing Mindset

Creating a Positive Writing Mindset               I liked opening semesters, especially with high-achieving AP students, by asking, “Who enjoys writing?” Of the thirty-plus students, a few enthusiastically raised their hands; a few others, timidly. “Who doesn’t enjoy it?” Typically, many more would raise their hands with some suspicious students...

How Two Hotel G.M.s Taught Me About Writing Instruction

This is my working draft for a preface to a text-in-progress on writing instruction. In the primary manuscript, I will relate stories about working with students and teachers to illustrate lessons for becoming more capable writing teachers. In this preface, I seek to illustrate how a boss’s or a...

YouTube Video: Schoolhouse Dilemmas

  Click the following for a brief overview of Schoolhouse Dilemmas: Scenarios for Mentoring Secondary Teachers: YouTube Video: About Schoolhouse Dilemmas...

YouTube Video: Writing

Here are some quick thoughts about students and writing:   A few brief thoughts on writing in school    ...

Dilemma Group Lesson or Mob Rule?

    Here is an excerpt from School House Dilemmas. It appears in Chapter Two: Methods and Curricular Decisions. Group Lesson or Mob Rule?   As a new teacher, you are still trying to find your style.  You remember that some of your high school teachers used group work...

Distinguished Alumni, Key and Peele, and Teacher Value

Four times a year, I receive a piece of mail that renews my sense of…inadequacy? Humility? Pride? My high school’s alumni magazine engenders a range of emotions. And none of them are particularly related to nostalgia. ...