Tracking Color Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Mar 4, 2015 7:04:24 AM

The Great Gatsby is widely-regarded as one of the great American novels and many of us teach it every year to secondary students who seem to instantly get the feeling of lost dreams, the feeling of being "within and without" and the feeling that the American Dream is too good to be true.  

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Topics: Common Core, literary analysis, Literature, reading strategies, teaching tips, color symbolism, The Great Gatsby

Tips for Using Literature Circles in the High School Classroom

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Jun 14, 2013 12:50:32 AM

Today’s strategy spotlight is on literature circles.  I’ve used this technique in my 9th grade English classes to differentiate lessons in order to meet the needs of students struggling to keep up and those needing an extra challenge.  There are many ways to implement literature circles to accommodate for a range of reading levels, class size issues, English learners, and other common classroom needs.  I’m going to share the way it works in my classroom based on my needs, but I’d love for you to leave a question or comment at the end of this post to continue the conversation as it relates to classrooms across the board!

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Topics: literary analysis, Literature, literature, literature circles, reading strategies, teaching reading, teaching tips, tips, high school English

Determining Central Idea; Providing an Objective Summary in Informational Texts

Posted by Kristen Bowers on Apr 1, 2012 6:07:48 AM

In Part Four of this series, we are going to take a look at determining a central idea and providing an objective summary of Informational Texts.

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Topics: CCSS, Common Core, freebies, literary analysis, main idea, teaching writing, writing summaries, writing tips, summary, common core writing tips, central idea, finding topic

Teaching the Concepts of Observation and Inference in Writing

Posted by Kristen Bowers on Jan 18, 2012 9:37:10 AM

The concept of inference is one of the most difficult to teach, however even as low as grade 4, the concept must be addressed in some form or another, usually by reading a fictional text and making an assumption or guess based on the evidence or facts from the text combined with their own prior knowledge.

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Topics: literary analysis, Literary Analysis/Reading Strategies, teaching reading

Nine tips for taking notes in a book (without ticking off your librarian!)

Posted by Kristen Bowers on Mar 1, 2011 1:49:00 PM

When I took my first English class right out of high school, I was shocked that not only did we have to purchase our own books, but we were even allowed to write in them!  I had always been told not to write in my schoolbooks—and all I ever saw written were things like “School SUX” or obscene drawings.  I was never taught to take notes in a book, but over time I learned that writing notes in the margin, highlighting or underlining a key point, and using my textbook as a practical, tangible tool were invaluable.

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Topics: Classroom Management, literary analysis, reading strategies, reading tips, taking notes

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