5 Ways to Use Magazines in the Classroom

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Nov 11, 2014 7:15:32 AM

With a push in the common core to incorporate more informational texts and a teenage audience that is becoming more globally aware than any previous generation, I have found that using high quality magazines in the classroom can help capture young minds in relevant reading and writing.  I especially like The New Yorker, but the same strategies below can be used for Time Magazine, National Geographic, your local newspaper, or many other options.  (Be sure to vet articles carefully and get approval where appropriate.)  Many newspapers and some magazines also have an educator's discount! Below are some ways that I'm using magazines in my classroom.  I'd love to hear your questions, comments, or suggestions below!

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Topics: Common Core, Lesson Planning, Literary Analysis/Reading Strategies, reading, teaching tips, teaching writing, Writing

Tips for Teaching The Research Paper

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Mar 4, 2014 8:51:08 AM

At my school, 3rd quarter in the English department means one thing: research paper time.  We do our best to build on the process every year so that seniors graduate with confidence and a working knowledge of writing research papers and I do think that in this case departmental support is important to effective teaching. Whether you are just starting the daunting task of planning the paper or are looking for a fresh take, I highly recommend the research paper resource product from Simply Novel, which can be purchased as part of the Essay Architect Essay Writing System or separately from TeachersPayTeachers.  This Common Core Standards Based (ELA: Writing) product on teaching research papers is full of everything you need to help students grasp the concept of completing research, plagiarism, organizing their sources, using source information, MLA format, deciphering credible Internet sources, and more!  In addition to the notes, handouts, and activities included in that resource, I would like to share a couple of my tips for teaching the research paper.

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Topics: Essay Architect, Essays, research, teaching tips, teaching writing, writing, writing tips, research papers

3 Simple Tips for Teaching the SAT Essay

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Jul 1, 2013 10:05:04 AM

As high school English teachers, we do our best to prepare students to thrive in college (if that is the path they select).  We teach grammar, vocabulary, critical reading, and analytical writing.  We structure our classes to guide and scaffold students then gently move them to independent thought.  But as we work hard to give students the skills needed for higher education, sometimes we neglect the skills students will need to just get in the door of their chosen university.  Here are some tips to help your students prepare for the most updated version of the essay portion of the SAT (updated March 2016):

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Topics: essay, SAT, teaching writing, test prep, Writing

Tips for Creating a Peer-Editing Program That Works

Posted by Kristen Bowers on Sep 25, 2012 6:44:09 AM

I recently wrote an article about the importance of peer editing, and I took a step back and realized that many of you may not know how to implement a successful peer editing program in the first place.  Here are some tried-and-true techniques for teaching your students the skill and practice of effective peer editing.

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Topics: peer editing, teaching tips, teaching writing, Writing

5 Reasons Students Should Be Doing More Peer Editing

Posted by Kristen Bowers on Sep 19, 2012 11:47:26 AM

 I am a strong proponent of peer editing.  The benefits of peer editing are numerous, and before any teacher sees an essay, it should have been peer edited at least once.  It is crucial, however, that students know how to peer edit, and why.  Here are 5 reasons students should be doing more peer-editing:

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Topics: Assessments, essay skills, peer editing, teaching writing, Writing

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

Helping Students Get Past "Writer's Block"

Posted by Kristen Bowers on Jan 8, 2011 2:10:34 AM


Is there really such a thing? Or is it an excuse that we have created to get out of doing something we don’t want to do?  I can remember hearing countless times from students who had not done the essay I had assigned, claiming to have the affliction.  As a writer myself, I could understand my students' frustrations (although I didn't always believe that was truly the issue.)

I know I wasn’t the first—nor would I be the last to “suffer” from this debilitating “disease,” right?  Surely everyone who has had to sit down and write something has felt this at one point.  I decided to make it my mission to find out.  And while I identified with my students, I wanted to teach them how to get past themselves - their worst critics, to still be able to create.  So, what is Writer’s Block, does it really exist, and how do we get past it?

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Topics: teaching writing, writer's block, Writing, writing tips

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