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Room 213
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Meet Room 213

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Writing Pokes: The Perfect Tool for Review & Differentiation
We all know that kids need a lot of practice and reinforcement with writing skills. We also know that they don't all need to practice the same ones.  The trick is finding a way to help our students attain the skills that they need as individuals. But how ca...

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Teaching Speaking & Listening Skills
We English teachers spend a lot of time teaching our kids to read and write, but I'm not sure that most of us (myself included) spend as much time explicitly teaching speaking and listening skills. Most times, we just assign a speech, presentation or debate...

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Using Youtube to Engage Your Students at the First of Class
The first few minutes of class is so important. We need to start on time and with a purpose. We need to hook our students and get them engaged in learning. And we don't have to do all of the singing and dancing to do that. Youtube is the greatest little ...

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5 Steps for Better Research Essays
Do your students struggle with the research process? Are you tired of reading poorly paraphrased work? You might like to try the process that I've fine-tuned over the last few years. It's not perfect, but I've been reading much better essays since I started...

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Writing Lessons: The Power of Words
During a stormy February, I was teaching my Pre-IB class about the power of words. We talked about avoiding tired words and using active, vivid verbs. I did lessons on conno-tation and tone, and on sensory imagery and figurative language. However, I didn't ...

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5 Ways to Get Students to Use Your Feedback
Doesn't it make you crazy when you spend so much time crafting great feedback for your students only to see their rubrics or assignments in the garbage can? Or, worse, seeing them make the same mistakes over and over, even after you've shown them how to imp...

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Teaching in Turbulent TImes
I never dreamed that I'd have to write a post like this -- after all, I'm living in 21st century North America, during a decade that has seen so much positive social change. I teach in a school whose population is almost 20% refugee and immigrant students. ...

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Final Assessment Conference
I wasn't planning to write a post today, but during my twelfth grade class this morning, I was reminded of how powerful our final assessment conferences are, and I wanted to share that with you. But first a little background: Our English department has, ove...

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Lesson Planning: Using Workshop for Literary Analysis
In a few short weeks, our semester changes,  and I will meet my new tenth grade Pre-IB class.  Next year, most will enter the International Baccalaureate program, and they will spend two years doing a great deal of focused literary analysis. My job over the...

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Room 213 Celebrates Kindness
I 'm thrilled to be joining The ELA Buffet and Desktop Learning Adventures , hosts of The Secondary Smorgasbord, as we spread some kindness, something the world always needs a little more of. Be sure to read to the end of the post to grab a freebie from me ...
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