What Kind of Reading is Common Core?

There has been a fair amount of discussion, and a fair amount of worry, about whether the Common Core State Standards discourage the study of literature in the English language arts classroom. Various administrators and consultants are admonishing teachers saying, “You have to teach  more informational materials!” implying that we should stop wasting our time […]

Going for Depth, Not Breadth: Our Transition to the Common Core

My school (and school district) is in the midst of transitioning to the Common Core State Standards. One aspect that we are grabbing onto–with glee!–is the opportunity to go deep into themes and ideas, instead of madly trying to cover the endless terms and details required by our old standards. For the past two years, […]

Simple Annotating Helps Kids Focus on the Text

I first heard about this style of annotating when I was in the Beginning Teacher Support Program (BTSA) almost 13 years ago. I have no idea who invented it–if you do, please let me know. We were asked to read an article about teaching using this system. I remember that it helped my frazzled new-teacher brain […]

Individuality vs. the Common Core

Steinbeck’s East of Eden has been on my reading list for a long time, I finally decided to tackle it this summer. So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I like it. Last night, I stumbled across a passage that reminded me a bit of one of our era’s current educational debates: from East of […]