Meeting Muscle Matters

I have been reading about the percentage of time that American’s spend in meetings.  Often I hear myself and others saying, I wish we could get more done in our department meetings[...]

Welcome Back Teachers – 2015/2016 Is Upon Us!

This year Concept English has a very succinct goal:  To help teachers engage students in deep and meaningful instruction that focuses on close reading of Anchor Texts, including mu[...]

Internal Rewards Promote Critical Thinking

Something has been making me itch this spring as I research and plan curriculum for the 2015/2016 school year.  We spend so much time talking about the “what” of learning and it se[...]

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Teaching Writing Means Writing with Students

In 1997 my teaching was transformed after I attended a National Writing Project (NWP) Summer Institute in writing.  It was there that I made the connection between what I was sayin[...]

Bell Ringers and Exit Slips: The most important 8 minutes?

The importance of questions in regard to learning can never be over emphasized.  Questions are used to motivate and stimulate student thinking before a lesson, questions help stude[...]

Questions for Higher Order Thinking and Higher Scores

I recently sent out some questions stems and frames reminding teachers to keep higher level thinking at the front of their minds as they help students prepare for this year’s new a[...]

Teachers Lead at Regional PDs!

Concept Teachers are the greatest.  When asked, they stepped up to help deliver our Fall Professional Development using specific strategies included in the document Realizing Illin[...]

Department Meeting Leadership

Mr. Schmith, the English Department Chair at HSA McKinley Park, is doing a great job starting the year off with his colleagues.  He added a PowerPoint on the basics of reading inst[...]

Regional PD’s Focus: Process and Content

This past spring (2014) Concept English invited Mr. Brian Pete of Robin Fogarty & Associates to provide a mandatory 2 hour ELA workshop. Teachers were actively engaged in activ[...]

HSA Toledo Scores with Close Reading and Reflection

On our recent trip to the Toledo Professional Development, Esther Mossing, Coordinator at HSA Toledo, shared what me what her staff has been doing with close reading. HSA Toledo ha[...]

What are 21st Century Literacies?

According to NCTE, a student should: Develop proficiency with the tools of technology Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturall[...]

Writing in the Classroom

With Common Core we need to rethink and reshape how we deliver our instruction.  However, there is good news for those of us who have used the writing process and set up WriterR[...]