School Visits Have Begun

On Wednesday September 30th I visited McKinley Park English teachers.  The school’s new high school wing is beautiful and the classrooms were very well organized for learning. My v[...]

Thinking Down The Arm And On To The Page

This year at Concept English we have decided to include in each of our six units of instruction at each grade level 6-12 a performance based assessment (PBA) from the Collections t[...]

Meeting Muscle Matters

I have been reading about the percentage of time that Americans 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 overemphasized.  Questions are used to motivate and stimulate student thinking before a lesson, questions help studen[...]

Questions for Higher-Order Thinking and Higher Scores

I recently sent out some question 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 as[...]

What are 21st Century Literacies?

We have all seen and heard about the importance of 21st century skills.  Here is a recap. According to NCTE, a student should: Develop proficiency with the tools of technology Buil[...]

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[...]