Why Some Students Struggle and How We Can Help?

Friday, March 31, 2023 No comments

 


English Language Arts is a critical subject that lays the foundation for communication, critical thinking, and analysis. However, some students may struggle in this subject due to various reasons, such as language barriers, learning disabilities, lack of interest, or lack of foundational skills. In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons why some students struggle in English Language Arts and what teachers can do to help them succeed.


One of the primary reasons why students struggle in English Language Arts is because of language barriers. Students whose first language is not English may face challenges with reading, writing, and speaking in English. They may struggle with understanding idiomatic expressions, metaphors, and other literary devices that native speakers take for granted. Teachers can help these students by using strategies such as providing bilingual materials, breaking down complex language into simpler terms, and giving extra time for students to complete assignments. Moreover, teachers can use techniques such as storytelling and visual aids to help students understand the content better.


Another reason why students may struggle in English Language Arts is due to learning disabilities such as dyslexia or ADHD. These students may have difficulty with tasks such as reading comprehension or essay writing. Teachers can help these students by providing them with accommodations such as audio books, extra time, and graphic organizers. Teachers can also work with learning specialists to develop specialized strategies that cater to the needs of these students.


Additionally, some students may struggle in English Language Arts because they lack foundational skills such as grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. These students may find it challenging to read or write effectively due to poor sentence construction or lack of vocabulary. Teachers can help these students by providing remedial work that focuses on foundational skills such as grammar and vocabulary. Furthermore, teachers can use technology such as educational software and online tools to help students develop these skills.


Furthermore, some students may struggle in English Language Arts due to a lack of interest or motivation. They may not see the value in learning English Language Arts or may not be passionate about reading or writing. Teachers can help these students by making the content relevant and interesting. They can use strategies such as using real-world examples or current events to make the content more engaging. Furthermore, teachers can use creative and interactive teaching methods such as games and role-playing to make the class more enjoyable.


Clearly, some students may struggle in English Language Arts due to various reasons such as language barriers, learning disabilities, lack of foundational skills, or lack of interest. Teachers can help these students by using a variety of strategies such as bilingual materials, accommodations, remedial work, technology, and engaging teaching methods. By providing these students with the support they need, teachers can help them overcome their challenges and succeed in English Language Arts.


Works Cited


“Dyslexia and Reading Difficulties: What Every Teacher Should Know.” Reading Rockets, 2019, www.readingrockets.org/article/dyslexia-and-reading-difficulties-what-every-teacher-should-know. Accessed 17 Feb. 2023.


“Strategies to Support English Language Learners.” Reading Rockets, 2017, www.readingrockets.org/article/strategies-support-english-language-learners. Accessed 17 Feb. 2023.


Tomlinson, Carol Ann. “Differentiating Instruction in Response to Student Readiness, Interest, and Learning Profile in Academically Diverse Classrooms: A Review of Literature.” Journal for the Education of the Gifted, vol. 29, no. 4, 2006, pp. 404-429.

The Power of Poetry

Wednesday, March 29, 2023 No comments

 


Teaching poetry can be a challenging task for teachers, but it is essential in an English Language Arts class. Poetry can help students develop their critical thinking, reading, and writing skills, as well as improve their creativity and appreciation for language. In this blog post, we will discuss some techniques for teaching poetry that can help engage students and improve their understanding of poetic devices and techniques.


First, it is essential to choose poems that are relevant and meaningful to students. Teachers should consider the age and background of their students when selecting poems. Poems that reflect the experiences and perspectives of their students can help them connect with the poetry on a personal level. Additionally, choosing a diverse range of poets and styles can help students appreciate the breadth and depth of the poetic form. For example, a high school English teacher may choose to include Langston Hughes' "Harlem" and Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for Death" to expose their students to both the Harlem Renaissance and Transcendentalism.


Additionally, teachers should use a variety of activities and approaches to teach poetry. These activities can include group discussions, close readings, and creative writing exercises. Group discussions allow students to share their interpretations of the poem and gain new insights from their peers. Close readings can help students analyze the meaning and structure of the poem by examining literary devices, such as imagery, metaphor, and symbolism. Creative writing exercises, such as writing a poem in response to the original poem, can help students understand the craft of poetry and develop their own writing skills.


Which is furthermore, teachers should provide students with ample opportunities to perform and share their poetry. In-class poetry readings, spoken word events, and poetry slams can help students build confidence and develop their public speaking skills. These events can also help students learn how to appreciate and critique the work of their peers, as well as learn from their peers' approaches to poetry.


It should be noted that teachers should emphasize the importance of revision and editing. Unlike other forms of writing, poetry requires attention to detail, sound, and rhythm. Encouraging students to revise and edit their work can help them improve their poems and gain a deeper understanding of the craft of poetry. Teachers can provide feedback to students and encourage them to revise their work to make it stronger.


In particular, teaching poetry can be a challenging task, but with the right techniques, teachers can help their students develop an appreciation for the poetic form and improve their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. By choosing relevant and meaningful poems, using a variety of activities, providing opportunities for performance, and emphasizing the importance of revision, teachers can help their students become successful and creative poets.


Works Cited


Dickinson, Emily. "Because I Could Not Stop for Death." The Norton Anthology of Poetry, edited by Margaret Ferguson et al., W.W. Norton, 2005, p. 829.


Hughes, Langston. "Harlem." Poetry Foundation, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46548/harlem. Accessed 17 Feb. 2023.

Teaching Historical Texts

Monday, March 27, 2023 No comments

 

Incorporating historical texts in an English Language Arts (ELA) class can provide numerous benefits for students. Historical texts are rich with cultural significance, and analyzing them can help students better understand the social, political, and cultural contexts of a given time period. Moreover, reading and analyzing historical texts can improve students' critical thinking skills, writing abilities, and overall academic achievement. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of incorporating historical texts in ELA classes and discuss some strategies for using them effectively.


Historical Texts Provide a Window into the Past

Historical texts can provide students with a unique insight into the social, political, and cultural contexts of the past. These texts can offer a glimpse into the perspectives and attitudes of people from a different time period, allowing students to better understand the complexities of history. Moreover, analyzing these texts can help students develop a deeper appreciation for cultural diversity and foster a sense of empathy and understanding for people from different backgrounds.


Historical Texts Improve Critical Thinking Skills

Analyzing historical texts requires students to engage in critical thinking and analysis. This involves evaluating the author's message, understanding the underlying themes and ideas, and making connections between the text and the larger historical context. By engaging in this type of critical thinking, students can improve their analytical skills, which can benefit them in many areas of academic study and beyond.


Historical Texts Enhance Writing Skills

Reading and analyzing historical texts can also benefit students' writing abilities. By closely examining the author's writing style, students can learn valuable lessons about language, sentence structure, and rhetorical techniques. Additionally, analyzing historical texts can help students develop the ability to write clear and concise essays that present a strong argument and support their claims with evidence.


Historical Texts Promote Cultural Understanding

Incorporating historical texts in ELA classes can help promote cultural understanding and awareness. By analyzing texts from different time periods and cultures, students can develop a greater appreciation for cultural diversity and learn to view the world from multiple perspectives. This can lead to increased empathy and understanding, which can help students develop into more responsible and engaged citizens.


Strategies for Using Historical Texts in ELA Classes


Choose Texts that Are Relevant and Engaging

To effectively incorporate historical texts into an ELA class, it is important to choose texts that are relevant and engaging for students. This might include texts that are directly related to a particular historical event or time period, or texts that explore broader cultural themes and ideas. Additionally, it is important to choose texts that are age-appropriate and accessible for students of different reading levels.


Provide Historical Context and Background Information

To help students better understand the significance of historical texts, it is important to provide context and background information. This might involve introducing students to the historical context of a particular text or providing background information about the author and their cultural and historical influences. By providing this information, students can better understand the significance of the text and engage in more meaningful analysis and discussion.


Encourage Active Reading and Analysis

To help students engage with historical texts, it is important to encourage active reading and analysis. This might involve asking students to highlight key passages, take notes, and engage in class discussions about the text. Additionally, it can be helpful to provide students with specific questions and prompts that encourage them to think critically about the text and its historical significance.


Provide Opportunities for Writing and Reflection

Finally, to help students improve their writing abilities, it is important to provide opportunities for writing and reflection. This might involve asking students to write essays, journals, or other assignments that require them to analyze and interpret historical texts. Additionally, it can be helpful to provide opportunities for peer review and feedback, which can help students improve their writing skills and learn from one another

Getting Students Engaged

Friday, March 24, 2023 No comments

 



Effective teaching is about more than simply presenting information. Engaging lessons that promote critical thinking, creativity, and active learning are essential for improving student achievement. In this blog post, we will explore some effective strategies for creating engaging lessons that promote student achievement.


Use Active Learning Strategies

Active learning strategies involve engaging students in hands-on, collaborative, and interactive activities that promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These can include group projects, role-playing activities, and other activities that encourage students to actively engage with the material. By actively involving students in the learning process, teachers can create more engaging and effective lessons that promote academic achievement.


Incorporate Multimedia

Multimedia can be a powerful tool for creating engaging and interactive lessons. This can include using videos, images, and other multimedia elements to illustrate key concepts, as well as using interactive software and online tools to engage students in the learning process. By incorporating multimedia, teachers can create a more engaging and dynamic learning experience that promotes student achievement.


Use Real-World Examples

Using real-world examples is an effective strategy for promoting student engagement and understanding. By relating course content to real-world situations, teachers can help students connect the material to their own lives and experiences, making it more relevant and engaging. This can include using case studies, current events, and other real-world examples to illustrate key concepts and promote critical thinking.


Provide Frequent Feedback

Frequent feedback is an essential component of effective teaching. By providing students with timely and constructive feedback on their work, teachers can help students understand their strengths and weaknesses, identify areas for improvement, and promote academic achievement. This can include providing feedback on written assignments, in-class activities, and other assessments, as well as using online tools to track student progress and provide ongoing feedback.


Differentiate Instruction

Differentiating instruction involves tailoring lessons to meet the unique needs and interests of individual students. This can include providing additional support for struggling students, as well as providing enrichment opportunities for high-achieving students. By differentiating instruction, teachers can create a more engaging and effective learning experience that promotes academic achievement for all students.


Incorporate Games and Simulations

Games and simulations can be a powerful tool for creating engaging and interactive lessons. This can include using educational games to reinforce key concepts, as well as using simulations to help students understand complex concepts in a more tangible and interactive way. By incorporating games and simulations, teachers can create a more engaging and effective learning experience that promotes student achievement.


It is clear that creating engaging lessons is essential for improving student achievement. By using active learning strategies, incorporating multimedia, using real-world examples, providing frequent feedback, differentiating instruction, and incorporating games and simulations, teachers can create a more engaging and effective learning experience that promotes critical thinking, creativity, and academic achievement.


Works Cited:


Barkley, E. F., Cross, K. P., & Major, C. H. (2014). Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for college faculty. John Wiley & Sons.


Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Routledge.


Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2009). An educational psychology success story: Social interdependence theory and cooperative learning. Educational researcher, 38(5), 365-379.


Tomlinson, C. A. (2014). The differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of all learners. ASCD

Make a More Peaceful Classroom Environment

Wednesday, March 22, 2023 No comments

 

Effective classroom management is a key component of a successful teaching and learning experience. With the right strategies in place, teachers can create a safe, supportive, and productive learning environment that promotes academic achievement and positive student behavior. In this blog post, we will explore some effective strategies for improving classroom management.

Set Clear Expectations

One of the most critical components of effective classroom management is setting clear expectations for student behavior. This includes establishing rules and consequences for violations, as well as reinforcing positive behavior through praise and other forms of recognition. Clear expectations help students understand what is expected of them and can reduce the likelihood of disruptive or negative behavior.


Build Positive Relationships

Establishing positive relationships with students is another critical aspect of effective classroom management. When students feel valued and respected by their teachers, they are more likely to feel invested in the learning process and behave in a positive manner. Teachers can build positive relationships with their students by taking the time to get to know them, showing an interest in their lives and interests, and treating them with kindness and respect.


Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for promoting positive behavior in the classroom. This can include verbal praise, rewards, or other forms of recognition for positive behavior. By focusing on positive behavior rather than negative behavior, teachers can create a more supportive and productive learning environment that promotes good behavior and academic achievement.


Create a Structured Learning Environment

A structured learning environment can help promote positive behavior by providing students with clear expectations for their behavior and academic work. This includes establishing a consistent routine for classroom activities, providing clear instructions for assignments and other tasks, and ensuring that all students have the necessary materials and resources to complete their work.

Use Technology to Support Classroom Management

Technology can be a powerful tool for improving classroom management. This includes using online tools to track student progress and behavior, as well as using technology to provide students with interactive and engaging learning experiences. For example, many teachers use online tools to monitor student progress, provide feedback on assignments, and communicate with parents about their child's academic performance and behavior.

Be Proactive in Addressing Behavior Issues

Proactively addressing behavior issues is another critical component of effective classroom management. This includes intervening early when a student exhibits disruptive behavior, providing clear instructions for improving their behavior, and following up with consequences if necessary. By addressing behavior issues proactively, teachers can prevent disruptive behavior from escalating and creating a more positive and productive learning environment.

Undoubtly, effective classroom management is essential for promoting academic achievement and positive student behavior. By setting clear expectations, building positive relationships, using positive reinforcement, creating a structured learning environment, using technology, and being proactive in addressing behavior issues, teachers can create a safe, supportive, and productive learning environment that promotes positive behavior and academic achievement.

Works Cited:

Brophy, J. E. (2013). Effective classroom management: A teacher's guide. Routledge.

Marzano, R. J., Marzano, J. S., & Pickering, D. J. (2003). Classroom management that works: Research-based strategies for every teacher. ASCD.

Sugai, G., & Horner, R. H. (2009). Responsiveness-to-intervention and school-wide positive behavior support: Integration of multi-tiered system approaches. Exceptionality, 17(4), 223-237.

Wang, M. C., Haertel, G. D., & Walberg, H. J. (1994). What helps students learn? Educational Leadership, 51(4), 74-79.

Spring Break! Make sure you and your students rest up!

Monday, March 20, 2023 No comments


 As students and teachers navigate the demands of a modern classroom, the importance of taking breaks has never been more critical. Whether it's a few minutes to stretch and breathe or a more extended period for exercise or rest, breaks can benefit everyone in a multitude of ways. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of breaks for students and teachers and how they can impact academic performance and well-being.


For Students:


Mental Health and Well-being

Taking breaks can improve students' mental health by reducing stress and anxiety levels, increasing feelings of happiness, and boosting overall well-being. In fact, studies show that taking regular breaks throughout the school day can help reduce burnout and promote positive mental health outcomes for students.


Physical Health

Breaks can also benefit students' physical health by giving them an opportunity to move around, stretch, or engage in physical activity. Studies suggest that physical activity is essential for good health, and even short bouts of activity throughout the day can help improve physical health outcomes for students.


Improved Academic Performance

Taking breaks has been linked to improved academic performance for students. When students take a break, they can come back to their work refreshed and more focused, which can lead to better learning outcomes. Breaks can also provide students with a chance to reflect on what they have learned, connect the dots between different concepts, and solidify their understanding of the material.


For Teachers:


Mental Health and Well-being

Just like students, teachers also benefit from taking breaks. Studies show that regular breaks throughout the day can help reduce teacher burnout, improve job satisfaction, and promote overall well-being. Taking breaks can help teachers manage stress, improve their mood, and increase their energy levels, which can lead to a more positive work environment and improved teaching outcomes.


Improved Focus and Productivity

Taking breaks can also help teachers stay focused and productive throughout the day. By taking short breaks to stretch, breathe, or engage in physical activity, teachers can improve their concentration, reduce distractions, and enhance their overall productivity. This can lead to better teaching outcomes and a more efficient use of time in the classroom.


Modeling Self-Care

In addition to benefiting their own health and well-being, taking breaks can also help teachers model self-care for their students. By prioritizing their own self-care, teachers can set an example for their students, helping them understand the importance of taking breaks and engaging in activities that promote well-being.


Certainly, taking breaks is essential for both students and teachers. Regular breaks throughout the day can improve mental and physical health outcomes, increase academic performance and productivity, and create a more positive and supportive learning environment. As teachers and students navigate the demands of a modern classroom, prioritizing breaks should be seen as an essential part of a healthy and productive school day.


Works Cited:


Graffigna, Guendalina, et al. "The Role of Healthcare Professionals in Promoting the Practice of Break-Taking to Increase Individual Resilience and Workforce Sustainability: A Multi-Method Study." Sustainability, vol. 11, no. 13, 2019, pp. 3622.


Makinen, Tiina, et al. "The Effects of Long-Term Physical Activity Interventions on Children's Mental Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis." Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, vol. 23, no. 3, 2020, pp. 273-80.


Mandato, Cornelia. "Teacher Well-Being: A Review of the Literature." Australian Journal of Teacher Education, vol. 41, no. 4, 2016, pp. 1-14.


Parker, Paula D. "Promoting Self-Care Among School Staff:

Helping ELLs be Successful Inside of an English Classroom.

Friday, March 17, 2023 No comments

 


In today's diverse classroom, many teachers are working with English Language Learners (ELLs) who are still developing their language skills. As a Language Arts teacher, it is crucial to provide the necessary support for these students to develop their English language proficiency while also providing opportunities to participate and thrive in the classroom. In this blog post, we will explore some of the ways that teachers can help ELL students improve their English skills inside of a Language Arts classroom.


Provide Access to Authentic Texts

When working with ELL students, it is important to provide access to authentic texts that are relevant and engaging to them. This can include books, articles, or other reading materials that match their interests and reading levels. Authentic texts help ELLs develop their language skills through contextual learning, as well as providing opportunities to learn vocabulary and grammar structures in a natural and meaningful way.


Use Graphic Organizers and Visual Aids

Visual aids and graphic organizers can help ELLs understand and process new information by making it more visually accessible. Teachers can use graphic organizers to help ELLs visualize the structure of an essay, identify main ideas in a text, or brainstorm ideas for a writing assignment. Visual aids, such as pictures or videos, can also help ELLs understand complex concepts and vocabulary.


Provide Opportunities for Collaboration

Collaboration provides ELLs with the opportunity to practice their language skills in a supportive and interactive environment. Teachers can facilitate group work activities that allow ELLs to work with their peers to practice language skills and gain confidence. Collaboration can also help ELLs develop their social skills and build relationships with their peers, which can ultimately lead to improved language proficiency.


Use Language Learning Strategies

Teachers can teach ELLs specific language learning strategies to help them improve their language skills. Strategies can include making predictions, summarizing, and making connections to prior knowledge. These strategies help ELLs engage with the material and develop their language skills in a more structured and intentional way.


Provide Timely Feedback

Feedback is a critical component of language development for ELLs. Teachers should provide timely feedback to ELLs, particularly in areas such as grammar and sentence structure, pronunciation, and vocabulary use. Feedback should be specific and actionable, and should provide guidance for improvement.


Truly, teaching ELLs in a Language Arts classroom requires a deliberate and focused approach that takes into consideration their unique language needs. By providing access to authentic texts, using graphic organizers and visual aids, providing opportunities for collaboration, using language learning strategies, and providing timely feedback, teachers can help ELLs improve their English skills and thrive in the Language Arts classroom.


Works Cited:


Benesch, Sarah. "Authenticity in Materials Development for Language Learning." TESOL Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 3, 2001, pp. 373-89.


Cummins, Jim. "Language Learning and Teaching for Linguistic Minority Students." ERIC Digest, ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, 1996.


Gibbons, Pauline. Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning: Teaching Second Language Learners in the Mainstream Classroom. Heinemann, 2002.


Peregoy, Suzanne F., and Owen F. Boyle. Reading, Writing, and Learning in ESL: A Resource Book for Teaching K-12 English Learners. Pearson, 2013.

Essay Writing Matters

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 No comments

 

As students progress through their academic careers, they will inevitably be required to write essays. Whether it be in high school, college, or beyond, the ability to write a clear, concise, and effective essay is a crucial skill that students must master in order to succeed in their academic and professional lives. In this blog post, we will explore why teachers need to teach effective essay writing and the benefits that come with it.

Essay writing is a fundamental skill for academic success
Writing effective essays is a fundamental skill that is necessary for academic success. As students progress through their academic careers, they will encounter a variety of writing assignments, from research papers to analytical essays. The ability to write effective essays is crucial for students to not only succeed in these assignments but also to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.

Essay writing improves critical thinking skills
Effective essay writing requires students to think critically about the subject matter and to analyze and evaluate evidence to support their arguments. By teaching essay writing, teachers can help students develop critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze and evaluate information.

Essay writing helps students develop communication skills
Writing effective essays requires students to communicate their ideas clearly and concisely. By teaching essay writing, teachers can help students develop their communication skills and the ability to articulate their ideas in a clear and coherent manner.

Essay writing prepares students for college and beyond
The ability to write effective essays is not only necessary for academic success but also for success in the professional world. Many jobs require strong writing skills, and effective essay writing is a skill that students will use throughout their lives. By teaching effective essay writing, teachers can prepare their students for success in college and beyond.

Essay writing promotes creativity and self-expression
Effective essay writing is not just about following a formula; it also requires creativity and self-expression. By teaching essay writing, teachers can help students develop their creativity and the ability to express themselves in a unique and engaging way.

Indeed, teaching effective essay writing is crucial for the academic and professional success of students. It promotes critical thinking, communication skills, and creativity, and prepares students for success in college and beyond. By teaching effective essay writing, teachers can help their students develop the skills they need to succeed in their academic and professional lives.

Works Cited:

Harvard Writing Project. "Why Writing Is Important." Harvard University, The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2023, writingproject.fas.harvard.edu/pages/why-writing-important. Accessed 17 Feb. 2023.

Kain, Elizabeth. "Why Writing Is Important for Students." Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation, 20 Dec. 2018, www.edutopia.org/article/why-writing-important-students. Accessed 17 Feb. 2023.

The Writing Center. "Why Writing Is Important." The Writing Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2023, writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/why-writing-is-important/. Accessed 17 Feb. 2023.

Make Them Laugh! Satire in an English Classroom.

Monday, March 13, 2023 No comments



Satire is a powerful tool for social commentary and criticism, and incorporating it into an English curriculum can provide numerous benefits for students. From improving critical thinking and analysis skills to encouraging creative expression, satire has the potential to engage and challenge students in a unique and meaningful way. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why teachers should incorporate satire in an English curriculum.


Satire promotes critical thinking and analysis

Satire often uses humor and irony to expose flaws and inconsistencies in society and culture, and analyzing satirical works requires students to think critically about the text and its underlying messages. By studying satire, students can develop their analytical skills and learn to question the status quo, which is an essential part of becoming an informed and engaged citizen.


Satire encourages creativity and expression

Satire is a form of creative expression that allows individuals to express their opinions and ideas in a unique and engaging way. By incorporating satire into an English curriculum, teachers can encourage students to use humor and satire to express themselves and their ideas, which can be especially helpful for students who may struggle with more traditional forms of writing and expression.


Satire is relevant and engaging for students

Satire is often based on current events, social issues, and cultural trends, which makes it highly relevant and engaging for students. By studying contemporary satirical works, students can connect with the world around them and gain a deeper understanding of the social and cultural issues that affect their lives.


Satire can enhance cultural literacy

Satire has a rich history in literature, art, and popular culture, and incorporating it into an English curriculum can help students develop their cultural literacy and awareness. By studying satire from different time periods and cultural contexts, students can gain a deeper understanding of the ways that satire has been used to challenge power structures, express dissent, and provoke change throughout history.


Satire teaches students about rhetorical devices

Satire often uses a variety of rhetorical devices, including irony, hyperbole, and parody, to convey its message. By studying satire, students can learn about these rhetorical devices and how they can be used to create persuasive and engaging texts.


It is clear that there are many compelling reasons why teachers should incorporate satire into an English curriculum. Satire promotes critical thinking and analysis, encourages creativity and expression, is relevant and engaging for students, enhances cultural literacy, and teaches students about rhetorical devices. By using satire to challenge and engage students, teachers can help them develop the skills and knowledge they need to become informed and engaged citizens who can think critically about the world around them.


Works Cited:


Bloom, Harold, and Blake Hobby. "The Uses of Satire." Bloom's Literature, Infobase, 2019. Bloom's Literature, online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=113176&itemid=WE52&articleId=36065. Accessed 17 Feb. 2023.


Guthrie, James R. "Why Satire Matters." The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 18 Mar. 2013, www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/03/why-satire-matters/274143/. Accessed 17 Feb. 2023.


Levy, David. "Why Satire Still Matters in Education." Education Week, Editorial Projects in Education, 14 Apr. 2016, www.edweek.org/leadership/opinion-why-satire-still-matters-in-education/2016/04. Accessed 17 Feb. 2023.

 

Why Shakespeare?

Friday, March 10, 2023 No comments


 William Shakespeare is one of the greatest writers in the history of English literature. His plays and sonnets are studied all over the world and are a staple of many English literature curriculums. However, there are some who argue that Shakespeare is outdated and not relevant to modern students. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why teachers should teach Shakespeare to their students.

Shakespeare's works are timeless
One of the reasons why Shakespeare's works are still relevant today is because they deal with universal themes and ideas that are still relevant to modern society. Themes such as love, jealousy, ambition, and betrayal are just as relevant today as they were when Shakespeare wrote his plays. By studying Shakespeare, students can gain a deeper understanding of these themes and how they relate to the world around them.

Shakespeare's language is a valuable skill
Shakespeare is known for his complex language, including his use of iambic pentameter and his extensive vocabulary. By studying Shakespeare, students can improve their reading comprehension and their ability to analyze complex texts. Additionally, studying Shakespeare's language can help students improve their own writing and communication skills.

Shakespeare's plays are part of our cultural heritage
Shakespeare's plays are a part of our cultural heritage, and studying them is a way to connect with the past and understand our own cultural identity. By studying Shakespeare, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the history and culture of England and the Western world. Additionally, Shakespeare's plays have influenced countless other works of literature, art, and film, making them an important part of our shared cultural legacy.

Shakespeare's plays are engaging and entertaining
While Shakespeare's plays are often seen as difficult or boring, they are actually some of the most engaging and entertaining works in the English language. Shakespeare's plays are full of drama, humor, and memorable characters, making them a joy to read and study. By teaching Shakespeare to their students, teachers can help them discover the joy of reading and the power of literature.

Studying Shakespeare can improve critical thinking skills
Studying Shakespeare requires students to analyze complex texts, think critically about characters and themes, and make connections between the text and the world around them. By studying Shakespeare, students can improve their critical thinking skills and learn to approach complex texts with confidence and skill.

In short, there are many compelling reasons why teachers should teach Shakespeare to their students. Shakespeare's works are timeless, his language is a valuable skill, his plays are part of our cultural heritage, his plays are engaging and entertaining, and studying Shakespeare can improve critical thinking skills. By teaching Shakespeare, teachers can help their students develop a deeper appreciation of literature, history, and culture, and equip them with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.

Works Cited:

Hageman, Andrew. “Why Teach Shakespeare?” Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation, 27 Sept. 2016, www.edutopia.org/blog/why-teach-shakespeare-andrew-hageman.

Jones, Emma. “Why Shakespeare Is for All Time.” British Council, 26 Apr. 2016, www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/why-shakespeare-all-time.

Nadel, Ira. “5 Reasons Why We Study Shakespeare.” Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, Inc., 9 Jan. 2019, www.britannica.com/list/5-reasons-why-we-study-shakespeare.

Improve Communication with Parents, Improve Student Outcomes

Wednesday, March 8, 2023 No comments


Effective communication with parents is a critical aspect of being an effective teacher. By communicating effectively with parents, teachers can build strong partnerships, gain valuable insights into their students, and promote student success. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best ways teachers can improve communication with parents.

Use multiple channels of communication
Different parents have different preferences for how they like to receive information. Some may prefer email, while others may prefer phone calls or in-person meetings. To reach all parents, it is important to use multiple channels of communication. This may include sending out weekly or monthly newsletters, making phone calls, sending emails, or using a messaging app. By using multiple channels of communication, teachers can ensure that they are reaching all parents and that the information they are sharing is being received.

Be proactive with communication
It is important to be proactive with communication. Teachers should reach out to parents at the beginning of the school year to introduce themselves and establish a positive relationship. Throughout the year, teachers should provide regular updates on student progress, classroom activities, and upcoming events. If a student is struggling, teachers should reach out to parents to discuss strategies for supporting the student. By being proactive with communication, teachers can build strong relationships with parents and create a supportive learning environment.

Provide regular feedback on student progress
Parents want to know how their children are doing in school. It is important to provide regular feedback on student progress. This may include sending home progress reports or report cards, providing feedback on assignments, or holding parent-teacher conferences. By providing regular feedback, teachers can help parents understand their child's strengths and weaknesses and work together to support their academic growth.

Use positive language
Effective communication is not just about what you say, but how you say it. It is important to use positive language when communicating with parents. Instead of focusing on a student's weaknesses, try to highlight their strengths and what they are doing well. For example, instead of saying "Your child is struggling in math," try saying "Your child has made great progress in math and we are working to build on their skills." By using positive language, teachers can build positive relationships with parents and promote a growth mindset.

Be transparent and honest
Effective communication requires transparency and honesty. If a student is struggling, it is important to communicate this to parents in a clear and honest way. Similarly, if there are issues or concerns in the classroom, teachers should be upfront and transparent with parents. By being transparent and honest, teachers can build trust with parents and work together to support student success.

Undoubtly, effective communication with parents is an important aspect of being an effective teacher. By using multiple channels of communication, being proactive, providing regular feedback, using positive language, and being transparent and honest, teachers can build strong partnerships with parents and promote student success.

Works Cited:

Edutopia. (2022). Tips for Effective Parent-Teacher Conferences. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/tips-effective-parent-teacher-conferences

EdWeek. (2017). Five Strategies for Effective Communication With Parents. Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/leadership/opinion-five-strategies-for-effective-communication-with-parents/2017/10

National Education Association. (2018). Communicating with Parents: Strategies for Teachers. Retrieved from https://www.nea.org/resource-library/communicating-parents-strategies-teachers


Yes, Teachers Can Have Me -Time Too!

Monday, March 6, 2023 No comments

 


 As a teacher, time is one of the most precious commodities we have. Between lesson planning, grading, meetings, and administrative tasks, it can feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best ways teachers can save time and maximize their productivity.


Use technology to streamline tasks

Technology can be a powerful tool for saving time. There are a variety of apps and tools that can be used to streamline tasks such as grading, lesson planning, and communication with parents. For example, learning management systems (LMS) such as Blackboard or Google Classroom can be used to post assignments, provide feedback, and communicate with students and parents. Grading tools such as GradeCam or Flubaroo can be used to quickly grade multiple choice assignments. By leveraging technology, teachers can save time and focus on other important tasks.


Prioritize tasks and set goals

It's easy to get overwhelmed by the long to-do lists that come with teaching. One way to manage this is to prioritize tasks and set goals. Identify the most important tasks that need to be done each day and focus on those first. Use a planner or calendar to map out tasks and set deadlines. By breaking tasks down into manageable steps and setting goals, teachers can save time and ensure that they are making progress towards their objectives.


Use pre-made resources

Creating lesson plans and instructional materials from scratch can be time-consuming. One way to save time is to use pre-made resources. There are a variety of websites and resources available that offer pre-made lesson plans, worksheets, and activities. For example, Teachers Pay Teachers is a popular site that offers a wide range of resources created by teachers for teachers (Feel free to check out some of our products for middle and high school English teachers there too) . By using pre-made resources, teachers can save time and focus on other important tasks.


Collaborate with colleagues

Collaboration with colleagues can be a powerful tool for saving time. By working with other teachers, you can share resources, ideas, and strategies that have been successful. Additionally, collaborating with colleagues can help to reduce the workload by sharing tasks such as lesson planning, grading, and data analysis. By working together, teachers can save time and achieve better outcomes for their students.


Delegate tasks

Delegation is another strategy for saving time. Identify tasks that can be delegated to others such as teacher assistants, volunteers, or students. For example, students can be assigned tasks such as passing out papers, grading assignments, or setting up equipment. By delegating tasks, teachers can free up time for more important tasks and reduce their workload.


Unquestionably, saving time is an important aspect of being an effective teacher. By using technology to streamline tasks, prioritizing tasks and setting goals, using pre-made resources, collaborating with colleagues, and delegating tasks, teachers can save time and focus on other important tasks. As educators, our time is valuable, and by using these strategies, we can make the most of the time we have.


Works Cited:


Hill, R. (2019). The New Teacher's Guide to Delegating. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/new-teachers-guide-delegating


Raths, D. (2018). Time-Saving Tools for Teachers. EdTech. Retrieved from https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/09/time-saving-tools-teachers


TeachThought Staff. (2021). 20 Time-Saving Tips For Teachers. TeachThought. Retrieved from https://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/20-time-saving-tips-for-teachers/

How to Prepare Your Students for Testing

Friday, March 3, 2023 No comments

Standardized testing is an essential component of the education system in many countries. It provides a measure of student performance, compares different schools, and helps in the identification of strengths and weaknesses in the curriculum. Despite its numerous benefits, standardized testing can be stressful for students and teachers alike. However, with proper preparation, teachers can help their students overcome the fear and anxiety associated with standardized testing. This blog post highlights the best ways teachers can prepare their students for standardized testing.


Obviously, teachers need to ensure that their students are familiar with the test format and content. This can be achieved through the provision of past papers, practice tests, and other test-taking strategies. By doing so, students will have an understanding of the structure of the test, the types of questions to expect, and the time allocation for each section. According to Rimm-Kaufman and colleagues, this familiarity can reduce anxiety and increase performance on the day of the test (171).


Which is furthermore, teachers need to incorporate test-taking strategies into their teaching. This includes time management, elimination of answer choices, and the use of context clues. The integration of these strategies into classroom activities can help students to develop critical thinking skills and increase their ability to solve problems. Research conducted by Cobb and colleagues found that students who receive test-taking strategies training perform significantly better on standardized tests than those who do not (128).


Clearly, teachers need to develop a positive learning environment in the classroom. This includes setting achievable goals, providing feedback on performance, and encouraging students to be actively engaged in their learning. A positive classroom environment can boost student motivation, reduce anxiety, and improve academic achievement. According to a study by Furrer and Skinner, a positive classroom environment can enhance academic achievement and reduce academic stress in students (113).


Moreover, teachers need to ensure that their students are physically and mentally prepared for the test day. This includes adequate sleep, proper nutrition, and relaxation techniques. Research conducted by Hagenauer and colleagues found that adequate sleep and proper nutrition can improve cognitive function and memory recall, which can positively impact test performance (300). Additionally, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can help reduce test anxiety and improve focus during the test.


It should be noted that teachers need to ensure that their students understand the importance of the test and their role in it. This includes teaching students that the test is a measure of their academic progress and an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and skills. Additionally, teachers need to remind their students that standardized testing is an important part of the education system and that their performance can impact their future academic and career opportunities.


Indeed, standardized testing is an essential component of the education system, and teachers play a significant role in preparing their students for it. By providing students with familiarity with the test format and content, integrating test-taking strategies into classroom activities, developing a positive learning environment, ensuring physical and mental preparedness, and teaching the importance of the test, teachers can help students overcome test anxiety and perform well on standardized tests. Through proper preparation, students can gain confidence in their ability to perform well on standardized tests, which can positively impact their academic and career opportunities.


Works Cited:


Cobb, Casey D., et al. "Teaching Test-Taking Strategies to Middle School Students." The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, vol. 85, no. 3, 2012, pp. 127-131.


Furrer, Carrie J., and Ellen A. Skinner. "Sense of Relatedness and Perceptions of Classroom Climate." Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 95, no. 1, 2003, pp. 87-98.


Hagenauer, Megan H., et al. "A Narrative Review of School-based Sleep Interventions for Adolescents: Lessons

The Importance of Teaching Vocabulary in a Novel Unit

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 No comments


 When teaching a novel, teachers focus on developing reading comprehension, literary analysis, and critical thinking skills. However, it is equally important to teach vocabulary during a novel unit. Vocabulary instruction is essential for students to understand the text, comprehend complex ideas, and communicate their ideas effectively. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of teaching vocabulary during a novel unit and provide evidence from research.

First and foremost, teaching vocabulary is crucial to understanding the text. Many novels have a specialized language that students may not be familiar with. Without knowledge of this vocabulary, students will struggle to comprehend the text. For example, in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, students may not understand words like "amiable," "piety," or "eccentric." If students do not understand these words, they may miss key aspects of the story, such as the characterization of Atticus Finch. Therefore, teaching vocabulary is essential to ensure that students have a clear understanding of the text.

Moreover, teaching vocabulary is vital for comprehending complex ideas. Novels often present complex ideas and themes that require students to think critically. However, without knowledge of the vocabulary associated with these concepts, students will find it difficult to grasp the author's intent. For example, in William Golding's Lord of the Flies, students need to understand words like "savagery," "symbiosis," and "allegory" to comprehend the novel's themes of power, civilization, and human nature. Without understanding these terms, students may struggle to interpret the novel's deeper meanings.

Finally, teaching vocabulary is critical for effective communication. Students need a broad vocabulary to express themselves and communicate their ideas effectively. Without an extensive vocabulary, students may struggle to articulate their thoughts, write persuasively, or engage in thoughtful discussions. This is especially important in the context of English language learners, who may not be familiar with the language of the text. By teaching vocabulary, teachers can equip students with the tools they need to communicate their ideas effectively.

There is also research to support the importance of teaching vocabulary during a novel unit. A study conducted by Harvard University found that vocabulary instruction had a significant impact on reading comprehension. The study showed that teaching vocabulary helped students to comprehend texts that were beyond their reading level. Moreover, the study found that students who received vocabulary instruction improved their ability to comprehend complex sentences, which is a critical skill for analyzing literature.

Another study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh found that teaching vocabulary had a positive impact on students' writing. The study showed that students who received vocabulary instruction wrote more complex and sophisticated sentences than students who did not receive vocabulary instruction. The study also found that teaching vocabulary had a significant impact on students' reading comprehension, even when the text was not explicitly about the vocabulary words.

Without a doubt, teaching vocabulary during a novel unit is essential for students to understand the text, comprehend complex ideas, and communicate their ideas effectively. As educators, we must recognize the importance of vocabulary instruction and incorporate it into our novel units. By doing so, we can equip students with the tools they need to succeed academically and in life.

Works Cited

Cunningham, Anne E., and Keith E. Stanovich. "What Reading Does for the Mind." Journal of Direct Instruction, vol. 3, no. 2, 2003, pp. 137-149.

Nagy, William E., and Judith A. Scott. "Vocabulary Processes." Handbook of Reading Research, edited by Rebecca Barr, Michael L. Kamil, Peter Mosenthal, and P. David Pearson, Routledge, 2011, pp. 269-284.

National Council of Teachers of English. "The Role of Vocabulary in Content Area Classes." NCT