Michigan’s New Reading Law

Get to Know Michigan’s New Reading Law – in this beginning-of-year activity, staff will learn key information related to the new reading law through a custom graphic organizer and a corresponding question set. (This is specific for the 2017-2018 school year.)  I actually had a lot of fun designing the graphic and I hope you’ll enjoy …

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Construct Relevant Vocabulary for English Language Arts and Literacy

What?????? If you’ve been keeping up with SBAC, you’ve already seen this. If you’re one of our teaching colleagues in Michigan, make sure you download the vocabulary and integrate the information into the good work you are doing in your lessons. Both SBAC and the MDE note that “Construct relevant vocabulary” refers to any English …

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Redesigned SAT – Essential Language Progressive Skills Alert

A number of weeks ago, I wanted to answer a question related to the SAT Practice Tests – those tests the College Board made available for us to help teachers and students become familiar with the redesigned SAT. I personally wanted to check the alignment between the SAT questions on the Practice Test and the Common …

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Join Deb at ASCD in April 2016!

I’ve got some great news; I’ll be presenting again at ASCD’s Annual Conference! If you’re coming to the ASCD Conference in April 2016, I hope you’ll consider attending my session: Protocols for Using Data in Instructional Learning Cycles.  Built around ASCD’s theme, “Learn, Teach, Lead“, this session will provide friendly tools and protocols for working with …

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Shift Happens! A shift in vocabulary, that is.

As you know, when the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts were released, we all learned about the Instructional Shifts.  As you read about the Common Core and the changes it brings, you’ll see two basic lists of the shifts – one with three items and one with six.  The list with 3 shifts …

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Content Cards: Text Structures, Grades 9-12

Today’s post is Text Structures for Different Types of Writing.  I designed this tool for teachers, but there are many pages that will also be good resource materials for students.   In this handy guide, you’ll find a quick overview of the text types (i.e., Argumentative, Informational, Narrative) in the Common Core State Standards.  AFter that, I’ve …

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Examples of Lessons for Teaching Vocabulary: ELA K-12

You already know how important it is to teach vocabulary.  You likely also know that we need to be directly teaching important vocabulary words.  I’ve provided these examples to give you an idea of ways you might structure lessons to teach vocabulary.  The examples are in a pdf format and ready for you to download …

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New Cut Scores for Michigan’s MEAP and MME

It’s official.  You have likely heard that the new cut scores were coming.  Well they’re here. When the MDE sent a memo out this week reminding everyone that historical data with the new cut scores attached would be released on Novemember 3, 2011 – I jumped into action. I’ve put together a few materials that …

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Organizing Materials

You’ve likely seen this product on television.  It’s a Wonderfile!  I tested it out recently and liked it very much.  My test run was with an assortment of materials I put together for a Reading Playbook that I designed for students.  I wanted to have my most recent copy of the playbook, examples of the …

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Write to the Text

 I am a fan of Kelly Gallagher’s Article of the Week.  His website is loaded with weekly articles you can use to give students interesting topics to which they can write. I recently read an article in Education Week and asked the author, Anothy Cody, for permission to turn his article, Color Coded High School ID …

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