The July Summer Book Club

After reading Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad in June, we are plunging into nonfiction this July. Which book will we read? That’s where you come in. The Talks with Teachers Summer Book Club has always been about choice, and we let you decide. Here are the three book we are considering next month. To be … Read more…

The Summer Book Club

This is the third year of the Talks with Teachers Summer Book Club, a time for us as teachers to share a love of reading, build on each other’s insights, and grow as a community. Bell Hooks once said, “For most people, what is so painful about reading is that you read something and you … Read more…

Reclaiming the Virtues of Teaching

The Virtues of Teaching

This post originally appeared on Edutopia.org In a recent Gallup poll, 43 percent of people said that they didn’t want their children to become teachers. It was 33 percent a decade earlier. I am fearful of what that signifies for teachers and for students. Who will lead us in the future if we don’t honor … Read more…

Why Diction is Important

Diction

Teaching Diction and Tone I blame it all on SparkNotes. For every summary it provides, there are “Themes, Motifs & Symbols.”  When students visit sites like it, Shmoop, and LitCharts, they come away with the impression that the sole purpose of a work of literature is to exist through its symbols and motifs. It is … Read more…

Chris Bronke

Chris Bronke

Episode #86 Christopher Bronke has been teaching English for 13 years and is in his 5th year as English Department Chair at Downers Grove North. In this role he teaches 9th-grade honors, evaluates teachers, oversees the literacy coaching program, plans and implements PD, and works with other district leaders on CCSS integration/implementation and common assessments … Read more…

What is Syntax?

What is Syntax

In his 1985 book, 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing: Proven Professional Techniques for Writing with Style and Power, Gary Provost demonstrated what happens when a writer experiments with syntax: This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The … Read more…

Monica Burns: Class Tech Tips (Episode #85)

Monica Burns: Class Tech Tips

Dr. Monica Burns is a Curriculum and EdTech Consultant, Apple Distinguished Educator and Founder of ClassTechTips.com. As an educator, Monica was part of her school’s Federal Magnet Funding leadership team and was a vocal advocate for bringing 1:1 technology into her 5th grade classroom. During her tenure as a classroom teacher, Monica used iPads to … Read more…