Category Archives: Uncategorized

Six 2016 Nonfiction Picture Books for Your Consideration

Here are my thoughts on a few nonfiction picture books from the first half of 2016. These reviews first appeared on Goodreads in slightly different form. I hope this post is helpful to those choosing books for young readers. Pink … Continue reading

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Five Fun Podcasts for English Teachers

As part of my self-directed professional development, I subscribe to numerous podcasts, but these are the five that provide regular combinations of fun and information for my English teacher soul. The links here point to the iTunes page for each … Continue reading

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My Top Ten Merle Haggard Songs

When I heard earlier today that Merle Haggard had passed away, I felt just terrible. I loved that guy. The best way I can think of to celebrate Merle is through his music, so what follows here is a collection of videos … Continue reading

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Review: IT’S COMPLICATED: THE SOCIAL LIVES OF NETWORKED TEENS by Danah Boyd

The ways teens use social media spawn a lot of myths. Here are a few: • Using social media makes teens vulnerable to bullies and sexual predators. • Many teens are addicted to technology. • The “digital native” generation has … Continue reading

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Four More Books for High School Libraries and Classrooms!

Here are four books that will be great additions to high school libraries and classrooms. Each can work as independent reading or as texts shared by a larger number of students. If you’re making a list of summer reading suggestions, … Continue reading

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Review: LIT UP by David Denby

The premise of David Denby’s Lit Up is that although high school students are reluctant to read works of literature, a talented teacher can help young people find relevance and purpose in challenging texts. With that in mind, Denby attended … Continue reading

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Review: WRITING WITH MENTORS by Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O’Dell

In their remarkable new book Writing with Mentors: How to Reach Every Writer in the Room Using Current, Engaging Mentor Texts (Heinemann 2015), Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O’Dell show how they use mentor texts as the foundation for their writing classes … Continue reading

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My Ten Favorite Interview Questions for Hiring English Teachers

After interviewing dozens of candidates for English teaching positions, I developed some approaches and questions for seeing the best in each candidate. I’m mostly interested in figuring out if the candidate is a good person with an educator’s instincts, even … Continue reading

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Some Baseball Books for the 2016 Hot Stove League

In last year’s round-up of baseball books, I said I’d be happy if the Cubs won 85 games, and the season ended up being quite a bit more successful than that with the most exciting season we’ve seen for a … Continue reading

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Review: BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert

Don’t you just love how certain books come into your life? I have a friend who is a writer. A few weeks ago she sent me a message asking if I’d read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. I responded with a … Continue reading

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