Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We Have a Cover!

We're excited to get our first look at the cover of Using Informational Text to Teach To Kill a Mockingbird!

It's due out in late March from Rowman & Littlefield Education. You can pre-order here, or if you're joining us on March 22 at NJCTE or March 27 at NJASCD, you can pick up a copy from us directly!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Upcoming Events -- Register Today!

Using Informational Text to Teach To Kill a Mockingbird -- NJCTE 2014 Spring Conference, Saturday, March 22 at Montclair State University
Language arts teachers are worried that the CCSS informational text standard means a radical shift away from literature. Our presentation is meant to set their minds at ease. Using To Kill a Mockingbird as our anchor text, we will demonstrate how informational text can be included in the curriculum in a way that, for all teachers, builds on rather than takes away from the teaching of the literary text. Our presentation will focus specifically on how informational text can enhance the teaching of literature (using Mockingbird as our exemplar). The presentation will be teacher-friendly, with lots of materials for teachers to take home and use.

Using Informational Text: Cross-Disciplinary Literacy to Motivate Secondary Learners
We are excited to present this session for NJASCD at the FEA Conference Center in Monroe Township, NJ, on Thursday, March 27. This hands-on workshop will offer practical strategies for both ELA teachers and cross-disciplinary teams looking for ways to support each other and their students, not just in meeting the Common Core mandates regarding informational text, but in seizing the literacy opportunities that informational text can provide without taking away from the great things we already do. Register today!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Collaboration, Proofiness, and The Crucible

We’ve had lots of snow (and snow days!) in New Jersey and so time to catch up on some of our reading. Tara Seale’s piece, “Creating Synergy beyond the English Hall,” in the January 2014 issue of English Journal (103.3) caught our attention for its intriguing suggestion of a non-fiction pairing.

Seale talks about how she shares tips and advice with a math colleague (the bulk of Seale’s article is about transformative collaborations like this). She mentions a particular tip from her friend: Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception, by Charles Seife. In the introduction to his text, Seife discusses Joe McCarthy’s use of numeric proof to bolster his argument about communist infestation of the United States. As Seale writes, “the introduction alone is a good nonfiction excerpt to add to a study of The Crucible. Proofiness explains the importance of numbers to any argument and how numbers distort or enhance arguments.”

What a great informational text connection! And what a great point about how helpful it can be to tap the knowledge of our non-language arts colleagues for ideas for these kinds of connections. Good work, Tara Seale!