First, Second

This can be done in pairs or individually. If it’s done in pairs, have one student write down the answers for his or her partner, then switch roles. If it’s done individually, students can write down their own answers. After you’ve “finished” a story (asked a complete script), have students take out a piece of…

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Four Square Story Map

One struggle for me has been to create questions and activities that help my students practice their critical thinking skills. Much of what we do in class, regrettably, is regurgitation and transformation. Standardized test results show that students at my school and at schools throughout the nation struggle when it comes to critical thinking and…

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Simultaneous Presentations

The Simultaneous Presentations format is a great way to for students to do presentations that spares both the teacher and their students the pain of sitting quietly and straining to hear 34 separate individual presentations. My awesome mentor, Nina Bonito-Romine, shared this presentation format with me last year, and I will never go back! HOW…

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Rethinking Dictation in language classes

Dictations have been a standard activity for language classes for a very long time. In particular, the traditional French dictée has a non-negotiable place in courses from Kinder through university level courses. Traditionally, dictations are used to learn spelling– a purpose which is debatable at best. Certainly, direct spelling instruction and practice has a positive…

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Binary CLOZE Reading Comprehension Assessment

A binary CLOZE reading comprehension assessment is an easy way to measure student comprehension of a text. It is used across content areas, and it gives the teacher a different view of students’ reading comprehension than they would receive by asking comprehension questions. What a Binary CLOZE assessment looks like In a Binary CLOZE assessment,…

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