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TBD: Further Inquiries into Effective Questions

by Jim Burke The previous post about “Teaching by Design” (TBD) and its connection to developing more effective questions continues to fascinate me this week. Here are some additional questions to share as I keep tweaking and trying them out with the class as both close reading and class discussion questions. Will continue to share […]

Teaching by Design (TBD): Asking Better Questions

by Jim Burke What we put in students’ hands in class is the point of greatest influence: it tells them what to do or what we expect them to know. I have written before about Webb’s Depth of Knowledge model and what I called the A-List vocabulary on previous blogs. Asking questions is its own […]

Re: Defining Reading

by Jim Burke I had the great pleasure of a long conversation with Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein last weekend while in Chicago. In addition to discussing our forthcoming high school edition of “They Say/I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, we spoke of a problem we all agreed is a serious one […]

“Close Reading” Includes Directions,

by Jim Burke When we speak of “close reading” as it appears in Reading Standard 1 of the Common Core State Standards, it is worth considering the directions of the assignments we give our students and the exams they take where such key words as evaluate or trace are used regularly. The student who cannot distinguish between compare and contrast is […]

Your Core Companion: Just What IS “Close Reading”?

By Jim Burke This marks the first of what will be a series of periodic posts about specific Common Core standards and resources intended to help you better understand and implement them.  The links and lessons I provide here allow me to further support those using my Common Core Companion books, so please do not mistake this […]

Summer Reading AP Lit 09-10

I thought I would share the summer reading assignment my colleague, Morgan Hallabrin, and I created for the coming year. We have found that pairing books with common ideas works very well, as does pairing a contemporary with a classic book. What is of particular interest to us this year is our new commitment to […]

“If you can’t learn you can’t servive”

Three wonderful quotations about reading taken from my book I Hear America Reading: This is what I like about traveling: the time on airplanes spent reading, solitary, happy. It turns out that when my younger self thought of taking wing, she wanted only to let her spirit soar. Books are the plane, and the train, […]

The New Generation’s Mind: Creative, Innovative, Flexible

The National Center on Education and the Economy released its Tough Choices or Tough Times report several years back, but that report's message and importance only grow more evident as we watch the world change beneath our feet. I am particularly encouraged by its emphasis on creativity and innovation, using complexity to develop a flexible […]

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