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What's NEW!



The Literacy Cookbook was officially launched on April 30, 2009.  This page provides loyal readers with updates on a monthly basis.  You can also subscribe FOR FREE to the RSS Feed and have updates Emailed to you.  See "May, 2010" below for details on how to do that, or else simply check this page for updates.

MAY, 2018

In concert with the publication of my latest book, USING GRAMMAR TO IMPROVE WRITING: RECIPES FOR ACTION, I launched the Using Grammar to Improve Writing page!  This page features totally free resources associated with the book.  You do not have to log in to access them.  If you would like to purchase the $3.99 eBook on Amazon, click HERE.  The $24.99 print version will be available on Amazon soon.  The print version is currently (as of 5-24-18) available at BookShop HERE.

 

APRIL, 2018

  • Added links to "28 Must-Share Poems for Elementary" and "24 Must-Share Poems for Middle and High School" on the Analyzing Literature page.
  • Launched the Project-Based Learning page! (under "Resources & Links")
  • Added a link to "The Ultimate Word Games Guide" to the For PARENTS page. Thanks to Sheryl Witte for this recommendation!

MARCH, 2018

  • Added "4th Grade 2017 RST Sample Body Paragraph" to the PARCC Prep page.  Thanks to Patrice Richards at RCCS for her help with this!
  • Deactivated all NJ ASK- and NJ HSPA-related pages.  PS, if there was something on one of those pages that you need, please Email me.
  • Added "3rd Grade Lit Analysis PARCC 2015 Modeling Thesis and 1st Body  to the PARCC Prep page.

FEBRUARY, 2018

  • Launched the Argument vs Evidence page!  This page curates my online resources for teaching students how to use “Argument vs. Evidence, Steps 1-6” to write more clearly.  The TLC Blog posts explain the steps, and you can find the needed materials in the Download Zone.
  • Updated and added to the Download Zone for the PARCC Prep page: "PARCC Narrative Writing Prompts 2-22-18," "PARCC Literary Analysis Writing Prompts 2-22-18," and "PARCC Research Simulation Writing Prompts 2-22-18."

JANUARY, 2018

DECEMBER, 2017

NOVEMBER, 2017

OCTOBER, 2017

  • Renamed and revised the "SNEAK PREVIEW" page; it's now called "TLC GUIDE."  It features a table that will help you navigate the Website more easily to save you time.
  • Added links to useful NY Times resources for argument writing (e.g., "10 Ways to Teach Argument Writing with the NY Times") to the Journalism Resources and Persuasive Writing pages.

SEPTEMBER, 2017

  • Added "PARCC RST Unpacking-the-Prompt Practice for Grade 5" to the PARCC Prep page. I used this for a demo lesson with students in Jersey City, and it worked like a charm.  NOTE: This is easily adaptable for other grades if you use the PARCC Research Simulation Task Prompts for grades prior to the one(s) you teach.
  • Added advice and a link to Ned Guymon's mysterious dialogue for work on inference and dialogue to the PARCC PrepComprehension 101, and Narrative Writing pages.
  • Updated descriptions of reading resources on the PARCC Prep page.

AUGUST, 2017

  • Added a link to the super-helpful Achieve the Core's Academic Word Finder to the Building Robust Vocabulary page.
  • Added "Grades 2-12 ELA CCSS with Resources" and a free download of the "Grade 8 ELA CCSS with Resources" to the Standards page.  Many thanks to Anibal Garcia of Queen City Academy CS for his initiative and support on the creation of these excellent tools!

JULY, 2017

JUNE, 2017

  • Added an updated version of the "Summer Reading Packet-novel-narrative rev 2017" to the Independent Reading page.
  • Added a link to poetry unit materials for grades 3-5 to the Analyzing Literature page.

MAY, 2017

APRIL, 2017

MARCH, 2017

  • Added a helpful link and PDF for "401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing" from the NY Times to the Persuasive Writing page.
  • Fixed and updated some links.  Thanks to TLC user Janine Brockman for the tips!
  • Updated the Narrative Writing page and added "Personal Narrative Project with Rubric" to it.

FEBRUARY, 2017

JANUARY, 2017

DECEMBER, 2016

NOVEMBER, 2016

OCTOBER, 2016

SEPTEMBER, 2016

AUGUST, 2016

JULY, 2016:

JUNE, 2016:

MAY, 2016

APRIL, 2016

MARCH, 2016

FEBRUARY, 2016

DECEMBER, 2015

  • Updated the PARCC Prep page, adding PARCC Narrative, Literary Analysis, and Research Simulation Writing Prompts (including items for grades 3-11 from PARCC Practice Tests and 2015 Released Items).

NOVEMBER, 2015

  • Added an important update about PARCC's newly-released test items on the PARCC Prep page.
  • Added link to a MiddleWeb blog post on the Grammar and Writing 101 pages.

OCTOBER, 2015

  • Upgraded The Literacy Cookbook Website to improve speed of access.
  • Added three useful links to the Analyzing Literature page for vocabulary on characters' traits.
  • Fixed a broken link on the Guided Reading page.
  • Added "Unpacking Your Thesis Organizer MODEL-Grinch" to the Writing 101 and Literary Response Paper Guide pages.  Many thanks to Alice Lee at Great Oaks CHS for co-creating this with me!
  • Repaired a broken link and added a new resource (FreeBookNotes.com) on the Curriculum Resources & Links page.  Thanks to Carole Fegan for the heads-up and lead!

SEPTEMBER, 2015

AUGUST, 2015

  • Added "SRT Expanded Reading Response Prompts and Sample Break-up Letters" to the Independent Reading page.

JULY, 2015

  • Added a helpful link to a grammar practice Website on the Grammar and For PARENTS pages.  Thanks to Lisa Lauria and Amber Merrigan at Camden's Promise CS for this lead!
  • Added a helpful link to the PARCC Prep page.  Thanks to Adina Medina at HoLa CS for this lead!

JUNE, 2015

MAY, 2015

  • Added UPDATED "Unpacking the Standards ORGANIZER rev 5-7-15" and "Unpacking the Standards RIT 6-1 MODEL rev 5-7-15" to the Standards page.  NOTE: These versions include a section for generating relevant question stems to address the standard.
  • Added "Selected Texts for Grades 4-12 ELA" to the Recommended Reading and Independent Reading pages.  If you are writing/revising curriculum, this should come in handy.  Many thanks to all who contributed suggestions!
  • Updated materials and guidance on the Standards page.
  • Added a link to a helpful resource for teaching The Great Gatsby on the HS English Lessons & Units page.
  • Added differentiated samples of Hamlet for scaffolded paraphrasing work to the HS English Lessons & Units page.  Many thanks to Jamie Sterlacci for this generous donation!
  • Added a link to GoodReads recommendations for middle school students to the Recommended Reading and Independent Reading pages.
  • Added a link to What Should I Read Next to the Recommended Reading and Independent Reading pages.  Thanks to Shannon Marshall at Great Oaks CS for this lead!
  • Added a PARCC Update to the PARCC Prep page.

APRIL, 2015

MARCH, 2015

  • Added another TLC Blog post to the PARCC Prep page.
  • Added a TLC Blog post on "Preparing for End-of-Year Writing Reflections" and the "End-of-Year Writing Reflections Sheet" to the Writing 101 and Writing Rubrics pages.

FEBRUARY, 2015

JANUARY, 2015

  • Added another TLC Blog post to the PARCC Prep page.
  • Added "Outlining Your Compare-and-Contrast Essay" to the PARCC Prep page.
  • Added two more reading resources and another TLC Blog post to the PARCC Prep page.
  • Added another helpful SAT prep resource link on the SAT/SSAT Prep page.

DECEMBER, 2014

  • Added "SRT Reading Tracker-Worksheets 1 and 2" and "Intro to SRT PowperPoint" to the Independent Reading page.  (Note: These files were inadvertently left off of the CD for Literacy and the Common Core.  If you bought that book, you can use your free 30-day trial to access these files.)
  • Updated the PARCC Prep page to include User-Friendly PARCC Writing Rubrics (See also the eponymous TLC Blog post).
  • Reorganized the PARCC Prep page to make it easier to navigate and added a resource for analyzing reading questions.
  • Added my MiddleWeb post "PARCC Prep: Literary Analysis Writing Task" to the PARCC Prep page.
  • Added another TLC Blog post to the PARCC Prep page.  Thanks to my friends at Soaring Heights CS for this inspiration!
  • Revised the Blog page to make it more user-friendly.  PS: The TLC Blog is a separate Website, located HERE.
  • Added "How to Infer Themes ORGANIZER" to the PARCC PrepAnalyzing Literature, and Writing 101 pages.
  • Added narrative writing tools to the PARCC Prep page.
  • Added another TLC Blog post to the PARCC Prep page.

NOVEMBER, 2014

OCTOBER, 2014

SEPTEMBER, 2014

  • Added a helpful link on world history documents to the History Writing: DBQ Essays page.  Thanks to Michael Mackenna for another great lead!
  • Added a helpful link on how to cite sources to the the Research Paper Guide page.  Thanks to Sarah Del Rosasario for this lead!
  • Added a few more resources to the Miscellaneous Resources page.
  • Added "PARCC Writing Rubrics for Grades 3, 4-5, and 6-11" to the Writing Rubrics page.  These are the most current PARCC Writing Rubrics available.

AUGUST, 2014

JULY, 2014

JUNE, 2014

  • Added a link to a super-helpful Website for building vocabulary, Verbal Workout, to the following pages: Building Robust Vocabulary, ACT Prep, AP Prep, and SAT/SSAT Prep.  Many thanks to Jamie Sterlacci for this lead!!!
  • Added a helpful link and chart regarding how to use the 15 key punctuation marks on the Grammar page.  Many thanks to Susan Chenelle for this lead!
  • Added a link to a great list of character traits to the Analyzing Literature page.
  • Added a link to useful tone and mood words to the Analyzing Literature page.
  • Added updated curriculum-planning templates ("2014 BLANK Unit Plan Template" and "2014 BLANK Curriculum Overview Map") to the Templates for Lessons & Units page.

APRIL, 2014

  • Added a link to a helpful blog post from Edutopia ("Teaching Adolescents How to Evaluate the Quality of Online Information" by Julie Coiro) to the Research Paper Guide page.
  • Added a link to a helpful blog post from Match Next (a review of NoRedInk, a grammar practice software program) to the Grammar page.

MARCH, 2014

  • Added "Explanatory Writing Demo Lesson, 1-15-14" to the NJ ASK Prep page.
  • Added a helpful link on characters' values/virtues to the Analyzing Literature page (Thanks to Giselle Salandy for this lead!)
  • Added a helpful link to a NY Times article ("Trying to Close a Knowledge Gap, Word by Word" by Mokoto Rich) on the For PARENTS page.
  • Added a link to a hilarious list of misplaced quotation marks to the Grammar page. (Thanks to Katy Wischow for this lead!)

FEBRUARY, 2014

JANUARY, 2014

  • Added UPDATED "NJ ASK Test Specs 1-7-14" link to the NJ ASK Prep page.  Spoiler alert: Nothing has changed on the ELA side.  But check out my TLC Blog "NJ ASK Test Specs Update 1-15-14" for additional thoughts on how to make the transition to PARCC.
  • Added "180 Ways to Respond to Independent Reading" (a FREE download) to the Independent Reading page. Many thanks to Barbara Daniels for contributing this incredibly helpful set of ideas!
  • Added a link with Common Core-aligned lessons to the Curriculum Resources & Links page.
  • Added a link to MiddleWeb's "50 Favorite Websites for the Middle Grades" to the Miscellaneous Resources page.
  • Added "Create-Your-Own Common Core-Aligned Writing Prompts for Grades 3-8" to the Standards page.

DECEMBER, 2013

In December, I took a bit of a hiatus to finish work on my next book, LITERACY AND THE COMMON CORE: RECIPES FOR ACTION, which will be published by Jossey-Bass in August, 2014.  Stay tuned for details!

NOVEMBER, 2013

  • Added to the Analyzing Literature page: "Using Plot Points to Analyze Characters ORGANIZER" (contributed by Allison Miller!), along with a MODEL and a STUDENT EXAMPLE.  These are important tools for working on RL Standard #3.
  • Launched the Narrative Writing and Persuasive Writing pages!!! (Thanks to my Texas peeps for urging me to do this! :>)
  • Added "F451 Do Now--Two Societies" to the HS English Lessons & Units page.  Many thanks to Allison Miller for contributing this helpful tool for use with Fahrenheit 451 (PS--She used it successfully with 8th-graders).

OCTOBER, 2013


SEPTEMBER, 2013

  1. Completely rebooted the Standards page, re-organizing it for clarity and adding new resources.  Check it out!!!
  2. Added a helpful link with poetry resources to the Analyzing Literature page.
  3. Added another helpful resource link to the Standards page.
  4. Updated links related to resources by Jeff Zwiers on the Questioning page and the Socratic Seminars page.
  5. Further improved the "Question-Inference-Evidence & Explanation ORGANIZER," which appears on the Analyzing Literature page, the Comprehension 101 page, and the Questioning page.

AUGUST, 2013

  1. Updated the Standards page by adding "TRAJECTORY ANALYSIS CHARTS" for Writing, Language, Speaking and Listening, and Reading Foundational Skills.  PS: You can now find Trajectory Analysis Charts for ALL of the ELA Common Core Standards on this page!
  2. Added "6-12 CCS for Literacy in History, Science, Tech Subj Tracking Spreadsheet" to the Standards page.  If you teach history/social studies, science, or other technical subjects in grades 6-12, this tracking spreadsheet will be useful.
  3. Added a link for "Classic Books: An SAT Reading List" to the SAT/SSAT Prep and the ACT Prep page.  Many thanks to Paul, a student who found this site and recommended it (and thanks to Emily Merchant, his tutor, for the assistance)!
  4. Improved the "Question-Inference-Evidence & Explanation ORGANIZER," which appears on the Analyzing Literature page, the Comprehension 101 page, and the Questioning page.

JULY, 2013

  1. Added "Sample Grade 10 ELA Research Paper Unit" to the Research Paper Guide page and the Templates for Lessons & Units page.  Many thanks to Tricia Lindstedt and her colleagues at PCSST, who collaborated on this work.
  2. Added "Annotated Curriculum Overview Map" to the Templates for Lessons & Units page.
  3. Added "STRATEGIC READING & WRITING-Curriculum Overview Map" and "STRATEGIC READING & WRITING-9th Grade Unit Plans" to the Independent Reading page.  This overview was designed in collaboration with teachers at PCSST.
  4. Added "Sample Grade 11 ELA Curriculum Overview Map" and "Sample Grade 11 ELA Curriculum Unit 1" to the Templates for Lessons & Units page.  Many thanks to Allison Miller at PCSST for her work on these documents.

JUNE, 2013

  1. Added "TRAJECTORY ANALYSIS CHARTS-Reading Informational Text" to the Standards page.  For an explanation of how to use these charts, see this TLC Blog post on trajectory analysis.
  2. Added "FREE SUMMER READING PACKET" to the Independent Reading page.  See this related TLC Blog post for more information.
  3. Added "TRAJECTORY ANALYSIS CHARTS-Reading Literature" and "TRAJECTORY ANALYSIS CHARTS Comparing RIT vs. RL" to the Standards page.  For an explanation of how to use these charts, see this TLC Blog post on trajectory analysis.
  4. Added a link to a very comprehensive Genre Characteristics Chart to the Analyzing Literature page.
  5. In response to popular demand, I launched a new Open-ended Response Writing page!
  6. Updated the FREE download "Tips on How to Navigate the TLC Website" on the Sneak Preview page.

MAY, 2013

  1. Updated the Recommended Reading page, adding new books and links to my reviews of books on the list.
  2. Added helpful links to the Independent Reading page.
  3. Added helpful links to the For PARENTS page.

APRIL, 2013

  1. Added "Tips on How to Navigate the TLC Website" to the Sneak Preview page.
  2. Added link to "Poets in Performance" by Bill Moyers & Company to the Analyzing Literature and Miscellaneous Resources pages.  Thanks to Peter Murphy for this lead!
  3. Added a FREE DOWNLOAD, "NJ ASK Prep Checklist," to the NJ ASK Prep page.  See the TLC Blog "Test Prep Crunch Time Checklist" for more info.
  4. Added link to "The Power of Talking to Your Baby" (Tina Rosenberg, NY Times) to the For PARENTS and the Building Robust Vocabulary page.
  5. Added "Journal Writing Rubric" to the Independent Reading page.
  6. Updated the Socratic Seminars page and made all of the download files AVAILABLE FOR FREE.
  7. Added a FREE DOWNLOAD, "RIT Standard 1 Trajectory Analysis Chart," to the Standards page.
  8. Added link to "Memories of a Bedtime Book Club" (Dwight Garner, NY Times) to the For PARENTS page.
  9. Added to the Independent Reading page a 1-minute video of "Speed Dating with a Book" featuring Allison Miller and her students at PCSST.  Thanks, Allison!
  10. Added links to "Boy Book of the Month" and "Books for Boys" (curated by Jim Nicosia) to the For PARENTS page and the Independent Reading page.  Thanks to Gregg Festa, Sr., for these leads!  Also added link to "Popular Young Adult Books" from Goodreads to these same pages.
  11. Added NPR's "Three Books" series link to the Recommended Reading page, and updated the Independent Reading page.

MARCH, 2013

  1. Added "Question-Inference-Evidence & Explanation ORGANIZER" and "Question-Inference-Evidence & Explanation ORGANIZER MODEL" to the Analyzing Literature  page, the Comprehension 101 page, and the Questioning page.  These are helpful tools for close reading!
  2. Added "NJ ASK CLAIM TEMPLATE AND SAMPLE CLAIMS" for Argument Writing to the NJ ASK Prep page.
  3. Added "NJ ASK 6-8 Explanatory Sample Quote Response Prompts" to the NJ ASK Prep page.
  4. Added link to TLC Blog "Open-Ended Response Care Package" to the NJ ASK Prep page.
  5. Added link to "67 Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids Before Age 10" to the For PARENTS and the Independent Reading pages.  Thanks to Allison Dent, one of my former students I am proud to say, for this lead!

FEBRUARY, 2013

  1. Updated NJ ASK Prep information and downloads re: NARRATIVE WRITING on the NJ ASK Prep page.
  2. Updated files on the Templates for Lessons & Units page.
  3. Added "NJ HSPA 2012 Writing Handbook" to the NJ HSPA Prep page.  Many thanks to Allison Miller for this link!
  4. Added "NJ ASK Narrative Writing MODEL LESSON-90 minutes" to the NJ ASK Prep page.
  5. Renamed "Clients" page.  Now it's "Clients/News."
  6. Added a link to the Schoolhouse Rock lyrics (and YouTube videos) to the Grammar and For PARENTS pages.  PS: You're welcome. smiley
  7. Added "Sample DDI Student Reflection Sheet" to the DDI 101 page.  Many thanks to Samantha Berman for this document!
  8. Added a link to Goodreads.com along with an article on how that Website works to the Independent Reading page.
  9. Added a link to NPR's "100 Best-Ever Teen Novels" on the Independent Reading page.  Thanks to Tricia Lindstedt for this lead!
  10. Updated the materials for the "STRATEGIC READING & WRITING" course on the Independent Reading page.  Thanks to Allison Miller and Tricia Lindstedt for these materials!
  11. Added "Speed Dating with a Poem" to the Analyzing Literature page.

JANUARY, 2013

  1. Updated the Recommended Reading page and the For PARENTS page, adding more leads on where to find good books.
  2. Updated the NJ ASK Prep page to include more information about persuasive writing.
  3. Further updated the NJ ASK Prep page re: narrative writing.  NOTE: NJDOE is now calling it "narrative" writing, but the task is EXACTLY the same as it was when it was called "speculative" writing.  You should feel free to use any/all handouts on this Website that make reference to "speculative" writing.
  4. Added links to the Recommended Reading page and the Curriculum Resources & Links page.
  5. Added information on a sample Common Core-aligned unit on persuasion to the MS Lessons & Units page and the Standards page.
  6. Updated the Standards page and the Curriculum Resources & Links page.
  7. Added another helpful link to the For PARENTS page.
  8. Added a terrific resource for nonfiction passages to the Curriculum Resources & Links page.
     

DECEMBER, 2012

  1. Added helpful links to the Socratic Seminars and Questioning pages.
  2. Updated the Recommended Reading page, adding new books and links to my reviews of books on the list.
  3. Continued to add posts to THE LITERACY COOKBOOK BLOG!  See the Blog page for a list of posts, or go straight to the TLC Blog.
  4. Added a super-helpful link on literary criticism to the Analyzing Literature and Literary Response Paper Guide pages.  This Website is a MUST for high school and college English teachers!!!
  5. Added a link to a great reading interest survey on the Independent Reading page.
  6. Added links for resources from the Literacy Design Collaborative to the Standards page.  These are particularly helpful for developing writing assessments aligned with the Common Core.

NOVEMBER, 2012

  1. THE LITERACY COOKBOOK: A Practical Guide to Effective Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Instruction was published by Jossey-Bass!  NOTE: The book includes a free 30-day trial subscription to this Website, along with a 50%-off discount subscription.  Check out the Introduction for details!
  2. NJ Department of Education released new information about this year's NJ ASK test specifications.  Check out the NJ ASK Prep page for the link to this update (11-26-12).

OCTOBER, 2012

  1. Added "SAMPLE 11th Grade English Common Core Lesson Plans-Miller" and "SAMPLE US II Agenda-Frankel" to the Templates for Lessons & Units page.  Thanks to Allison Miller and Kim Frankel for these contributions!
  2. Added information about Mike Petrilli's "Kindergarten Canon" to the For PARENTS page.  Thanks to Mike Goldstein for this lead!
  3. Added a bunch of helpful links on the Common Core Standards to the Standards page.  Thanks to Samantha Messer for the Utah lead!
  4. Added more links on the Common Core Standards to the Standards page, esp. for draft sample assessment items.
  5. Added "Quote Sandwich Practice-Catcher in the Rye" to the Literary Response Paper Guide page.  Thanks to Tricia Lindstedt for this example!
  6. Updated the Writing 101 page.
  7. Updated the Analyzing Literature page.
  8. Added a link to "College Prep; SAT and ACT Test Preparation Tips and Resources" to the ACT Prep and SAT Prep pages. This Website is a very rich source of excellent tips and resources!  Many thanks to Samantha Pierce and her students at Coldbrook Charter School in PA for this recommendation!
  9. Updated the Comprehension 101 page.

SEPTEMBER, 2012

  1. Added another useful link to the Curriculum Resources & Links page.
  2. Continued to add posts to THE LITERACY COOKBOOK BLOG!  See the Blog page for a list of posts, or go straight to the TLC Blog.
  3. Added a new writing rubric link to the Writing Rubrics page and updated the Curriculum Resources & Links page.
  4. Added "Speed Dating with a Book" and "Weekend Date with a Book" to the Independent Reading page.  Many thanks to Allison Miller for these contributions!
  5. Revised the Analyzing NJ ASK Results page, adding "NJ ASK 3-8 ELA Headings, 2011-2012" to support analysis, along with a new FREE SAMPLE of analyzed 3rd grade scores.  If you are trying to figure out how to make the most effective use of your students' NJ ASK results from last year, check out this page!
  6. Added a link to a very thorough explanation of different types of plagiarism on the Research Paper Guide page.
  7. Added a few more links to the Curriculum Resources & Links page.
  8. Updated the Standards page.
     

AUGUST, 2012

  1. Looking for book lists?  I added another helpful link to the Curriculum Resources & Links page and the Recommended Reading page.
  2. Launched the new and improved THE LITERACY COOKBOOK BLOG!  See the Blog page for a list of posts, or go straight to the TLC Blog.
  3. If you would like to pre-order THE LITERACY COOKBOOK: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE READING, WRITING, SPEAKING, AND LISTENING INSTRUCTION (Jossey-Bass, Nov. 2012), click HERE!
  4. Updated the following pages: Standards, Recommended ReadingFor LEADERS.
  5. Added a helpful link about plagiarism, copyrights, and citing sources (esp. online sources) on the Journalism Resources and Research Paper Guide pages.
  6. Added new documents and links on the Curriculum Resources & Links, Templates for Lessons & Units, and For PARENTS pages.

JULY, 2012

  1. Added a super-helpful nonfiction reading link to the Curriculum Resources & Links page and the Recommended Reading page.
  2. Updated resources on the following pages: Curriculum Resources & LinksRecommended Reading, and Standards.

JUNE, 2012

  1. Added links with sample lesson plans to the HS English Lessons & Units page and MS English Lessons & Units page.
  2. Added "Character Analysis Organizer MODEL" (based on The Grinch) to the Analyzing Literature and Literary Response Paper Guide pages.
  3. Added "Sample Summer Reading Packet" to the Independent Reading page.
  4. Added a great resource to the Guided Reading and Recommended Reading pages.
  5. Launched the AP Prep page!
  6. Added a helpful link to the SAT/SSAT Prep page.
  7. Updated resources on the Test Prep Resources & Links page.

MAY, 2012

  1. Launched the Literature Circles page!  Thanks to Christine Werner at Robert Treat Academy CS for inspiring me to do this!
  2. Updated the Standards page.
  3. Added information and various helpful links about SUMMER READING to the Independent Reading page.
  4. Added "Habits of Discussion 1-pager" to the the Socratic Seminars page.  Thanks to Allison Miller at PCSST for consolidating this information!

APRIL, 2012

  1. Updated and added a helpful link to the Journalism Resources page.  Thanks to Susan Brown for this link!
  2. Updated and added resources to the For LEADERS page.
  3. Updated and added resources to the Templates for Lessons and Units page.
  4. Launched the AUTOMATED Join or Renew page!  (Please note: If you have any questions about registering or renewing your subscription, please contact me at RegisterforTLC@gmail.com)

MARCH, 2012

  1. Added "How to Write Catchy Hooks for Stories MINI-LESSON to the NJ ASK Prep page.
  2. Added useful link to the Test Prep Resources & Links page.
  3. Launched the ACT Prep page!
  4. Launched the SAT/SSAT Prep page!
  5. Added Sandy Gingras's illustration of "Climbing the Comprehension Process Stairs" to the Comprehension 101 page.  Her awesome books and designs can be found at How to Live, and her witty illustrations will also appear in the book version of THE LITERACY COOKBOOK (scheduled for publication by Jossey-Bass in November 2012).
  6. Updated and added a helpful link to the Grammar page.
  7. Launched the For PARENTS page!
  8. Added a vital new resource to the For LEADERS and Miscellaneous Resources pages: The New Teacher Project's Teacher Talent Toolbox.
  9. Added new college search links to the For PARENTS page.
  10. Added more Web resources to the For PARENTS page.


FEBRUARY, 2012

  1. Added "Tips for Introducing Socratic Seminars" to the Socratic Seminars page.
  2. Added "How to Create Critical Reading Questions: A Recipe" to the Comprehension 101 page and the Connecting Reading, Writing, and Test Prep page.  Also updated this document everywhere else it appears on the Website.
  3. Added "NJ ASK Speculative Writing BONUS REMINDERS" to the NJ ASK Prep page.
  4. Added "6th Speculative Writing Exemplar Pages 1-3" to the NJ ASK Prep page.
  5. Updated the HS English Lessons & Units and MS Lessons & Units pages.
  6. Added resources to the Recommended Reading page.
  7. Added "NJ ASK Speculative Pre-Writing Practice 2" to NJ ASK Prep page.
  8. Updated "Research Paper Rubric," which appears on the Research Paper Guide and Writing Rubrics pages.
  9. Revised "How to Find the Topic Sentence" to include a student-friendly example.  This document is found in several places on the Website, including the Effective Topic Sentences page and the Connecting Reading, Writing, and Test Prep page. 
     

JANUARY, 2012

  1. Added a helpful Website on art and art history to the History Writing: DBQ Essays page.
  2. Updated the Recommended Reading page.
  3. Added a link to a Mini-Mock Trial Manual on the Socratic Seminars page and the History Writing: DBQ Essays page.  (Thanks to George Mankbadi of Paul Robeson CSH for this lead!)
  4. Revised "Book Talk Project for Class Novel" on the Book Talk Project page.
  5. Added "Book Talk Project for Class Novel" to the Socratic Seminars page.
  6. Added "PARCC Model Content Frameworks" link to the Standards page.
  7. Updated the Book Talk Project page and renamed it Book Talk Projects page.
  8. Added "Explanatory Quote Response Organizer" to the NJ ASK Prep page.
     

DECEMBER, 2011

  1. Added "PUNCHY INSIGHTS POSTER" to the Writing 101 page.
  2. Updated the NJ HSPA Prep page and added some new links on expository writing.
  3. Added more rubrics to the Writing Rubrics page.
  4. Added "How to Paraphrase-3rd grade Practice" to the Comprehension 101 page.
  5. Added "Interpretive Essay Rubric" to the Writing Rubrics page.  (Many thanks to Katy Wischow of Greater Newark CS for this contribution!)
  6. Added "Ways to Make Character Theories Deeper" to the Analyzing Literature page. (Thanks again to Katy Wischow of Greater Newark CS for this contribution!)
  7. Added "Book Talk Project for Class Novel" to the Book Talk Project page. (Thanks to Keith Samber of Paul Robeson CS for contributing to this modified version!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOVEMBER, 2011:

  1. Added a helpful link to the Guided Reading page.
  2. Updated and added SAT writing prep links to the Test Prep Resources & Links page.
  3. Updated "Research Paper TEACHERS' GUIDE 2011" and "Research Paper STUDENTS' GUIDE 2011" on the Research Paper Guide page.
  4. Added a helpful link to the Curriculum Resources & Links page.

OCTOBER, 2011:

  1. Added "2011 Socratic Seminar Rubric" to the Socratic Seminars page.  Note: This version works in "portrait" layout form.
  2. Revised the Book Talk Project page.
  3. Added "NJ ASK 3-8 Replacement Headings for 2010-11" to the Analyzing NJ ASK Results page.  (Thanks to Cynthia Taylor of Paul Robeson CSH for help with this!)
  4. Added FREE sample of "Morpheme of the Week" from Achievement First to the Root of the Week page.
  5. Added "Achievement First Resources" link to the Curriculum Resources & Links page.  (Thanks to Justin Testerman of TN Charter School Incubator for this lead!)
  6. Added "The Learning Network Blog" to the Curriculum Resources & Links page.
  7. Updated the Recommended Reading page.
  8. Signed a contract with Jossey-Bass to publish a book version of THE LITERACY COOKBOOK!  Projected publication date: December, 2012.  Stay tuned!!!
  9. Added "GENRE STUDY GRAPHIC ORGANIZER" to the Analyzing Literature page.  (Thanks to Dean Batten of Paul Robeson CSH for inspiring this organizer!)
  10. Added new Web resources to the Root of the Week and Building Robust Vocabulary pages.
  11. Added new Web resource to the Socratic Seminars page.
  12. Added "Career Problem-Solving Research Project" to the Research Paper Guide page.
  13. Added "HistoryTeacher.Net" to the Curriculum Resources & Links page and the History Writing: DBQ Essays page.  (Thanks to Kaity Korda of Academy Charter HS for this lead!)

SEPTEMBER, 2011:

  1. Launched the Reading Workshop page!
  2. Added "SAMPLE GENRE STUDY MINI-LESSON: Poetry vs. Prose" to the Analyzing Literature page.
  3. Added a great Website to the Independent Reading page.
  4. Added BLOG: Comma Comedy.
  5. Added a helpful link to the Questioning page.

AUGUST, 2011:

  1. Revised the Writing Rubrics page.
  2. Added BLOG: Why We Use Metaphors.
  3. Launched an additional new blog called ONLY GOOD BOOKS!  The link is available here and also on the Recommended Reading page.

JULY, 2011:

  1. Updated "Generic Annotation Rubrics for Nonfiction and Fiction," a resource which appears in numerous places in the Download Zone.
  2. Added "Empathy Research Paper Assignment" to the Research Paper Guide page.  (Thanks to Alison McMahon at ACHS for help with the brainstorming on this one!)
  3. Added more titles to the Recommended Reading page.
  4. Updated "Recommended Nonfiction," which appears in the Download Zone on the Recommended Reading page, among others.

JUNE, 2011: Began working on turning The Literacy Cookbook Website into a book!

MAY, 2011:

  1. Added two new annotation tools, "HS Annotation Symbols" (Thanks to Gillian Cartwright of TeacherU!) and "5th Math Annotation Symbols" (Thanks to Thomas Garza of TeacherU!) to Nonfiction Reading Strategies, among other pages.
  2. Added a sample lesson plan on teaching "how-to essays" on Writers' Workshop page (Thanks to Jennifer Choi of TeacherU!).
  3. Added new sample lesson plans to MS English Lessons & Units--some good for history (Thanks to Lauren Milewski, Michael Russoniello, Eleanor Brown, and Justin Pigeon of TeacherU!).
  4. Added lesson plan on "thick vs. thin" questions to Questioning page (Thanks to Justin Pigeon of TeacherU!).
  5. Updated filenames on the Templates for Lessons & Units page so they are easier to find in the Download Zone (i.e., they now begin with "2011" and appear at the top of the list).  For those writing curriculum units, you will need these 2011 files.

APRIL, 2011:

  1. Added new resource link to History Writing: DBQ Essays page.
  2. Added "Open-ended Response Question for 'The Emperor's New Clothes'" to NJ ASK Prep page.
  3. Added more titles to the Recommended Reading page.

MARCH, 2011:

  1. Updated all of the READING pages.  Substantially enhanced Building Robust Vocabulary, Nonfiction Reading Strategies, and Recommended Reading pages.
  2. Added "Quotations to Paraphrasing and Inference" on the Comprehension 101 page.  This organizer offers a helpful model on how to provide students with paraphrasing and inference practice.  It's also handy for NJ ASK prep for the explanatory quote prompt writing task.
  3. Added link to "K LAL Effective Curriculum Practices Using Common Core Standards" on Standards and Curriculum Resources & Links pages.  Many thanks to Cynthia Millinger and Zoe Coleman for this lead!  PS--If you're writing kindergarten Language Arts Literacy curriculum, this should be very helpful.
  4. Added "Character Traits: Quote and Explain ORGANIZER" to Analyzing Literature and Comprehension 101 pages.  Thanks to Stephanie Mastropaolo of Soaring Heights CS for assisting with this!
  5. Added "Persuasive Writing PRACTICE TASKS" to NJ ASK Prep page.
  6. Added a tremendously helpful link to "Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project" to Standards and Curriculum Resources & Links pages.  Thanks to Heather Minsky of Hope Academy CS for sharing this link!
  7. Added link to "Ten Persuasive Writing Prompts" to NJ ASK Prep page.
  8. Added BLOG: "Learning from Monty Python."

FEBRUARY, 2011:

  1. Launched the Grammar page!  PS-It's in the WRITING section.
  2. Updated the WRITING pages.


JANUARY, 2011:

  1. Began MAJOR OVERHAUL of The Literacy Cookbook!!!  Version 2011 includes more efficient navigation, more cogent explanations, more recommended reading suggestions, and many more resources!  Check out the revised pages in the following sections:

      2. Added more sample materials (1st grade ELA curriculum map and unit) to the Templates for Lessons and Units page.

3. Added "How to Paraphrase" and "Paraphrasing and Inference Organizer" on the Comprehension 101 page.
4. Added BLOG: "Vocabulary-in-Context Party."
5
. Updated TEST PREP pages.

 

NOVEMBER, 2010:

  1. Updated Journalism Resources page.
  2. Updated "GENERIC Lesson Plan Template" on Templates for Lessons and Units page.  Thanks to Cynthia Millinger for her work on this!
  3. Added "DDAT Characterization Method with Evidence CHART" to Analyzing Literature page.  Thanks to Christine Gallucci of Queen City Academy CS for this adaptation of the original DDAT chart!
  4. Updated Recommended Reading page.
  5. Added "Sample LESSON PLAN TO LABEL CRITICAL READING QUESTIONS" and HANDOUTS for the lesson to MS English Lessons & Units page.
     

OCTOBER, 2010:

  1. Updated "Evaluating Topic Sentences- The Street" on Effective Topic Sentences page (download) to include an answer key.
  2. Added a phenomenal Website link to Curriculum Resources & Links: DocsTeach, which features more than 3,000 primary sources selected from the National Archives, plus activities.  Many thanks to Brent Maddin at TeacherU for bringing this Website to my attention!
  3. Updated Recommended Reading page.  If you haven't read Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov yet, I highly recommend it.
  4. Added more useful Weblinks to History Writing: DBQ Essays.  Many thanks to Bob Donnelly of University Academy Charter HS for these great resource leads!


SEPTEMBER, 2010:

  1. Added BLOG: "Teaching VOICE: Dog Diary vs. Cat Diary."
  2. Launched the Independent Reading page!  If you are thinking of implementing a school-wide independent reading program, check this out!
  3. Updated "Recommended Nonfiction" on the Recommended Reading page.
  4. Added video link for "Modeling Guided Reading FAQ" to Guided Reading page.  This video gives a good basic explanation of what guided reading looks like in an elementary classroom.
  5. Added UPDATED "NJ ASK 3-8 Replacement Headings 2009-10" to Analyzing NJ ASK Results page in the Test Prep and DDI sections.  This user-friendly tool will make deciphering your school's NJ ASK results a hundred times easier!
  6. Updated and re-formatted NJ ASK Prep page to make it more user-friendly.  Added link to State-released scored open-ended response items.
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  AUGUST, 2010:

  1. Added BLOG: "Little Miss Muffet."
  2. Launched the Logic page!  It begins with some ideas about how to use TRANSITIONS effectively (or some might say, logically).


JULY, 2010:

  1. Launched the Standards page!  This page features tools for using the Common Core State Standards that are not available anywhere else!!!  If you are writing/revising K-12 ELA curriculum units, you really need to check out this page!!!
  2. Added "Curriculum Unit Overview Map" to Templates for Lessons & Units page.
  3. Updated "Common Core Standards K-8 ELA Spreadsheet" so it now includes K-12.  Curriculum writers, go to the Standards page to see the NEW "Common Core Standards K-12 Spreadsheet."  CURRENTLY, The Literacy Cookbook is the only place on the Web where you can find the Common Core Standards for Literacy in Excel format!

 JUNE, 2010:

  1. Added "A Poem on Why Punctuation Is Important" to Connecting Reading, Writing, and Test Prep page.
  2. Added more recommendations to the Recommended Reading page.
  3. Added helpful resource link to Curriculum Resources & Links, Miscellaneous Resources, and Research Paper Guide pages.
  4. Added more examples of RPM objectives to the RPM Objectives page.
  5. Revised "How to Create Critical Reading Questions" based on feedback from teachers using it.  This file is available in various places on the Website, including the Generic Test Prep Strategies page.
  6. Added "Unit-planning Template for Balanced Literacy" to Templates for Lessons & Units page.
  7. Updated Curriculum Resources & Links page: NJ State Board has adopted the Common Core Standards!

 MAY, 2010:

  1. Launched the TLC RSS Feed!  If you go the TLC home page and click on RSS Feed, you can subscribe FOR FREE.  Any time something is added to The Literacy Cookbook (usually once a week), you will be notified and provided with a direct link to that information.  NOTE: If you use Safari, click HERE for specific directions on how to subscribe to RSS Feeds with Safari.
  2. Added "Argument vs. Evidence-FDR" to Connecting Reading, Writing, and Test Prep and Writing 101 pages.  Thanks to Hans Winberg for this contribution!
  3. Added NEW AND IMPROVED "How to Create Critical Reading Questions" and NEW "Critical Reading Questions TEMPLATE" for teachers who want to design critical reading assessments.  These are on the Generic Test Prep Strategies page and the Test Prep Resources & Links page.

 

 APRIL, 2010:

  1. Added "Argument vs. Evidence-President Harding" to Connecting Reading, Writing, and Test Prep and Writing 101 pages.  Thanks to Hans Winberg for this contribution!
  2. Added "Story Detectives" to Analyzing Literature page.  This organizer was developed in collaboration with teachers at Adelaide L. Sanford Charter School.
  3. Added BLOG: "Why Study Genre."
  4. Added NJ ASK holistic scoring writing rubrics for grades 3-5 and 6-8 to NJ ASK Prep page.
  5. Added several history research-oriented Website links to the Research Paper Guide and History Writing: DBQ Essays pages.  Many thanks to Mitch Brenner at KIPP-Infinity for these leads!
  6. Added Grade 4 and Grade 8 Explanatory Writing Task Exemplars to NJ ASK Prep page.
  7. Added "NJ ASK Explanatory Task Pre-Writing Practice" to NJ ASK Prep page.
  8. Added "Comparing Types of NJ ASK Writing for Grades 3-5" to NJ ASK Prep page.  Thanks to Carolyn Alford at Adelaide L. Sanford CS for suggesting the need for this.
  9. Added "What is the Main Idea?" to Connecting Reading, Writing, Test Prep page.

MARCH, 2010:

  1. Added "NJ ASK Speculative Task Pre-Writing Organizer" and "NJ ASK Speculative Task Pre-Writing Practice" to NJ ASK Prep page.
  2. Added two more sample open-ended response questions for grades 3 and 4 for Open Court passages on the NJ ASK Prep page.
  3. Added/moved "Paraphrase, Question, Infer, Summarize ORGANIZER" and "Paraphrase, Question, Infer, Summarize MODEL" to Nonfiction Reading Strategies page and Questioning page.
  4. Added NY Times Learning Network link to Curriculum Resources & Links page.
  5. Revised and uploaded a new and improved version of "How to Create Critical Reading Questions" available in several sections of the Download Zone (e.g., from Nonfiction Reading Strategies page).
  6. Added some new links to the Questioning page.
  7. Added a link to extra practice NJ ASK speculative writing task prompts on the NJ ASK Prep page.  Thanks to Dody Barbalaco at Robert Treat Academy for sharing this link!
  8. Added a new "NJ ASK Explanatory Task Pre-writing Organizer" to the NJ ASK Prep page.

FEBRUARY, 2010:

  1. Revised NJ ASK Prep page.
  2. Added sample lesson plans using RPM objectives to Templates for Lessons & Units page, including "Sample Genre Study Mini-lesson."
  3. Launched Textbook Reading page.
  4. Added "Sample DDI Scoring Spreadsheet" to DDI 101 page.
  5. Added new links to sample DBQs on History Writing: DBQ Essays page.
  6. Added four sample open-ended response questions for grades 3 and 4 for Open Court stories on the NJ ASK Prep page.

JANUARY, 2010:

  1. Added BLOG: "HOW vs. WHY: Do Your Students Know the Difference?"
  2. Added more information to the Cause & Effect page.
  3. Launched Oral Fluency for Early Grades page.  Thanks to the folks at University Heights Charter School for inspiring me!
  4. Added materials for DIARY OF ANNE FRANK to MS Lessons & Units page.
  5. Added more recommendations to the Recommended Reading page.
  6. Launched Test Prep Needs Assessment page.
  7. Revised NJ ASK Prep and HSPA Prep pages.

DECEMBER, 2009:

  1. Added link to Miscellaneous Resources & Links page.
  2. Added "Vocabulary in Context Strategies--Signals and Context Clues" to Building Robust Vocabulary and Generic Test Prep Strategies pages.
  3. Added link to the latest update from NJDOE about the NJ ASK on NJ ASK Prep page.


OCTOBER, 2009:

  1. Launched the Analyzing NJ ASK Results page in the Test Prep and DDI sections.  If you teach grades 3-8, you really need to check out this page!
  2. Added more useful Weblinks for SAT prep and SSAT prep on the Test Prep Resources & Links page.
  3. Added BLOG "Two-handed Discussions: The Aaron Anthony Approach."
  4. Added BLOG "How to Avoid Kidnapping Your Students."
  5. Added new NJ HSPA 2009 Criterion-Based Holistic Scoring Writing Handbook on the NJ HSPA Prep page.
  6. Added "Tools for Analyzing Data" to the DDI 101 page.
  7. Added "Test Prep Tips 102" to the Generic Test Prep Strategies page.
  8. Added "Punchy Insights Poster" to the NJ ASK Prep and NJ HSPA Prep pages.
  9. Added NJDOE NEWSFLASH: "HSPA Picture Prompt Is Out! Expository Writing Is In!" on NJ HSPA Prep page.
     

 SEPTEMBER, 2009:

  1. Added Rahshene Davis's 8-minute video explaining how University Heights CS in Newark uses the WRAP Assessment.  See the link in the Guided Reading and DDI 101 sections.  It is also on the PD 101 page.
  2. Added new lesson plan templates to the Templates for Lessons & Units page.
  3. Added materials for INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL by Harriet Jacobs to HS English Lessons & Units.


JULY, 2009:
Added materials for AN ISLAND LIKE YOU by Judith Ortiz Cofer to MS English Lessons & Units AND HS English Lessons & Units.

 

JUNE, 2009:

  1. Launched History Writing: DBQ Essays, a new addition to the Writing section.
  2. Added another installment to the LITTLE BITES Blog: "Why Triangulate".
  3. Launched Curriculum Resources & Links, which appears in both the Resource & Links AND Lessons & Units sections.
  4. Updated the For LEADERS page.
  5. Updated the Curriculum Resources & Links page.
  6. Updated the Recommended Reading page.
  7. Updated the Building Robust Vocabulary page.
  8. Launched the Journal Writing page.
  9. Added another installment to the LITTLE BITES Blog: "How to Boost Your Students' Vocabulary As You Speak."


MAY, 2009:

  1. Launched the SNEAK PREVIEW page, which explains how to use this site and offers a handful of documents to download FOR FREE.
  2. Launched DDI (Data-Driven Instruction), including DDI 101 and Guided Reading.
  3. Added Guided Reading to the Reading section, as well.
  4. Launched What's NEW!  (now that I need it)
  5. Launched the LITTLE BITES BLOG: The first installment: "Why Ask 'Why?'"
  6. Updated NJ HSPA Prep section, esp. regarding Persuasive Writing Task.
  7. Launched the Cause & Effect page.
  8. Updated the Templates for Lessons & Units page (added: sample 10th English overview, 10th English poetry unit, and curriculum overview template).
  9. Launched the For LEADERS page, including the new MS Literacy Instruction Handbook and HS Literacy Instruction Handbook pages.

 

 
 
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