An Easy “A” He Might Overlook: Teacher Comments

Teacher comments are gold. Many students ignore them or give them a cursory glance. I’ve seen these students make the same mistakes over and over until I step in and have them look more closely. So sit him down and look at them together. Why? They’re a specific, straightforward way to raise his grade. Could be […]

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I keep a library of books in my car to use with students. And the most beat up looking book in the bunch is Hip-hop Poetry And The Classics by Alan Sitomer and Michael Cirelli. Let’s face it, many teens (and some adults) hate poetry. And often with reason; it can be a bear. But your […]

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Are you eternally reminding your teen to do his homework? Are you tired of the squabbling, cajoling or threatening you do every night about her grades? Does he tune you out, flare up in anger or ‘yes’ you to death and then ignore your advise entirely? This kind of dynamic can be incredibly frustrating and heart-breaking. I’ve […]

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Your teen needs to be able to analyze the books, plays or short stories she’s assigned in class in order to write good essays. And this means picking out the juicy, often trickier stuff. Analytical essay prompts ask her to make connections between texts, discuss the deeper meaning of character actions, analyze use of literary […]

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Help Her Annotate Her English Book - Part 2

It’s a good bet that annotating, or writing notes about an assigned English text, is something your teen avoids like the plague. But it’s one of the ways she can make her life easier. If she writes down her (and her teacher’s) observations as she’s reading the book it is a heck of a lot […]

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How She Can Tackle an Essay Question

Essay questions for English and history class essays come in different flavors – level of complexity, type, etc. Here are some tips to help her get through the prompt effectively so she can devote the most time to the actual writing part. TRANSLATE THE PROMPT Trying to write an essay with a prompt that confuses her is a very […]

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When your teen writes an essay, grammar can be either a snap or the bane of his existence. An easy guide can help out. Two books I have used over the years to help my high school students with grammar for writing papers are Barron’s Painless Grammar and CliffsNotes Writing: Grammar, Usage, and Style). I […]

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Pacing Herself When Writing In Class

In-class writing for English or history has its stresses and fear of running out of time is top of the list. Help her out by talking about how to pace herself so she isn’t scrambling to finish or having to stop two thirds of the way through. The typical high school period can be from […]

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