“I” before “E” except after… Wait. What?

I love grammar and spelling and whatnot because there are precise rules and expectations. Or are there?

10 Websites Looking for Freelance Writers Right Now

Whether you’re hunting down part-time work between classes, or searching for clients to add to your freelance portfolio, there are companies and websites out there looking for freelance writers right now. You just need to know where to look! Lucky for you, I’ve done some of that work for you.

Advice for Writing and Life #01, or What I’m Also Learning​

As an editor, I'm frequently asked questions about writing. In this series, I'll work on answering some of those questions. Sometimes questions don't come in the form of, well... questions. Sometimes the question lies in random conversations. So, here we go!

Microsoft Word: Track Changes (screenshot)

Here's a partial screenshot of how I leave notes and make changes on documents via Microsoft's built-in Track Changes option (under the Review tab in Word).

1984 Project Options

Someone was asking me to share the PPT I use for introducing 1984 Project Options to my students. Here you go! Project Options PowerPoint 1984 Project Options (student handout)

Responding versus Reacting in the Classroom and Life

To respond has a positive connotation where reacting is implicitly negative in our human psychology. It may seem to be a simple difference in semantics to the average person, but the difference in practice is rooted in results. We always have a choice, it’s a matter of recognizing that we alone have the power to respond or react accordingly.

Survivor: Rhetorical Appeals Edition (activity!)

Survivor Rhetorical Appeals Edition Directions: Follow each step in order!! You were on a cruise. Your ship sank and the people in your group were the survivors. You swim to land and realize there are no people other than the members of your group anywhere. Out in the ocean, you see three boxes. You don’t … Continue reading Survivor: Rhetorical Appeals Edition (activity!)

Increasing Academic Writing Achievement without The Initial Hindrance of Technology: Mixed Methods

Chapter 1: Introduction

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this study is to design and implement an adaptable and differentiated collection of learning strategies in a secondary English Language Arts (ELA) classroom in which the academic writing process is taught without the use of technology on the students’ part. In my experience as a classroom teacher—as well as being a student— there is no shortcut technology can provide in learning how to think about thinking, literature, comprehension, or purposeful writing in the secondary ELA classroom. It is also my experience that students who do choose the easy way out with cameras on their cell phones are left at a disadvantage compared to their peers who take longhand notes and synthesize their ideas and understanding in handwritten journals.

A study referenced by Maryellen Weimer (2015) in an article written for Faculty Focus, states that students “need to take their own notes and not think they are excused from doing so because they’ve got the teacher’s notes [or notes on their phones via photograph]. Research results… don’t preclude teachers from supplying students with written materials, maybe an outline of the day’s topic or a diagram, but we do so needing to remember that it is the process, the engagement with the material—the cognitive exercise involved in recollecting, summarizing, reorganizing, and restructuring [the notes] that actually matters the most.” Essentially, when students take notes by hand in their own words, they are actually learning more than their counterparts who simply record what a teacher speaks or presents. The study referenced in the previous paragraph had significant results: “Students averaged a 72 percent correct on questions from the week they completed a note-restructuring assignment, whereas they averaged 61 percent correct for other weeks,” (Weimer, 2015).

Collectivism & Individualism in Education (May 2014)

Unedited content from May 2014

Respect. Acceptance. Cooperation. Safety. This is the environment that all 21st century classrooms require. In fact, all workplaces should require this, as well. “Culture and diversity impacts communication, learning, and teaching,” (Wardle, 2013). These things need to be respected, accepted, and safely contained.

All cultures are different in terms of how we learn and reasons that motivate us to learn. Sometimes all we, as educators, need to do is put a book in a student’s hands and say, “Read this, then write a paragraph as to what you perceive the theme to be,” and it works.

Sometimes we ask that kids to be able to share their successes with the class, but some students will not respond to this sort of attention. Some will even collapse within that environment and we would never be any wiser as to why this situation may have occurred. This is especially true with some immigrant students or students from immigrant families. Having stated this, there are two main types of cultures in our world, though no culture is singularly one or the other: individualist and collectivist.

This is a link to the multimedia presentation I put together for this particular discussion: https://present.me/view/205173-individualism-collectivism.

Strategic Plan: Writing Instruction & Change Leadership

Unedited content from October 2014 - Ashford University

Problem Identification

Here in Hillsborough County, Florida, there is a significant difference in writing results as compared to years gone by. I chose writing because here at the school I teach, Gaither High School, it is one of our main objectives to increase in mastery. Too many of our students are coming to us -- and leaving us -- without the ability to write effectively and efficiently. It is our goal to make all students college and career-ready, as well as contributing members of society. How can we do that if our students are leaving without the ability to write up to the standard?