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To have a chair who is such a good teacher and mentor almost makes migraines worthwhile. Few people would have taken the time to follow up on the session with a blow-by-blow that you can use to improve your teaching.

Thanks for sharing.

Linda Aragoni


Thanks. My co-workers are, by far, the best part of my current teaching gig.


thanks for sharing...


I just discovered your blog today and am enjoying reading through your posts.

We use the "oreo" method at my school, which I wish someone would have taught to me:

Top layer: topic sentence, lead-in
Creamy filling: quote/support/textual evidence
Bottom layer: explanation/interpretation

Depending on the level of students, it can sometimes be worthwhile to point out that this is merely a template, and that you don't expect all body paragraphs to be only three sentences long (a hazard of the strategy). With kids who struggle more with writing, such a distinction might overwhelm them, as some of them will actually stop everything in mid paper to give you, literally

Top layer:
Creamy filling:
Bottom layer:

with sentences attached. Despite the risks, though, it's a great way to teach kids how to support their statements in writing. I always tell them that if I said I could walk on the ceiling, my guess is that they'd demand to see it. Writing is no different. Keep up the great work!


I'm glad to see that your chair was so helpful and didn't just slide in for the day and "babysit" as so many put in the position of subbing for a fellow teacher would have done. I also appreciated the fact that he taught the same material but in a different way. What a great resource he must be.

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