Classroom Solutions > Nancy Barile

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Memorial Day, One More "High School Uncut," and Farewell!

225505_10150630603755327_599375326_18743702_4923027_nMy father, Sam Petriello, is a World War II veteran and a Marine corporal who fought in the last battle of Okinawa. He also served as a sergeant in the 2nd Infantry Division in the U.S. Army. Sam participated in the first landing in Japan and the surrender of Japanese forces in North China. At the age of 85, my father is the president-elect of the 6th Marine Division Association, and he still meets with his Marine Corps buddies the second Tuesday of every month. My father lost his brother, Louis, in the war, as well as many friends and comrades, so Memorial Day was always a special day when we were growing up. My father instilled in his children and grandchildren the love of God and country, and he taught us the values of loyalty and hard work. My final post is dedicated to him.

Photo: My father at a Fourth of July parade.

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Using Film As a Springboard to Writing in the ELA Classroom

DSC01566As an English teacher, I am always looking for new ways to engage students in the writing process. I am continually trying to find and create interesting writing prompts that engage and challenge my students. Two years ago when I was asked to teach a film elective, I was provided with a wonderful opportunity to develop a course that would encourage students to write in new and exciting ways.

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Summer Reading Books High School Girls Will Love

IMGA0002Ah, summertime! The beach, the sea, the pool. Long days and hot nights. The perfect time for summer reading. James S. Kim and Thomas G. White (2011) note that one of the reasons that low-income students lose ground to middle-income kids in reading is due, in large part, to different rates of learning during the summer months. Even small differences in summer learning accumulate over the years, resulting in an achievement gap that continues to grow from elementary to high school (p. 64). Kim and White also discovered, however, that it is not enough to just provide books for kids for summer reading. The key is to provide books that are individually matched to the students' interests and reading levels (p. 67).

The books on the list below have already been proven to appeal to teens. Although both genders could certainly enjoy them, these five books are tried and true favorites that will please a decidedly female audience. Books that match a teen's interest can help motivate students to read and help teens continue to improve their reading skills.

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Summer Reading Books High School Boys Will Love

DSC01549Research has shown that summer reading increases literacy and improves academic performance. By reading all summer long, students build their vocabulary and stave off the brain-drain that often occurs during summer months. Although most high schools provide summer reading lists for their students, some kids devour all the books the first week school is out (yes! it happens!) and start looking for more to read. Other kids are just searching for some great reading material. And while most reading is gender inclusive, there are certain books that boys find especially compelling.

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What We'll Do Differently Next Year

DSC01483 One of the greatest things about being teachers is that at the end of each year we can evaluate our past teaching experiences, change what didn't work, and plan new strategies with the hope of perfecting our practice. Even after sixteen years of teaching, I find that every June I ponder the passing year and decide what to get rid of, what to work on, and how to change curriculum and instruction so that come September, my classroom runs more smoothly.

I did an informal survey of teachers in my district and teaching friends across the nation, asking them, "What will you do differently next year?" Responses ranged from working on classroom management and time management to creating projects that tap into higher order thinking skills.

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I'm on Vacation!

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This week I'm heading home to Philadelphia to see my dad, my brother and sister, my nieces and nephews, and my dog, Rocky, who also enjoys a good book. Especially when it's about BONES.

I'll be back next week. Please enjoy episode three of HIGH SCHOOL: UNCUT while you're waiting!

~ Nancy

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The Art of Literary Criticism

DSC01459 A goal of the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition test, which helps to make sure that students are truly college ready, is the careful reading and critical analysis of literature. Literary criticism requires students to study, evaluate, and interpret what they read — a valuable tool for all students, not just those in an AP class. But what is the best way to do help students develop this skill? How can you get high school students to think deeply and critically about literature?

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Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

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Freak the Mighty is a highly readable book that addresses many serious issues, including domestic violence, alienation, and bullying. Through the story of the main characters, Max and Kevin, students can learn a great deal about themselves and others.

 

 

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The Read-A-Thon

DSC01434 A few years ago my former mentee, Kelly Andreoni, an English teacher and advisor to our school's book club, came up with a wonderful plan for an event that would not only only encourage students to read, but also raise money in a unique form of community service: a Read-A-Thon. This year, over 150 students took part, raising over $9,200 for a charitable organization called "Raising a Reader MA," which promotes literacy awareness among families in communities across the state, including our own city of Revere. Read on to see how Kelly organizes this fun and worthwhile event.

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Get Ready for National Poetry Month!

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April is National Poetry Month, the perfect time to help get reluctant readers interested in reading and analyzing poetry. It is often true that high school students struggle with poetry and have difficulty unlocking the meaning of poems. This introductory lesson helps to hook students on poetry by challenging them to solve the riddle that each poem presents. It's a great building block to more difficult and challenging analysis.

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About the Teacher
Nancy Barile
Nancy Barile
Revere, MA
Grades 9-12
Special Interests:
Advanced Placement English
Community Involvement
Motivating Reluctant Learners
Real World Connections

Nancy's Bio

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