Friday, 21 September 2012

Jim Burke & The English Teacher's Companion

Jim Burke is the author of almost twenty books on the art of teaching, including The English Teacher's Companion: A Complete Guide to Classroom, Curriculum, and the Profession. He won the NCTE's Exemplary English Leadership Award in 2000 and was inducted into the California Reading Association's Hall of Fame. Burke serves on the College Board's Advanced Placement Course & Exam Review Commission for the English Literature & Language courses. 

Oh, and he teaches high school English every day. I can't imagine a more connected expert than one who remains in the trenches, where Burke has been for more than 25 years. Today let's take a tour of the FREE resources he offers through his website, English
And here are my favorites:
  • Digital Textbook - From NPR's This I Believe to Time magazine's Pictures of the Week to Peace Corps Stories, these amazing sites allow you to move away from dry textbooks to dynamic resources that you can use to teach your students "how to read an image or how to write about one; how to analyze a website or how to craft a particular type of sentence or organize a paragraph a certain way." Simply fantastic!
  • Tools for Teachers - Templates for notes of every kind, including episodic, hierarchical, and inference. Below is his Vocabulary Squares template, which can be used to "help readers process the word in different ways, all proven useful through...research." It is sophisticated, therefore more useful for high school students than are simpler ones. 

Want to read his blog? Go to Jim Burke: The English Teacher's CompanionYou can also see Mr. Burke's homepage at Burlingame High School. If you're interested in purchasing his books, they are available on his website, as well as on

For those of you who teach secondary reading (including reading in the content area) or English/Language Arts, I hope you'll have fun finding what you can use from the work of the amazing Jim Burke!

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