All posts by Kate Brandt

About Kate Brandt

Kate Brandt is a Professional Developer in the adult literacy field in New York City and she loves her job. She loves her job so much that she commutes 2 hours per day, from her suburban home in Shrub Oak, New York, to get to work. She loves working in adult literacy because she gets to work with people who are smart, kind, and dedicated.

Word Generation Social Studies Units

Now more than ever, students need an education in civics.  Civics is central to the TASC Social Studies, but there are more urgent reasons to teach students about this American democracy.  Students need help in voting for their own interests and navigating the confusing new fact of political reporting.  As adult education teachers, we may feel that we have to choose between dry, simplistic textbook excerpts and newspaper articles that assume readers have extensive knowledge of U.S. politics.   Textbook excerpts often tell only a small part of the story—the part that glorifies U.S. history and the workings of its governments.  We all know the reality is less straightforward and positive.  How can we convey the basics while also inviting students to enter into the complex political life of our country, which includes the good, the bad and the ugly? Continue reading Word Generation Social Studies Units

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Bring the Past Alive with HERB

The guy with the pipe in his mouth is the one you want to talk to.  That’s HERB, the “mascot” for the CUNY Graduate’s Center website Social History for Every Classroom.  Herb presides over a vast collection of primary sources that will bring U.S. history alive for your students. Continue reading Bring the Past Alive with HERB

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Ideas for Teaching Vocabulary? Look no Further!

This document is a wonderful resource for teachers who want a crash course on how to teach vocabulary effectively along with dozens of really fun vocabulary games that can be used for reinforcement and review. The first pages of the blog are devoted to summarizing the main points of Beck and McKeown’s “Bringing Words to Life,” which has become the go-to book for most educators around the topic of vocabulary instruction. These pages provide teachers with a “quick and dirty” guide to choosing words, presenting words to students, what it means to “know” a word, and how to review words for reinforcement and application. Continue reading Ideas for Teaching Vocabulary? Look no Further!

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Byte the Bullet! Teach Grammar!

The TASC Writing Skills test requires that students understand basic sentence structures, punctuation marks that are used with these structures, and an understanding of certain types of grammatical errors.  Grammar Bytes has a wealth of resources to help both teachers and students develop a firm grasp of these often tricky points.  And, it can actually be fun!

Here are some of the TASC emphases for grammar:

  • Sentence-combining;
  • Proper use of the comma, semi-colon and dash;
  • Parallel structure;
  • Active and passive voice.

Grammar Bytes has the following resources to help students “conquer” these grammar points: Continue reading Byte the Bullet! Teach Grammar!

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From Annenberg to You (with Love)

Looking for a way to incorporate an intelligent and cohesive way to teach U.S. history? Overwhelmed by the many websites out there, each with one or two valuable texts or resources? Well, you are in luck. If you are reading this review, you now have access to a comprehensive online curriculum for teaching U.S. history, divided into periods, with excellent primary sources to illustrate key themes and points as well as excerpts from texts written by historians that will give you, as teacher, an in-depth understanding of each period. Continue reading From Annenberg to You (with Love)

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