Prepare your students to conduct effective interviews

A few English teachers invited me into their classrooms a couple of weeks ago to talk to their students about interviewing. I began my presentation the way I always do, with a few anecdotes about my heydays as a journalist for the Daily Iowan, the University of Iowa’s daily student newspaper. I explained to the classes how I learned so much about the art of interviewing by talking to attorneys and university officials and everyday people about crime and city policy and life stories.

Conducting three interviews is a requirement for the I-Search, but by the time students get to English IV – Composition class, most have never conducted a single interview. Just like anything, interviewing takes practice. Below are a few tips I picked up along the way. Please feel free to share these with your classes, and please encourage them to find interview sources for your research assignments. The earlier we expose them to gathering information this way, the more prepared they will be by senior year.  Continue reading


Free Database Trials: Try-It Illinois 2015

Usually, Kellie and I use the blog forum to share new ideas about technology integration, reading promotions, and research tips. Yet, sometimes information from last year is so good that it is worth re-posting with updated information.

We know that teachers are looking for ways to include more reading activities into their curriculum. What better way to look for articles than to use the state database trial that’s going on now? Continue reading