California Educator

February/March 2020

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continued from page 60 From Within I N H I S 2 0 19 book Martin Brandt, East Side Teachers Association, sets out to change sentence instruction from being heavy on correctness and terminology (as in "mind your grammar") to a lighter approach focused on play and experimentation. This is partly the story of a teacher hitting a midcareer plateau, deeply frustrated by the flatness of his students' writing. It's also the story of import- ant but neglected research in sentence instruction, which Brandt revives, reinventing his instruction by teaching the possibilities of sentences. The book includes lively terms for various concepts, such as the "ingBomb" and "Sentence Wannabe," and has classroom exercises that educators can adapt. Brandt has taught high school English for 29 years and is a past winner of the California Teachers of English Award for Classroom Excellence. At and on Amazon. Advocate for the Culinary Arts K R I S T I N M O N T O YA is bringing the culinary arts back into the public schools. Montoya teaches culinary arts to seventh and eighth graders at Ladera Vista Junior High School of the Arts in Fullerton. Her official title is art, culture and gastronomy teacher. "I teach math, science, language arts, history, health — you name it, I teach it," she says. "It's a life skills class, so I'm helping students become college and career ready. Culinary arts keeps kids in school. It gets kids up and out of their seats because everything is hands-on." Her projects include having students cook meals based on a geographic region of the U.S. Or she takes them back in time and has them make meals from different decades, using the food that was eaten then. "It's like eating your way through history and across the country," she says. "Students remember the history and the food. It puts on another layer of knowledge." Montoya is making a culinary arts CTE classroom in every school a priority. A past president of the Fullerton Elementary Teachers Association (FETA), she represents educators at CTA State Council, where she chairs the Adult, Alternative and Career Technical Education Committee. Most recently, she's been working on two committees for the state, often flying up to Sacramento for workgroups put together by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. Montoya has been honored for her advo- cacy, most recently with the Leon Owens Impact on Education Award. She has also been named Teacher of the Year by the Fullerton School District, received the Golden Oak Award from the PTA and the Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association, and been rec- ognized by the state Assembly as a Woman of Distinction in the area of education. —Cynthia Menzel Between the Commas: Sentence Instruction That Builds Confident Writers (and Writing Teachers) G O T S O M E T H I N G for these pages? Send details to with "Lit From Within" in the subject line. We lean toward new(ish) work that can be used in the classroom. "Culinary arts keeps kids in school. It gets kids up and out of their seats because everything is hands-on." 59 F E B R U A R Y / M A R C H 2 0 2 0 C Kristin Montoya

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