This article is rich in content about specific strategies to help high school students succeed on demanding, state-wide tests.The article also includes an example of Bob's Boxes - a highly effective essay strategy: how to find, organize, and present information for essays.

Bob's Boxes uses something called the "perfect chart" which helps the students outline the essay first. The students develop charts, and the teacher develops one, too. The teacher chart is the "perfect" one—it includes all the information needed to get a perfect 100 score on the essay. So, there is no guessing game. The students know exactly what it takes to get a 100. Students practice 2 things:

1- creating a chart to organize their information for the essay.

2 - writing their essays from the perfect chart. 

By working on this over and over, student become skilled in:

- understanding what's expected of them in an essay.
- gathering and organizing information for the essay.
- writing their essay.
- subject area content because they are reviewing content by working with the perfect chart to write the essay.

This is a very powerful tool - Bob's Boxes - for Big6 stages 1 (task defintion), 4 (use of information), and 5 (synthesis).

The full article is available at this link: http://www.infotoday.com/mmschools/may02/berkowitz.htm