Where do I start with reading workshop? I get this question a lot, and it's not surprising. If you have never run a reading workshop in your secondary classroom, starting one can be very overwhelming. Recently I shared a bunch of blog posts on Instagram with those who were unsure of the … [Read more...] about Reading Workshop: Where Do I Start?
Are you feeling stress about setting up a classroom? I'm so sorry if you are. I feel the need to write about this after reading many comments from new teachers (and some vets) who are feeling absolutely stressed and inadequate right now because they are on social media, seeing pictures and … [Read more...] about Setting Up a Classroom: What you REALLY need
Classroom Management Strategies: The last minutes of class Classroom management can be a struggle, especially if you have a talkative or energetic class. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got from a teaching mentor was to teach bell to bell. If I want a well-managed class of active … [Read more...] about Classroom Management Strategies: The last minutes of class
Real Life Assignments: Writing Reviews This semester, I've been adding more real life writing assignments to my writing workshop. I'm loving them because the kids are engaged, and because I can easily answer the inevitable question: when will we ever use this? The first new assignment … [Read more...] about Real Life Assignments: Writing Reviews
I love teacher appreciation week because I get to spread some appreciation to my followers. I know that you all work so hard - often without much appreciation - so it's fun to give away some things that will save you time and help you get some time for yourself.All weekend, I'll be giving away some … [Read more...] about Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, 2019
The end of the school year is getting oh-so-close - exciting, isn't it? But we're also feeling pretty tired, drained from the work of the year. And it can be such a challenge to keep our students motivated through those last few weeks of class. It's not an impossible task, though, especially if you … [Read more...] about End of the Year Activities for English Class
Would you like a grading strategy that puts the responsibility for learning in your students' hands? You can do that by leaving feedback in the form of a question, rather than a statement. Let me show you what I mean. I tried something new while I was grading my tenth grader's persuasive … [Read more...] about Grading Strategy: A Tip for More Learning
Writing Lessons: Expanding Sentences to add variety Some students struggle to write strong, effective sentences. They get the job done, but the results are often pretty basic because their ideas are underdeveloped and the writing lacks flow. So how do we show our students how to be more fluent … [Read more...] about Writing Lessons: Expanding Sentences to add variety
Strategies for Dealing with a Chatty Class: How do you control a chatty class? Excessive talking can derail your lesson. Use these strategies to get students to talk when you want them to and to work work quietly when you don't. We've all had them: talkative classes that can be hard to control. … [Read more...] about How do you control a chatty class?
One of the simplest methods for teaching kids to think and write analytically is also one of the most effective: show them a sample paragraph and use color coding as a writing strategy. My tenth graders have been exploring the ways that point of view and perspective affect the novels they are … [Read more...] about Color Coding as a Writing Strategy
Narrative writing is a staple in my high school English classroom. But it wasn't always. I used to be a much more traditional teacher than I am now. The only writing my students did, other than personal response, was very academic and formal. They wrote persuasive research, exposition and lots … [Read more...] about Narrative Writing: why you should use it with your secondary students
Last week, I wrote about ways to make time for conferences. The focus for those conferences was on skill building and assessing whether or not your students are getting the concepts you want them to learn. But how can you use conferences to reduce your grading after school? You actually grade the … [Read more...] about Use conferences to reduce your grading