Engaging is one of those buzzwords that you are probably getting sick of hearing, right? Everything is supposed to be "highly engaging," so kids will get excited about learning because class is just so much fun. But have you ever wondered this: is our job really about engaging, entertaining - or … [Read more...] about Engaging, entertaining, or educating?
The other day, I posted a photo of one of my rubrics in Google Classroom, and I got a flurry of response - and lots of questions about whether I have them for sale. I don't and I won't. However, I'd love to give you some help with creating your own rubrics for Google Classroom. Why don't I sell or … [Read more...] about Rubrics for Google Classroom
At the end of each semester, my twelfth grade students have final conferences with me. I love them for several reasons (which you can read about here). and one is that I get some pretty solid feedback on my course. This year, something that came across load and clear was that my students really … [Read more...] about Scaffolding Speaking Skills for Student Success
Do you have comments that you make repeatedly when giving students feedback? I definitely do, and on the top of the list is "tell me more." So many of my students don't fully develop their points, and their writing is pretty dull as a result. Therefore, I decided it was time to come up with a new … [Read more...] about Teach students to support their ideas
In my thirty year career, the thing I've found the hardest to get kids to truly understand, is how to do a literary analysis. Many of them can do one on a surface level, but most struggle to show a true understanding. I've been tweaking lessons for years, and the most success has come from using a … [Read more...] about A Visible Thinking Activity for Analyzing Text
Someone, somewhere, once said that necessity is the mother of invention. That is an adage we had to lean into - hard - in 2020. It was a year that challenged us in so many ways as we desperately tried to transfer what we know about good teaching from the classroom to the screen. One way I did that … [Read more...] about One-Sliders for Analyzing Text
Two weeks before our holiday break, we were abruptly slammed into remote learning again. We had been face-to-face since September, so there was a lot of scrambling to make the switch. This time, it was very different than last spring because the kids were actually expected to show up and do some … [Read more...] about Taking Attendance for Distance Learning
Watching movies in the classroom sometimes gets a bad rep. That's because there are some teachers who press play too often and with no purpose. However, movies in your classroom have a great deal of educational value and can be a very effective strategy for achieving some of your curriculum … [Read more...] about Using Movies in the Classroom
Group work is not so easy when teaching remotely. There are many tools that can help, like Zoom and Google Meets; however, I prefer using Google Docs for student collaboration. It's low tech, but it works beautifully. Google Docs & Student Collaboration: My go-to strategy for online … [Read more...] about Using Google Docs for Student Collaboration
There's no question that distance learning is a challenge for many students (and most teachers). By its very nature, it requires students to spend their days glued to a screen, something we know is not so good for them. That's why it's important that we build in action breaks and time … [Read more...] about Two Must Haves for Successful Distance Learning
Today's post is all about another issue I hear a lot about: reading workshop and classroom management. Giving kids the ability to choose their own books can be a beautiful thing. However, a lot of problems can ensue if they choose not to read them and choose to distract others instead. I've been … [Read more...] about Reading Workshop and Classroom Management
Do I have to read all of the books for reading workshop? How do I assess students if I haven’t? I get these questions a lot, and they are ones that I definitely had myself when I started reading workshop. I used to worry that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with all of the books that my students … [Read more...] about Do I have to read all of the books for reading workshop?