In order for our students to succeed across subject areas, we must all acknowledge the critical importance of vocabulary instruction. There are so many best practices out there, so many specialists, and so many approaches, it can feel daunting to choose a streamlined and effective strategy for your classroom. No matter your favorite method or style, I have a thoughtful yet efficient strategy for you to try in your class this year.
As I’m writing this, you’ve probably already pinned 100 new ideas for your back to school decor on Pinterest. You very well might be simultaneously stalking a corner of the Target Dollar Spot. Maybe you’re even wish-listing things for your classroom on Amazon. And if you’re not doing one of these two things, you’re almost certainly scrolling through Instagram with major “Insta-classroom envy” every other post you see.
If I'm being honest, I'm equal parts filled with embarrassment (this song was my JAM!) and truly sweet nostalgia. Sometimes it's hard to remember what it felt like to be in high school. This song and music video bring me back to that ultra vulnerable moment when we were all desperately trying to hold on to our high school days and pretend like we weren't shi*%ing our pants thinking about college (or lack of college plans!).
If you want to make this year special for your seniors, I've rounded up some great ideas, products, and projects that just might do the trick. Let us know in the comments below what YOUR favorite Senior Sendoff idea is!
Have you ever done a Google search for "poetry ideas" to teach in your high school English classroom? Let me spoil those search results for you - THEY'RE LAME! Poetry, especially at the high school level, it too important to be treated as a coloring activity, or worse, ignored completely.
If you love poetry, and you're a little bit competitive (like me!) then I have just the challenge for you! How about jumping on the #30poems30days Challenge!
This year in creative writing, I've decided that I want my students to have access to as many different styles of poetry as possible. That's why I've narrowed down my 30 favorite types of poems to teach - and I'm going to teach them all in just 30 days!
Right about now, everyone's turned to the "leggings only" mentality: not only have we decided to stop putting together Instagram-worthy outfits and Pinterest-perfect lessons and procedures, but we're starting to cut corners and cover them all up with a nice, flowy dress.
Assessment is a critical component to quality teaching and learning, but often we only talk about it in the most high-stakes terms. If you're new to formative assessment or if you've been adding tools to your arsenal all along, I think you'll find that "Odd One Out" could be a great addition to your classroom. Take a look at what we shared this week on Periscope as part of the Back to School: Secondary Scope Series.
Our world is broken, hurting, and desperate for healing. So where does that leave us, the secondary educator? How can we, or should we, attempt to address the pain that is so palpable in our world with our students?
If you're like me, you have tried a thousand options for bell ringers/bell work. No matter what, the bell work needs a home, and for a long time, the bell work "home" has been in a notebook. Then, what do we have to do to grade it? COLLECT 125 SPIRAL BOUND NOTEBOOKS. I won't do it any more!
Google products continually amaze me with their versatility in the classroom (no, this post is not sponsored by Google - I'm just a fanatic!) and I had yet to experiment with the bell ringer notebook idea. Then, a few years ago, it hit me: use Google Slides.
When is the last time YOU got to sit down with a fresh new notebook, pen in hand, and write something beautiful? Something other than a lesson plan? Something other than notes all over a bleeding red essay that seems beyond repair?
I'm with you.
Sometimes I feel like the only creative writing I do anymore is the "creative" commentary I leave on student's papers to identify ways to make them less terrible.
BUT NOW IT'S SUMMER! It's time for you - time for you to relax and enjoy yourself and while you're at it, spend a little time doing professional development that you actually ENJOY. Here's your chance!
School has been chuging along on what seems like an endless, antique, coal-powered train, and now as I look into the week ahead (amazingly organized and planned, somehow), I realize that there IS something I forgot.
Packing up my room.
So, here it is folks: the five day get your classroom summer ready plan. I have five weekdays ahead of me and my goal is to get my room totally cleaned and packed (minus what's absolutley needed for finals) in just five days.
Have you ever asked your students to write a SESTINA?
If you haven't, you definitely should. Asking my kids to write this incredibly old-school, complicated form is always an excellent exercise in careful diction choice and inventive ways of demonstrating their understanding of connotation.
Everyone struggles to teach Shakespeare - no matter how strong your readers are.
This year, my goal was to bring the fun back into teaching Julius Caesar. The past few years, we've been really focused on writing rigorous, challenging rhetoric lessons for the play, and had kind of lost sight of the play itself.
In order to frame the play, I've developed a quick, free lesson for you that organizes the students into collaborative groups...
Welcome to our weekly series of #TeacherTruth Thursdays! Every Thursday, check back here for the latest interview with teachers from across the globe. This Thursday, I was able to interview Hannah Leib, first grade teacher at Geff Grade School in rural, southern Illinois. Hannah is a first year teacher (oh man, do I remember the struggle!)andshe is known as Miss Leib to her kiddos, but as she says, "there’s always a day when I get 'Mom', 'Leiv, or 'Miss Leaf'".
But today I wanted to jump on the blog to share the love I have for teaching. Honestly, this time of year can get really tiring and downright depressing, so I'm challenging myself to reflect on why I love this job (even though seriously, it's so cold every morning I wake up, all I want to do is STAY UNDER THE COVERS FOREVER).