An Open Letter to My 8-Week Old Son

3 Comments

An Open Letter to My 8-Week Old Son

When your dad and I found out we that you were a boy, we were not immediately overjoyed.  Actually, we were pretty scared. You see, the year that you were born, it was pretty difficult to find a man in our world to admire.  Right now, boys and men on the news and in our media culture are not the kind of men we want you to grow up to be.

3 Comments

6 No Fluff Lesson Ideas for Valentine's Day

1 Comment

6 No Fluff Lesson Ideas for Valentine's Day

I love a good, cheesy Valentine’s Day lesson as much as the next teacher, but oftentimes, this holiday falls just as things are revving up during second semester.  Instead of setting aside precious classroom time for a goofy Valentine’s activity, here are six activities you could do that will maintain your rigorous standards and still embrace some seasonal fun.

1 Comment

Poetry Mashup

1 Comment

Poetry Mashup

If there is one thing that is constant among generations of teenagers, it is the love of music.  And if there’s one thing that English teachers know, it’s that music is the perfect gateway to getting students into poetry.  Today, I’d like to share an awesome poetry/music pairing to try in your own classroom:  Carl Sandburg's “Chicago” meets Patrick Stump’s “This City is My City”.  The Literary Maven has an incredible blog post out about poetry mashups (coming in April!) with lots of suggestions from other ELA teachers, but I wanted to share my mashup here in a bit more detail for you all.

1 Comment

Why We Travel With Our Baby

2 Comments

Why We Travel With Our Baby

I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, “Oh now that you have a baby you won’t ever leave the house!”  While leaving the house certainly takes a lot more thinking, planning, and packing, my husband and I made a decision long before our little man was born -- we were having a baby because we wanted to have a travel companion.

2 Comments

A Cell Phone Policy that Actually WORKS!

7 Comments

A Cell Phone Policy that Actually WORKS!

Every school and every teacher has a different philosophy with student cell phones, but with classroom management as a whole.  Whether you are on the FORBIDDEN end of the spectrum or on the “do what you want, it’s your grade” end, I just might have a solution that will help in your classroom.

7 Comments

Six Ways to Create Warmth in your December Classroom (and still take care of business!)

4 Comments

Six Ways to Create Warmth in your December Classroom (and still take care of business!)

There’s a lot more to teaching in the month of December than just cute holiday sentiments.  This time of year is challenging for so many reasons; from the looming horror of final exams to the downright awful cold weather (remember, Chicago girl here!), December is a teaching challenge of focus, measuring learning from the entire semester, and finding ways to authentically remember the heart of the season in our classrooms.

4 Comments