My 9 Favorite Fictional Moms {and one real one, too!}

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My 9 Favorite Fictional Moms {and one real one, too!}

#MomLife is new to me this year, so this will be my very first Mother’s Day!  The journey through motherhood has already (in just five and a half months!) surprised me with a joy that I could never capture in a sentence.  

To celebrate, I’d like to share my list of my FAVORITE Fictional Moms.  These moms span from childhood picture books to blockbuster hits, from traditional mother figures to nannys and caretakers.  Here are my favorite fictional moms and how they exemplify and celebrate the real moms in our lives.

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Slam Poetry 101:  An Introduction

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Slam Poetry 101: An Introduction

I can't think of a more authentic experience that I've had teaching poetry with my students than through the incredible power of slam poetry.  Here in Chicago, we're lucky. The slam poetry scene is strong. We're actually the city that gave birth to the slam poetry movement in the 80s...

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An Open Letter to My 8-Week Old Son

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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.

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6 No Fluff Lesson Ideas for Valentine's Day

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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.

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Poetry Mashup

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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.

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Why We Travel With Our Baby

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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.

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